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Forecaster Hears 'Rhythm' in the Distance

Carlin International Predicts Four Trend Directions

Retail Editor 2, Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, March 28, 2005

New York — Fashion-forward home furnishings for spring 2006 will focus on “Rhythm” — an energetic design statement with Afro-Caribbean influences.

Rhythm is one of four trend directions for the home outlined by Nicki Gondell, principal of Trend House for Carlin International. Gondell detailed the trends at the Material World convention in Miami Beach earlier this month.

“Rhythm,” Gondell said “offers more room for our own personal interpretation than any of the other directions. It takes a more daring soul.”

Important decorative elements within Rhythm are giant wood beads and colorful dynamic combinations. Within the overall trend are three subsets.

Mixed Styles evokes a young and eclectic mood with ethnic shapes and designs combined in a fun way. The result can range from patchworks with global origins to traditional Japanese, Middle Eastern and Indian motifs, combined in ethnic patterns.

Finery, another subset, is inspired by ornamental decorations and can include braids of pearls, trims or necklace chains for subtlety.

Ethnic Romance, the third subset, turns the exotic into romantic and feminine, Gondell explained. “Traditional techniques of craftsmanship are reworked for a more refined look — ethnic meets classical,” she said.

Overall, Gondell emphasized, “Don't overdo this look.”

Following Rhythm is Projections, an eco-tech direction that supports minimalism with an urban flavor. The impact of technology is evoked in earthy textures, the influence of architecture and “the connection with nature that makes cities more livable,” she said.

Within Projections, Gondell sees new origami experiments with lines and folds creating pleated or creased surfaces that can be created with a photographic treatment.

Vegetation also is important in Projections, with wild grass and climbing plants inspiring designs, she said. And florals take on a younger, fresh look with digital effects.

Evidence, the third trend statement, finds its roots in mid-century modernism — simple and pragmatic. “It's where modernism is going — less elite, retro, fun and whimsical,” she related. “It's the spirit of the Italian '50s and '60s.” Checkered and striped fabrics, jute and canvas and old labels used as inspiration for patchwork motifs are key elements.

Also important in Evidence are the geometric fashions and home furnishings of the '50s to create simple and practical products.

More in the mainstream of home design directions is Daydreams — an ongoing, almost commercial continuation of country — “relaxed, sweet and romantic with floral printed patterns,” Gondell said.

Typical looks are inspired by designs that rely on fruits, vegetables, plants and leaves for ingredients and shapes. Looks tend to bright and cheerful or gentle and botanically rendered, she explained. The color palette of floral shades from black current to hydrangeas works with faded earthy shades of sage, khaki and denim blue.

In Daydreams, quilted surfaces, stitch work, and crinkly, wrinkly fabrics are important.

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