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Style Trends

Heritage, cosmic vision, blasts of colour set tone for 2009

By George Appleshaw


LONDON, August 31, 2008 - Interpretations of the past and a cosmic vision -- marrying science and poetry -- are among key themes dictating design trends for 2009, according to Matthew Jeatt, UK director of trends forecasting agency Promo.Styl.


He told a seminar at the London IJL jewellery trade fair that a look back to classicism and dandy dress were strong features of the Heritage component of style in 2009.


A fascination for glamorous figures from the past such as Coco Chanel was also clear.


As well as looking backwards, another popular design theme for 2009 was labelled as Cosmic Vision -- marrying science and poetry or art, and exploring a scientific and innovative universe.


"In times of recession (downturn) people like to think outside of themselves," Jeatt said.


"There is a sense of futurism all around us."


Jeatt referred to a growing awareness of Space.


"This indicates a determination to get away from the here and now," he said.


Another style theme for 2009 was Ecology and Ethics, as Jeatt noted that people are more concerned about trying to put right the state of the world than at any time before in history.


"Ecology and Ethics are at the heart of expectations and the search for meaning," he said.


"There is a massive consumer vision of correctness."


Jeatt highlighted the increased popularity of so-called Red products, such as the Red American Express card, promoted by rock star Bono, which incorporates charity donations into everyday spending habits.


A communitarian spirit is a benchmark of Ecology and Ethics, as people band together to try to adjust for a better future.


The heightened popularity of sites such as Facebook and MySpace underscore this trend.


Colours Obsession is coming to the fore for 2009, as the energy of colours takes over.


"There is a lot of colour everywhere at IJL," Jeatt said.


"We could apply colour to minimalist designs. What used to be considered gaudy is no longer so."


Jeatt referred to colour and chic, the popularity of colour in sneakers, and the 1980s revival encompassing a look back to colourful personalities like Boy George.


Twist and Switch was a final style theme for 2009 identified by Jeatt, who spoke of a need for surprise in design and style.


The popularity of cheap and ugly images underlines this category.


Who would have thought a few years ago that a TV show like Ugly Betty could possibly succeed? Yet it has really struck a chord with the public, Jeatt said.