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New masculinity and human contact: colour and lifestyle trends for SS21

By Katrien Huysentruyt



Brussels - During the biannual Color Trend Seminar, trend and colour forecaster Hilde Francq of studio Francq Colors identified the latest social trends and the corresponding colours for summer 2021. FashionUnited attended and brings you the main takeaways from the talk.

"Trends are important to determine your course as a brand," said Hilde Francq. "Different scenarios have to be thought of - there is no fixed future, every trend has an antitrend. A brand should also know if it is a colour follower or pioneer. If it is not a trendsetter, then the ratio within a collection is 20 percent trend colours versus 80 percent commercial colours. For a pioneer, the percentage of 'more difficult' shades can go up to 40 percent. In addition, the environment will continue to be important in the future, as consumers will ask for it. Therefore, dare to experiment with materials that make use of waste," she says.

Francq began her talk by highlighting five sociological insights and macro trends that form the basis for lifestyle trends in all sectors, not only in fashion and design. She then linked them to five future colour and material trends.

Human contact becomes the new luxury

In response to the robotisation and applications that are making contact with people superfluous, Francq believes that authentic human contact will become a luxury. Typical human characteristics are becoming more important, so it is vital to integrate them into a company as well, by either personalizing the experience it offers or linking the brand to human contact. The emphasis is on well-being, nature and health, and is translated into a lot of wood, pastels and polygon shapes.

The future is diverse

Gucci was twice discredited for cultural appropriation and has since hired a diversity manager. Chanel and Burberry did the same. The trend is clear: companies have to take more account of different target groups and must strive for diversity. Francq Colors observes that in the near future we will see ethnic elements from different cultures appearing in interiors, but never literally. The origin is therefore not clear. It will be a collection of different perspectives from all over the world. We see vague references to Mexico, Latin America, Portugal and Spain, but we can't really pinpoint what is coming from where. The palette moves in the same direction, with diverse colours, from warm terracotta to saturated ultramarine.

The ‘phygital’ revolution has only just begun

In Japan, at the end of 2018, Akihido Kondo married his idol Hatsune Miku, a virtual singer who takes the form of a hologram. That little hologram is called Gatebox and allows fans to live with their favourite anime character. It's just one example of how the digital and the physical are increasingly intertwined. We will also come across this digital aesthetics more and more in interior design, according to Francq. It is an antitrend against the ecological wave and the enormous attention to the organic and traditional. Within this antitrend, artificial materials and a digital visual language are used, together with a bright colour clash and the continuation of the 'ugly trend'.

New masculinity

Toxic masculinity is a thing of the past and is exchanged for a boyish variant, extremely manly but also playful. A great example of this is actor and star of the film 'Call Me By Your Name', Timothée Chalamet. It's a young trend, important to keep an eye on for now, but it's certainly not yet mainstream. It is also a reaction against the feminine design of the past seasons. Instead of an overload of round shapes, tactile textures and subtle colour combinations, angular shapes and hard areas of colour have been replaced. The look is graphic and industrial but playful.

Silence is the new black

The environment in which we live is becoming increasingly noisy and research has shown that, besides being unpleasant, this is also mentally and physically unhealthy. The search for silence results in increasing attention to acoustic design. According to Francq, this will be one of the greatest trends for the coming years, hence her statement 'silence is the new black'. It will express itself in a neo-chalet style, the comeback of wood in the interior, attention to the traditional and luxurious and light but warm colours.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.be before being translated and edited.

Photo credit: Lanvin and Chloe SS20, via Catwalkpictures

Hilde Francq