Maison & Objet and New York Fashion Week Usher in a New Era of Bold Style and Even Bolder Color
The first two weeks of September keep design experts and style aficionados on the edge of their seats as they await news and images out of Paris and New York. While the London and Milan fashion shows conclude this most stylish of months, it’s the Maison & Objet show, in Paris, along with New York Fashion Week, that decides the upcoming year’s trends in design and fashion.
Trends don’t just materialize out of thin air; they are crafted by designers who live, work, and travel with all their senses focused. Trends are also shaped by the constant conversation between fashion and interior designers; by a color spotted at a runway show that is woven into a sofa; by a pattern on a sham that makes its way onto a dress. After Maison & Objet and New York Fashion Week, the word that has reached us is clear: The “recession proof” style that stressed unadorned patterns and muted monochromatic palettes is over, and a new era of colorful and pattern-rich decadence has arrived.
This fall’s Maison & Objet was a alive with prints, from bold paisleys to colorful jungle motifs to elegant geometrics. Designers were having such a good time, in fact, that they mixed and matched prints on the same piece, and then juxtaposed those prints against even more prints in the same showroom. If a print and color combination is out there and extravagant, it’s in.
One showroom of note that caught our eye was Fancy’s Home Collection. For decades, this Belgian design firm has stood in contrast to cold European minimalism, and this edition of Maison & Objet proved that the rest of the design world finally agrees. Fancy’s wallcovering captured images of leopards stalking through the jungle, peered at by the eyes of white and gold peacock feathers. This combination of prints, both images from the Asian subcontinent, highlighted India as a style touchstone. The peacock print’s gold highlights were replicated in the bag-of-bones light fixture and in the leather sofa’s deep brown. The the marriage of folk patterns and leopard print on the pillows tied together the entire collection to tell a tale about the colorful and texture-rich traditions of India. The collection’s color palette was nuanced, almost sunburnt, reflecting a darker brand of decadence.
New York Fashion Week showcased a similarly dazzling array of mixed-and-matched prints. The looks by creative team Tome, Australian expats who now live and work in New York, contained too many different prints to count. One ensemble featured white silk pants in an emerald-green harlequin print paired with a black-tartan blouse, all topped with a sequin-studded black and white harlequin-print jacket. Another piece featured the same black tartan topped by a vest cut from a fiery-red floral kimono print. Another design in the collection saw the kimono print paired with a white low-cut ruffle blouse and a metallic skirt.
The prints in both of these collections suggested a revival of more opulent and worldly styles. Asian prints were the focus of the décor collections by Nicholas Haslam and Roberto Cavalli, while the patterns and palettes in Tory Burch’s ready-to-wear collection referenced numerous colorful Eastern cultures. Simply put, complexity is in.
Precious metals are big this season, and so are dazzling gem tones. These bold colors and materials hark back to the decorative metals of art deco, and, again, they reflect a move away from muted color palettes and rustic finishes. In the latest edition, Maison & Objet was illuminated by reflective surfaces, by mirrors and glass, and by fixtures and furniture that glowed with color.
Famed Dutch design firm Eichholtz has spent years specializing in the elegant geometries of metals and glass, but its fall entry to Maison & Objet showcased a more colorful side to its work. Like Fancy, one of the dominant colors in Eichholtz’s palette was gold, but the pieces by Eichholtz appeared to be made of actual gold. One room featured a gold water-lily-shaped lamp, as well as a chandelier accented with long and decadent gold beading. The base of the matching table lamp was also gold, though the design of this lamp was more Brutalist or industrial in construction. All of these pieces suggested a futuristic boudoir, which was all the more obvious when matched with violet armchairs. The glass-and-mirror features throughout the entire collection confirmed that Eichholtz is one of Europe’s leaders in home décor.
As with the prints, the trend of precious metals at Maison & Objet was reflected in the gem tones that were evident on the models at New York Fashion Week. Victoria Beckham’s sporty collection of ready-to-wear dresses and separates featured a color palette reminiscent of a jewelry store: turquoise, orange fire opal, and, of course, gold. Beckham paired these bright gem tones with materials such as crushed velvet and pleated leather, creating a look that is both retro and forward-looking.
We spotted gem tones and metallics all over Maison & Objet, from Reichenbach’s sapphire and gold wall fixture to Dome Deco’s ruffled gold-trim mirrors. In New York, we spotted gold all through Carolina Herrera’s collection. Jeremy Scott’s spring models strutted down the catwalks in metallic ruby-red bodysuits. In fact, both shows were so bright and so many surfaces were reflective, it’s not surprising most attendees cut the glare with their sunglasses.
This last trend encompasses those already mentioned, but just heightened—maximalist everything. The featured color at Maison & Objet this fall is representative of this revolution: orange. And not just orange, but daring tones of vermilion, persimmon, and saffron. All of these colors were joined with long shag textures in pillows by Jonathan Adler, as well as with the intricate upholstery print on a chair by Judeco. A bed linen collection by Dea, the luxury Italian linen company, splashed orange across a wild paisley print.
These same bold shades of orange were also featured at New York Fashion Week in collections by DKNY, Christian Siriano, and Zac Posen. In keeping with the maximalist trend, this year’s fashion week also saw the return of some of the same luxury materials featured at Maison & Objet. Tom Ford’s collection featured a lot of leather , while Diane von Furstenberg’s collection featured metallic dresses and decadent furs.
If Maison & Objet and New York Fashion Week have told us anything about what we have to look forward to in the worlds of home décor and fashion, it’s this: Anything that stimulates the senses—whether it’s flashy colors and prints or top-of-the-line materials and posh tones—is what’s next.