Happy Colours, Fun Foods Ahead In 2004

December 23rd, 2003


by - CLAIRE ROSEMBERG - Paris, AFP
After dismal 2003, trend-spotters and intelligence marketers expect next year to be full of bounce, cheer and optimism.
Yellows, greens and even orange will be back brightening the streets, homes plastered in floral and other prints, vegetables will rule the plate and happy smiles lighten up legions of wrinkle-free DIY naturelovers.
Move over dismal 2003 – year of the war in Iraq, SARS deaths and global economic blues.
The year 2004, according to trend-spotters and intelligence marketers, will be all bounce and cheer and optimism and nature-loving fun.
Reminders of the pop art 1960s, a prosperous and vibrant decade, will vibrate both as colours and forms in interior design as well as in streetwear.
Nostalgia will continue to be strong on the fashion scene, with notably a return to the Marlene Dietrich- and coco Chanel-style elegance of the 1930s that will propel quality fabrics and satins and shine back into boutiques.
The skirt, not mini but more or less knee-length and very hip-huggingly sexy, will also be back, either in still-popular denim or other textiles, With it will come more accessories than ever seen before -- a plethora of hats, gloves, shoes, belts, jewellery, and even, as things Asian sweep the West, fans.
Food designers, themselves a new professional breed, imagine chocolate sold couturelike as spools of thread, bits of carrot and zucchini woven together like chanin-mail or western-style sushis perfect for airplane platters –small silos stuffed with all sorts of brightly coloured comestiles.
“Food needs to be accessoriesed,” said Edouard Malbois of Enivrance, which describes itself as the world’s first designer of foods and drinks. “There must be happiness in snacks, small bright foods people can carry around [like nomads].”
After years of food fear triggered by “mad cow” disease and the other occasional spiked products, consumers were indeed ready for change, according to Xavier Terlet, who heads the XTC products, foods that make you happy.”

“The plant world – fruit and vegetables – will be back in 2004. Plants are natural, don’t cause harm, are functional,” he said.
Likewise, at home and at play the love of all things natural and yearning for a paradise lost will be a strong factor, according to the specialists.
“The anxiety typified by minimalism is dead,” said Bengt Jacobsson of Carlin International, one of a handful of the big “style bureaux” unique to Paris that act as fashion and design consultants to industrialists the world over.
“Gaiety and optimism are the 2004 buzzwords, which is why orange, yellow and green are back.”
At Promostyl, another top style and trendspotting agency, Lysiane de Royere said people “are after the real and the authentic”.
So along with the strong spring colours and floral prints that will grace both our clothes and our homes next year – print shirts for men will be as big as the busy patterns likely to cover couches and curtains – gardening is expected to blossom as the latest DIY fad to hit green-starved urbanites and newly-installed countryites.
“People used to want to master nature, now they want to be at one with nature, to celebrate it,” said Stephane Hugon, a sociologist and as a trends consultant at Methos Conseil.
As a proponent of the theory that emotions rather than intellect now prompt social action, hugon said the increasing taste for DIY classes or for wine-tasting or cooking courses was about people increasingly enjoying the company of others, and learning new rituals to share meals and other social skills.
That was also why the kitchen is ousting the living-room as the main social center of the home, he said.
On the cosmetics scene, which expects a big boom in anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing products, the same drive for immediate gratification would bolster sales of medicaltype products, said Marie-Alix Le Roy of Marketing Intelligence.
“There are products coming onto the market—fluids with a silicone screen, creams with micro-particles or coloured pigments – that act more like magic than like a cosmetic, they care while covering up the signs of age,” she said.
People are unwilling to wait to see the results of skin care, they want to wake up the next day with signs of visible difference.
“We are in a world that is moving fast and where we want everything immediately,” she said.

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