Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rainbows on the Horizon (Trend Spotting)

So part of the whole goodness that is my life right now is that I get to scout trends. My pics? Granny chic of course is on it's way, I'm loving Zakka (as any of you who have seen my pinterest board know), and I'm going to go with rabbits for the next big forest animal. It's huge in Japan I guess and really there's just so many dang cute things you can do with bunnies. So hedgehogs and dachsunds- maybe. But bunnies-definitely.

Today though, one of my predictions of a few years ago found some personal vindication in this post. Personal because I don't think I told too many people about it. But anyways, two or three years ago I found some rainbow fabric and it hit me. Rainbows are due for a comeback. Not only were they big when I was a girl (and all good trends come round more then once), but they really speak to an optimism that we all need right now.

From Riley Construction on Etsy
So here's how trends work in my mind. First of all, there's historical precedent that you can factor in (what goes around comes around and nostalgia play a big part). Second, there's geographical location. What's big in the trendiest places now? Check the UK, Europe and Japan and you'll get some pretty good hints. Next, look at fashion. What's big in fashion will usually filter down to home decor and crafting before too long. Lace is a great example of that. Colors seem to run their own course and there are lots of blogs devoted to colors. My friend Shelley from SingleStone Studios has a great color combination post that goes up once a week featuring different trendy color combos. 

From Wise Social Ties on Etsy
From Block Party Press on Etsy
But here's the biggest thing to my mind and it's why I believe that birds and butterflies have had such a great run of it. A truly big trend is usually indicative of the emotional state of the populace at large. Which is why so many people embrace it. Think about it, it's a time of uncertainty, we're feeling tethered to our homes because of the poor housing market, we're losing our jobs, and maybe our homes. We're seeing life get really really hard for a lot of families and we read daily about some new instability in finance, business, or the world. Birds denote flight and thus freedom. We're grounded now but we all want the chance to fly. And many many people are taking that chance now- in the midst of instability. There are more baby boomers starting businesses now than any other group. I think they realize that if they're going to stretch their wings, and reach for the dreams now is the time to do it. Everyday I look at Etsy and realize how many people have decided to make the big decision to make a business from their art. For some it's a can't lose philosophy- they lost their job and have nothing to lose by taking a leap now. But that mentality is catchy. Why not me? Is the question that starts many a business. So in the midst of economic instability there is a longing to fly. Another thing about birds is that they are part of the natural world and the more we become disconnected from nature the more the creative soul reaches for a way to regain what's lost. Thus we have birch branches in our offices, and stumps in our living rooms.

I truly believe that birds will stay until our societal problems give at least the illusion of or promise of stability. But here's where we get to the rainbow, and why I think it's taken it's own sweet time arriving as a full blown trend. Rainbows are optimistic but I think they belong to a world that hopes to see the end of the chaos. The end of the storm needs to be in sight before we begin to truly look for the rainbow in our lives. Not to say that some of us won't jump the gun and start making rainbow art now (yup-did it). There are always a group of crazy optimists among creatives and I have to admit to being one of them. But when we start to see rainbows- lots and lots of rainbows that will say a lot about how we as a world perceive life then. So stick around- I bet it won't be too long....
My Fabric and Wire take on the Rainbow


Anonymous said...

I love your rainbow and inspiring post! Thank you!

Maike's Marvels said...

I looooove Rainbows. I like the idea of them being trendy. Let's see what i can do with your prediction :)