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Formex is not a very well-known trade fair amongst design lovers, but it is a great opportunity for all professionals working in interior design. Since 1960, twice a year for three days in a row all the seasonal trends of Nordic design converge a few kilometers south of Stockholm: from the biggest brands to the small Scandinavian factories.
We have spent a couple of days looking around here and there among the various stands and we have brought home the weather forecasts for the upcoming months. Here are some inspirations from Formex 2016, September edition.
Which colours should we expect from Nordic design? A lot of white, all the shades of grey, a little cream that can even become beige. Well, these are the colours that dominate the stands at Formex.
But - here’s the first of a long series of buts - the colour itself, the warm or cold but always bright and unexpected shade, shows up all of a sudden and immediately attracts the eye: Formex is invaded by stains of colour, bright details that fascinate the observer, especially in the stands with many table and kitchen accessories.
Of course there’s wood. A lot of wood. As it has always been here in Stockholm and surroundings. But – the second but – ceramic seems to predominate amongst the news.
Plates, bowls, vases, glasses, teapots and small containers. Neutral colours, pastel shades, hues and striped patterns. Then a stain of colour. At Formex 2016, ceramic has thousands of different looks.
Ceramic certainly is (like wood) an extremely ductile material: it offers countless possibilities that makes it unique for every brand. But it is always ceramic.
A courtain, a blanket, a throw, a puppet, a tablecloth, a pillow, a duvet, an ottoman: also textiles are abundant in Formex. And apparently it had attracted the attention of many Scandinavian designers. Raw materials, processing techniques, applications, colours: there is an unmistakable abundance of fabrics in the stands.
But – third and last but – also fabrics, here among Formex exhibitors, seem to follow (or precede?) the trends regarding interior design and ceramic accessories: soft colours combined with flat and very bright hues, simple geometric patterns or very sophisticated designs. And there is also a surprise: the recurring presence – although minimal – of tropical fantasies and ethnic glares, which have never been very widespread at this latitude.
Throws, plenty of throws. Which, at a closer look, seem to indicate a clear trend. Textiles production is in the foreground: the weave is open, the weaving is well-visible and patterns and colours work together to bring it out.
We went to Stockholm and back to Milan. And while we were on the plane and then at home, while going to the office and then now, sitting all together around the table, our thought was: a lot of pottery and textiles in the foreground. Perhaps handmade production is fighting for a place in the front row of the next Scandinavian trends?