A Scandinavian experience: Design Trade CPH

Last week, I had the chance to participate in the world of design during Design Trade CPH, which was held in Bella Center, Copenhagen. Bella Center is well-known for its exhibition halls, holding trade fairs throughout the year. If you ever attend Copenhagen Fashion Week, that is where the fashion trade will be held.

Design trade CPH January 2014

It was a Wednesday morning and the program started early for the members of the press, including journalists, photographers, bloggers and stylists. The program started with some breakfast and the necessary coffee. This was followed up by a trend presentation by a Swedish Trend Expert, Stefan Nilsson from the Trendgruppen, who brought us the trends of 2014 in the design field. This refreshing presentation was exactly what made us extremely excited about the whole trade fair and we were wanting more and more.

A drop-in at few of the exhibitors stands

Our trip continued to few stands, where the companies presented their new collections and concepts. The first stop was the Danish fashion label, Aiayu, which is respected for being strongly engaged with sustainability, treating not only the environment with respect, but people as well.

Up next was the Italian stand entitled “Tempo Italiano” presented by the Embassy of Italy that put together Italian designs for the Scandinavian market. This included the classic cars of Italy: Fiat and Alfa Romeo, Italian chairs and the speed-bike, Bianchi, which is popular in Denmark.

The tour was continued to the Copenhagen-based, Aperie, a material design company that combines ethics and unique expressions in one. They design materials like leather, organic cotton and fine alpaca wool.

Next stop was Danish Muubs, an indoor and outdoor furniture company, that mixes the inspiration found in raw nature and Nordic expressions. For the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, Muubs has particularly focused on the combination between concrete and teak.

Last presentation was by Danish ceramicist, Anne Black, who’s work includes a rich variety of decorations like vases, bowls, cups and jewellery as well.

After this little intro trip, the trade fair  officially started and all of us, could walk around, from stand to stand, absorbing the creativity, colours, shapes and lines from the different companies. What I love about these trade fairs is the refreshingly new things that pop-up from stand to stand and there are so many of them that you just wish you could take home with you.

During the trade fair, the trend expert group, Trendgruppen, presented their trends for 2014 in four different trend zones in the form of a small exhibition followed by a short description of the trend. Later that day, I participated in the extended presentation of the 2014 trends by Stefan Nilsson, because I find it fascinating to see the stories behind a trend and at the same time, you get so inspired by them.

The Design Trends for 2014 according to Stefan Nilsson, Trendgruppen are:

  • Drama – as we’ve all know it, creativity can tend to go “avant-garde” and with this trend the emphasis is on new, creative and dramatic. Going above imagination and do it differently. If you missed the fashion show of American fashion designer Rick Owens for the Spring/Summer 2014 season, here your chance. This will describe perfectly what the Trend Expert, Stefan Nilsson means with the trend “Drama”. Another temptation from this trend’s side is the tendency of taking old furniture and giving it a “dramatic” look through adding a new textile.
  • Structure – This trend is focusing more on the materials used for creating the creative designs. A perfect example seen between the brands is the mixture of shiny and matte surfaces. Transparency plays an important role, especially because this trend wants to show how the products are constructed, through having visible structures and lines. This way of designing gives a whole new airiness to the designs.
  • Talisman – The main inspiration of this trend is Africa, adding an oriental feeling to it. One significant aspect to this trend are the Ikat patterns, which will be present everywhere. As seen at the Givenchy Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show, tiles and masks will dominate the creative world.
  • Nursery – The perfect harmony between humour and cuteness is the main characteristic of this trend. We will notice candy and chocolate references.
  • Forest 2.0 – This trend is all about ecology that looks forward to the future and not back in the past. The presence of botanical patterns will dominate the designs. Foraged food, slow food and tactical urbanism are strong influences for a healthier lifestyle in the year 2014.

Design Trade CPH

Anne Black – Spring/Summer 2014 collection

Design Trade CPH

Anne Black  presenting her new collection

Design Trade CPH

Forest 2.0 Design Trend 2014 Exhibition

Design Trade CPH

Muubs – Spring/Summer 2014 collection

Design Trade CPH

Talisman Trend 2014 Exhibition

Design Trade CPH

Talisman Trend 2014 Exhibition

Design Trade CPH

Aiayu – Spring/Summer 2014 collection