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Marble, Brass, Metallic Color & Oxblood

Hello everyone! The other day while I was working, I had an episode of the Golden Girls on in the background and I realized two things — those dames are ridiculously hilarious and there are so many trends featured on the 1980’s classic that are trends again in 2012. Some haven’t quite made the crossover (just say no to peach wicker) but countless others have been filtered, reinterpreted and modernized. We have already seen the explosion of remixed neon, colour blocking and bold floral patterns but what are some other 1980’s and early 1990’s inspired trends that are popping up everywhere? To avoid writing a thesis length ode to Golden Girls style, I thought I would focus on four lesser noticed trends that are, in my opinion, rising in terms of visibility. Will they become ubiquitous like neon hues or ever present chevron patterns? We will have to wait and see but for now, let’s ponder marble, brass, metallic colour and oxblood! – Chloé / plenty of colour

2012 has been a big year for pattern and the recent resurgence of marble as a material and motif are no exception. I love black and white pairings as well as unexpected colour combinations like neon or hints of metallics. When it comes to marble, I think a little goes a long way and the pattern really works best when combined with other prints and solid colours.

The lines of marble veining manage to look great with both modern and handcrafted typography. Chocolate Editions used the pattern as vibrant chocolate bar packaging and I think marble motifs in general lend themselves quite successfully to food products (perhaps it conjures the image of stirring delicious ingredients?) I love how L’Amuse-Bouche, the Yale French Language Journal, uses a modern marble motif as a publication end sheet.

Once shunned, marble has been gaining steam as an interior design material. I love this scalloped countertop created for Joy Cupcakes in Melbourne. Marble also has a new life in innovative floor designs and I like how designers and architects are thinking far outside the box when interpreted the motif. From stripes of different marble types to handcrafted ‘marbelous’ wood planks, the effect is beautiful.

I have to admit that marbled patterns have never been my favourite but I am rethinking my position with all of the new approaches being taken. I love this kitchen featuring marble tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern. I am also entranced by one-colour and metallic line versions of marble motifs (they feel like woodgrain) and vivid patterns that look like a mash-up of marble and watercolour.

If marble isn’t in your design plans or if you happen to own a food-focused shop, consider bringing marbled patterns to your culinary creations. Perhaps a shop party with a marbled theme is in order? (Invite me please!)

Another 1980’s throwback that has been modernized with great success is brass. It wasn’t very long ago that brass had a bad rap so it is fabulous to see the material get a whole new life. Unlike its shiny, yellow-focused predecessor, the “new” interpretation of bronze has a more vintage and natural appearance. More cool-toned but full of patina, this modern bronze is much more versatile and clean-feeling. It mixes beautifully with colour and I love all of the animal and faceted brass objects popping up.

The thought of brass shop designs might strike terror in the heart of fingerprint-weary shop owners but have no fear! Modern retail details focus on brass wearing to its natural patina or the use of vintage brass. I love how Erica Tanov created a feature wall of 4,000 oval tumbled brass discs attached with brass nails as a stunning installation.

images via samma

Samma jewellery studio creates magnificent feats of brass and geometry and I particularly like how they style their pieces — on half-paint backgrounds and chalky surfaces with slight marble veining. Proof that two 1980’s trends can come together in a fabulously chic and modern way.

Is it just me or do magazines, blogs and media exclaim “metallics are back!” every single year? Personally, I don’t think sparkle and shine really ever go out of style but rather, move into different metal trends. In addition to brass, 2012 is bursting with gold, silver, copper and embellished details. Perhaps, with economic uncertainty, consumers are focusing more on quality and a little embellishment can enhance the perceived value of an item. One mini-trend I have noticed is the resurgence of coloured metallics. Used with wild abandon in the 1980’s (think royal blue lamé), new versions of coloured metallics seem to be focused on saturated jewel tones which successfully marry shiny vibrancy and elegance. I am interested to see if this trend has legs in the rest of 2012. I think it works wonderfully in shop windows and could be particularly beautiful when paired with winter knits and textured materials.

Branding and print-wise, I am eager to experiment with bringing hue-filled metallics to paper via colour foils. I love the effect on black and white and am rather obsessed with the idea of metallic colour edge painting. A fun way for a shop or brand to bring one central pop of colour and shine.

Burgundy, wine, maroon, vermillion — there is no shortage to the names given to the red/brown/purple hue that looks like it will become an “it” colour of 2012. Along with deep greens and cobalt blue, the colour was featured prominently on Fall 2012 runways. Most often dubbed “oxblood”. this hue is rich and full of dimension.

Admittedly, anything resembling burgundy has been low on my favourite colour list for many years now but I am enjoying thinking up new ways oxblood can being used. I love how the saturated hue, in both matte and shiny finishes, can work with other colours. Cornflower blue, vivid magenta, saffron, dusty teal and even pastels — oxblood has depth and seems to take on a cast of whatever it is paired with. It will be very interesting to see if this trend can make the leap from runway to consumer and if it has a market in home products.

image via fan pop

I spotted this Golden Girls promo shot and noticed how it features marble patterns, brass, metallic colours and oxblood. Everything does come around again, doesn’t it? Rose is even rocking the uber-trendy peplum. Hoping you all find new ways to interpret design classics and remix old trends. Until next week, I am off to the shops… – Chloé

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  1. Abigail says:

    excellent post! i love the metallic edge painting… genius.

  2. Sue says:

    Love this post! Great to see new twists on classic materials.

  3. […] site, I focused on four 80′s/90′s trends that are gaining steam and visibility: marble, brass, metallic colour and oxblood. I was inspired by an episode of The Golden Girls, an 1980′s classic full of design begging […]

  4. […] everyone! Last year, I wrote about the popularity of brass and a general shift towards a new modern gold hue. In fact, it feels like modernized metals have […]

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