Maison & Objet continues to be one of the most important design shows in Europe, and it takes place in one of the most dynamic cities in the world, Paris. Each year, M&O presents three lifestyle trends, reflected and narrated with product from vendors at the exhibition. Although somewhat ethereal, these trends do trickle down, as we have seen from seasons past.
One trend, the most literal of the three, referred to the influence of sports paraphernalia in all aspects of design. The United States has been witness to this trend for the longest time, so much so it is hardly a trend at all. With the branding of sports teams, and the fanaticism of fans, objects for the house abound in references to the equipment, uniforms, and environments related to the athletic endeavors of our heroes on the playing field.
Coupling, the second trend presented, focused on the interpretation of ordinary objects reconstructed with a dual appearance. Noteworthy were the series of chairs displayed, and the double headed deer treated with a needle point body.
Lastly, Private Obsessions highlighted the most obvious visible trend: the collecting of objects, a passion of many designers and their clients. Throughout the show, objects are presented as collections but rarely make it to the home that way. For the passionate few, collecting is a way of life. The focus on one object, in all its aspects, created visually stunning, graphic displays.
Beyond the formal trends presented, each attendee forms his and her own opinions and conclusions about the next wave of influences. Most obvious was the lack of color shown by many vendors. While bright colors played a larger role a year ago, this year’s palette was dominated by hues of gray, highlighted with dusty lavenders, hints of chartreuse and more neutrals. The exploration of textures, both natural and artificial, was stimulating and provided a tactile experience. Resins, leather, shagreen, wood, ceramics and porcelain contributed to materials used in unusual ways. Casual chic still seemed to dominate the overall mood of lifestyle interiors, interpreted with unique, individual touches.
Outside the show, in the streets of Paris, the boutiques are already filled with the latest fashion from the runway. One step ahead of the home industry (still!), will we soon see the influence of plaids, Mondrian and fetish in January 2012. Fur abounds, in all hues, but for the most part, colors were rather conservative. Gone are the feathers this year, replaced with snakeskin, head to toe.
January 20-24, 2012 is the next exhibition when the show is even bigger! Fabric editors from across Europe and the world show their wares at Maison & Objet and introduce their latest collections. If you want a jump start on your inspiration, Paris in January is the best place to be.