Jan 6, 2012

Fashion or fad? New Romanticism.

Dalston Rose

What goes around, comes around. Just as we were all told to throw out the brown furniture and burn the chintz, it comes right back in style. There is a real revival of interest in crafts and things that are made by hand. Mind you, not quite the way our grandmothers would have liked it. 

This latest trend in design has been a while in coming. First came the slow disappearance of orchids and taupe from our living rooms. Next a revival in color and pattern. Then a nostalgia for things from the past, largely fueled by the recession, which lead to the rethinking and reworking of what we already had. Add to that a burgeoning green movement and a renewed interest in craftsmanship, and you have what is loosely being called the "New Romanticism". If anything fuels the New Romantics, it's the idea of creating for creation's sake.  We look to the British to bring this trend to the world!

The New Romantics often mix elements from two of Britain's most memorable periods—Victorian and Punk. Tea parties and high teas with Victorian cake stands and china teapots are also back in vogue.  Consumers have also become more experimental. Two decades ago, everyone was into beige and stone. Now we want more comfort and more humanity in our homes. 

Timorous Beasties Wallcovering
Chintz is having a revival - with a modern edge. London's House of Hackney's rose-patterned wallpapers and fabrics, called "Dalston Rose," turn the traditional rose into a distressed black.  More eccentric prints like "Hackney Empire" feature over sized chipmunks, spooky badgers and birds with wild feathers. They also sell their own range of bed linens, lampshades, crockery and some upholstery, including traditional Victorian love seats. The collection has been picked up by Liberty London. 

Avant garde designs are in vogue. A line of fabrics and wall coverings by Timorous Beasties - founded in 1990 - updates toile and classic William Morris designs with contemporary images and colors. Some of their designs have been reproduced onto concrete tiles. The look is edgy, modern, and very surrealistic.