How does fashion influence home décor and which upcoming fashion trends could we see reflected in décor this year?

Does your fashion sense reflect your taste in home décor? It’s something to ponder.

Thulare Matlaba, Global Brand Manager at the fashion and design institution INSCAPE, believes that whether we’re talking about fashion or how we decorate a living room, self-expression occurs in the spaces we occupy and the clothes we wear.

Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director at Reed Exhibitions, says that fashion has always played an important role historically. “From the opulent clothing of the Victorian era to the roaring ’20s, and beyond, the material, colours and textures tell us so much about the time period as well as the people wearing the outfits.”

At home with fashion

“Interestingly, the elements that influence fashion trends are often related to those who influence the trends in décor. These two creative worlds are very much intertwined and we are excited to showcase this at the 2019 Decorex exhibitions,” says Cullingworth.

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Always setting the bar for creative expression, Decorex SA has introduced an unconventional feature to the 2019 exhibition programme. Students from INSCAPE – the fashion and design institution – have formulated a unique fashion show that will indicate exactly how fashion and design merge when it comes to trends.

“In the last 20 to 30 years, fashion has largely influenced décor,” says Matlaba, “However, with retro being trendy, fashion has borrowed some of its styling cues from décor. These days, it’s hard to pick which came first because they influence each other and are both influenced by external factors such as culture, music, history, technology and politics – although I’d say fashion is probably the earliest adopter.”

Matlaba cites the Louis Vuitton clutch bags as an excellent example of designs that deliberately interpreted art deco style.

Fashion trends in home décor

“Artistic movements also influence design – fashion, interior and décor – from pop art, to modernism, minimalism, post-modernism and beyond,” says Matlaba.

“Fashion trends for 2019 include tie-dye and neon – colour schemes we’ve seen before – which are likely to find their way into décor and decorating.”

Locally, in 2018, South African-born fashion designer, Nkuli Mlangeni, of The Ninevites Gang, partnered with Trenery Guild to produce a bespoke handwoven rug in salmon, sage and slate hues.

Internationally, Gucci collaborated with Richard Ginori to produce a porcelain line that celebrates Italian art and craftsmanship.

Passion is always in fashion

Borders, angles, framing, features, simplicity, complexity, over-engineering, layering, structure, design – these are all words associated with fashion and décor.

“Where one overlaps the other is probably impossible to define, but you can say with certainty that they feed off each other. Where you live, how you live, what you wear, what you place on your walls… these are all a function of your personal expression and help to determine your design aesthetic,” says Matlaba.

“Where you live, how you live, what you wear, what you place on your walls… these are all a function of your personal expression and help determine your design aesthetic.” – Thulare Matlaba of INSCAPE

He said that the biggest drivers of the two industries are passion, resources and influences.

“All the elements matter. Where you live, how much money you have, your political and religious beliefs, all of it. In every home, rented or owned, you will find at least one element reflective of the occupant. Self-expression occurs in the spaces we occupy and the clothes we wear consciously or unconsciously.”

What defines us

He explains that, often, one’s taste in clothing reflected one’s environment and vice versa, with aspects such as access to resources, creativity and the willingness of expression, also playing vital roles.

“A neon-patterned scatter cushion here, a vintage curtain there, the antique table from grandma or the odd yellow chair could make a typical apartment feel more eclectic, thus expressing the homeowner’s personality,” says Matlaba. “The services of a good designer can also aid in unearthing your style and help to create a home or office reflective of your personality. Money should not act as a deterrent to creativity.”

To give you a real taste of this fashion-décor fusion at Decorex, INSCAPE Education Group will present the 2nd Skin fashion show. Interior and Environmental Design students will be exploring interdisciplinary design practices by crafting on-trend outfits using building materials and associated décor items.

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