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Friday, 28 September 2012

London Design Festival 2012 trends: back to black...

Black was a trend that was very much in evidence at last year's design fairs but, even so, I was surprised by how prevalent it was at this year's LDF. Black - whether on furniture, accessories or lighting, whole items or just details - was everywhere. Even designers without any black pieces used the colour on their display stands. Thankfully this look has nothing to do with the black ash furniture beloved of the late 1980s adolescent male. The finishes today include gloss, a soft sheen and a LOT of matt black. This last suggests a grown-up, serious and unfussy mood. Some of the matt black pieces I saw reminded me of volcanic rock - a material that has both dramatic and unchanging 'elemental' qualities). And I particularly enjoyed seeing mixes of matt and gloss within collections, like Another Country's Another Pottery Series.

If it seems like this trend is rocking the boat, it isn't. As in fashion, overtly feminine looks have been out of vogue for some time now, replaced by more androgynous or masculine styles - and black interiors are a continuation of this. And, as black is effectively a neutral shade, it slots in comfortably with the massive over-arching trend for neutrals and naturals, while at the same time giving it a bold update.

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