CULTURE CLASH AND DESIGN
Does art shape our culture, or does our culture shape art? The answer to both questions is a resounding yes!
Art definitely shapes cultures but never doubt the influence of the pervading culture on the creative arts. In my work it's supremely important to understand what inspired the work, the product and the design. In fashion and decor inspiration is the story that distinguishes a creative's work product from another while simultaneously answering the “whys". I want to share what seems to be a clear creative response in both industries based on the current cultural landscape. There is a deep sense of nostalgia of days gone by that so may are longing for right now. It's an epic struggle between those who are longing for "how it used to be" with "what's next". Age, race, party affiliation, geography, religion and socio economic conditions play a significant role in how and why people feel the way they do. This battle royale touches long held beliefs and positions as witnessed in the state of our government and the volatility witnessed with social norms. Interior Decor trends have definitely been influenced by this culture clash and have responded by placing a premium on artisan works and/or one of kind pieces. It recognized a mass produced product doesn't possess the same romantic allure as the feeling of owning one of a select few. Interior Design and decor has also embraced the beauty of nature and it's simplicity.
Global warming, climate control and massive excess have people seeking a life filled with meaningful experiences over tons of stuff. Going green is a badge of honor because people feel like they are doing their part to preserve the environment. Creative's have sought to answer the consumer's desire for simpler times (which is totally subjective by the way) by creating more personalized products and experiences. Natural elements will continue to play a huge role in design and decor this year. Bringing nature indoors evokes a sense of peace and tranquility which I believe is an attempt to counter balance the onslaught of swirling chaos in the outside world.
Fashion has also been influenced by the current state of affairs. Several designers including Marc Jacobs have re-released old collections. What inspired them to put out previously released collections could easily be attributed to feelings of nostalgia. The longing for certain periods in history is at an all time high. To be clear, one person or groups longing for certain moments in time may not educe like minded thoughts for another person and/or group for that same time period! Fashion has declared denim, specifically cuts that were once popular in the 8o's are in again. Americans has had a long-standing love affair with denim. Iconic images of James Dean come to mind and Brooke Shields telling us "Nothing comes between me and my Calvin's". We're sentimental fools about our denim jeans! Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans or has a fond memory of a significant
occasion wearing a good old pair of jeans. Go through the family photo album in Anywhere, USA and you'll find an embarrassing picture of yourself in some mom approved denim outfit.
Another trend we're seeing in 2019 which I believe are influenced by cultural events is the emergence of Neon. Neon's comeback takes us on a heady trip back down memory lane to the 8o's. History tells us the 80's was the decade of unchecked freedom, power and fun. It was all about big hair, big shoulder pads and big earrings. It was the decade of excess. More is more was the mantra of the time. The re-emergence of neon colors offers a stark contrast to the grey mood felt across the country right now.
Additionally you have to be courageous to successfully pull off such a brazenly bold color palette. I believe this is a reflection of the brazenly bold voices that have risen collectively to a loud crescendo over the past few years. Time Up, Me Too, Black Lives Matter, Higher Heights, are just a few of those collective voices crying out in the proverbial wilderness.
The bottom line is, it's by no accident we are seeing these current trends in interior design/decor as well as in fashion. Art/design indeed reflects culture in our society. It should come as no surprise that the environment can impact and affect the person creating the art as well as their reason for creating it. It's ALL connected beautiful people.
Veronica, Philly's Favorite Lifestyle Guru