An optimistic story for a new season, is what Lidewij Edelkoort told during her trend presentation for summer 2015. Gathering is the title, and indeed there was a common thread to be discovered running through the different themes. Craftscurator picked the most important developments for home decoration and handmade design.
The shape of products is now very much defined by volume and texture. By layering, draping and, yes, gathering fabric new shapes are created. Beds are made out of stacked mattresses; chairs are tied up cushions. Objects are wrapped, covered and veiled. Amba Molly transformed everyday items by wrapping them in unusual materials. These shapes might be bulky or voluminous, but often are also light and flexible. Texture is often the result of origami-like folding and faceting. Products and patterns are complex and precise. 3 dimensional effects are cleverly created. Angharad McLaren created outstanding woven textiles.
Handcrafted techniques will continue to be very influential. After many years of being fascinated with knitting and crocheting, now basket weaving and hand loom weaving are making a comeback, too. Lanzavecchia & Wai worked with rattan weavers in Indonesia to create huge screens. Basketry weaving can be very expressive, making use of hairy and grassy fibers. But a more subtle and simple flat weave is also used. Dienke Dekker studied basketry techniques to find new patterns. The importance of weaving also puts emphasis on yarn. Threads need to be seen. Embroidery remains popular, and now the 'pin tuck' also makes a comeback. Stitched, smocked or gathered gives volume to textiles.
One of the most interesting developments is how colour is applied in new and exciting ways. It no longer is a final step in the design process, but a beginning. Techniques are applied to bring out colour: by brushing, dipping and washing. Designers are exploring ways to extract colour pigments from natural sources. Raw Color worked with organic dyeing agents such as reseda to create the yellowish tones for their Tinctorial textiles. Chemical treatments are used to transform materials. Especially metals such as iron, copper and gold are being oxidized and tarnished to create new effects. Loekie Smeets brings out the best in natural materials by letting them rust and colour-bleed. It is remarkable how designers are now re-thinking colour. Craftscurator could not agree more with Lidewij Edelkoort when she stated 'Colour is materializing'.