Future Focus 39 99 Seminar Pinpoints Dramatic Changes

As one of the featured speakers of Future Focus 99 Individuality, the annual seminar sponsored by
the N.Y. Home Textiles Show, Elissa Moses, director of GlobalandMarket Intelligence, Phillips
International, provided the larger context for the dramatic changes in home fashion, lifestyles,
marketing and retailing that will characterize the new millennium.In a digital age that provides
instant access to style trends anywhere in the world, the changes occur at a dizzying pace, she
noted.Moses predicts that by 2010, half of U.S. stores will close, as more and more buying is done
over the web, which will account for 25 percent of all retail purchases by 2005.Global
InfluencesJune Weir, co-founder of the Weir/Wolfe Report and former fashion editor of Womens Wear
Daily, noted that some of the new trends are already taking place.One of the most important
megatrends says Weir is Ethnic, inspired by increasing globalism and world travel. Its a melting
pot of opportunity characterized by exuberance in color, shape and texture. Individuality is the
key. The home becomes a very personal place filled with furnishings and accessories that recapture
a feeling or meaningful experience.Weir predicts lots of red, rich, decorative textures and
patterns, and cherished objects and collectibles culled from around the world to express ones own
individuality.Leather will be very big in upholstery, also knitted throws, ethnic pillows. Bamboo,
rattan and wicker will be important, and the chaise lounge is coming back.Weir referred to a new
type of millennium woman worldly, sophisticated and well-traveled, who will fill her home with
furnishings, accessories and fabrics that reflect a mix of cultures from the primitive to
traditional, drawn from many eras antiquity to modern.A second key trend according to Weil relates
to Energy colors, patterns and textures that are dynamic, that energize a home. She spoke of Chi
colors sun-drenched yellows and luminous blues; new proportions in furniture (longer, movable,
sectional); lots of cushions; chrome or stainless steel foundations for an airy, floating look;
shiny textures and surfaces; mirrors; and living plants and shrubs for environmental
affirmation.The third megatrend envisioned by Weir is called Ethereal. It reflects a simpler way of
living, the home as sanctuary, a tension-easing place that invites meditation and relaxation. The
softer, rounder, well-cushioned furniture cited as key to the first two trends is also important
here, along with lush, plush textiles, velvets, and silky, iridescent and translucent fabrics.A
return to nature will be evidenced in leaf patterns as a major motif, as well as marine inspired
colors, shapes and patterns, particularly seashells.Color ForecastThe Future Focus 99 Color
presentation was broken down into three major color groupings: Sophisticate;
SpiritualistandTraveler; and TraditionalistandBohemian.Sophisticate is geared to city dwellers,
seeking serenity and simplicity from an outer life of chaos. It will focus on a softer palette of
neutralized mid tones, grays, whites and pales to achieve a new sense of minimalism in the home.
Spiritualist also invokes the Asian aesthetic with precious pales, soft cosmetic hues, pearlized,
opalescent and metallicized tones and textures. In this category are also brushed surfaces,
white-on-white, flesh tones, ombre effects, organza, wovens and brocades in soft
pales.Traditionalist focuses on colors like yellow, blues, white, turquoise, gray, aubergine and
malachite, with a comfortable mix of styles Persian patterns with country plaids and ancient
Southwest motifs with delicate florals.For the Bohemian half of this color group, unconventional,
non-conforming combinations are the rule. Important here will be pinks, chartreuse, purple, gold,
aqua and citrus greens in a variety of combinations reflecting various influences from retro and
hippie to childhood.The Future Focus 99 Color presentation was promulgated by a special industry
committee comprised of: Chairperson Renee Bennett, editor-in-chief, LDB Interior Textiles Magazine;
Judith Douglass, Douglass International Design; Molly Vanden Bosch, Cotton, Incorporated; Leatrice
Eiseman, executive director, Pantone Color Institute; and Carol DArconte, Color Portfolio. by Trudi
Novina, New York Correspondent.

May 1999