Li Edelkoort predicts a new boldness for the future

by elayneread


Planning and designing brands inevitably involves trying to work out what imagery and values will have currency months or even years from now.

That’s why we religiously make our biannual pilgrimage to hear what trends forecaster Li Edelkoort has to say about imagery, texture and colour in the medium term future.

Last week at the Lumiere cinema in South Kensington, it was gratifying to hear her build her argument using not one but two themes from our own Visual Futures presentations.

She opened her analysis with the observation that with the world in crisis for the sixth year running, it’s time to “dream and give into absurdity and excess, to embrace the grotesque and exaggerated, to enter a new world of hyper form and strong colour”.

This echoes the same sentiment we expressed last year in our Visual Futures presentation Reality Sucks, where we talked about people wishing to escape the awfulness and embracing alternative realities and absurdism.

She also said that having tried different approaches to dealing with the present. by seeking solace in the past, (hence all the retro design we’ve seen recently), now is the time to start looking to the future. This is the same premise that this year’s Visual Futures presentation Eureka! is based on. It looks at our renewed interest in science as a source of optimism for the future.

Having tried everything else, Edelkoort says that we need to turn to what she calls Plan B. B for Bold.

Complaining that fashion has been unimaginative and uninventive for several years, she predicted an outpouring of weirdness and inventiveness. Designs will be monstrous and savage, she says.

Cleverly, all the new themes start with B. Baby (infantilism), Bare (androgynous minimalism), Blush (pinks) Blood (scarlet), Burgundy (wine colours) Brick (constructed layers) Bulbous (brown layering) Bundle (nomadic styles) and Bright (a more optimistic approach) and many more are mentioned.

“Brighter colours will see brighter days, with bulky volumes and blown-up patters, ballooning beauty and bonbon style,” says Edelkoort.

With many of London’s fashionistas in the audience, just watch this space for some inspiring craziness coming to a high street near you for autumn winter 2014/15


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