An Artist’s Touch

A Bellwether Insight

Photo: Dids
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Being at home for the last 8 weeks (we think? what day is it?) has ignited a range of artsy endeavors. We watched Bob Ross, we downloaded a paint by number app and spent 45 minutes adding our own ‘artist’s touch’ to a beautiful mountain scene, and we watched people make focaccia gardens. There is something about social distancing that just says: create. Through a twist of fate, the market is meeting us in this moment of making. Let’s settle in.

Painterly  Strokes

Stripes, from paint strokes to Rorschach-inspired, lend themselves to a painterly approach. One-color is easy to print on any fabric, while more complicated color ways and painterly techniques could be achieved through digital printing.

Going forward, we will probably see some influences of post-impressionistic, modern art, and some may say notes of Expressionism and Synthetism? (deep cut). One idea from these art movements was looking to the future, wanting to be something different and explore. This inspiration will fuel designers looking to what the future will be.

The Artist’s Palette Approach

Inspiration is coming from the palettes and paint rags themselves, where the artist mix color and wash it down with water. The playful color combinations and color gradients we see is for sure an evolution of the tie-dye trend, while the punk and 90’s influence can be seen in some of the paint splatter effects.

Warped Florals Shapes

So hear us out: the tie-dye trend got with the psychedelic trend (who’s daddy was a floral) and brought into the world a little baby that is warped florals. We are loving this groovy take on traditional floral shapes. You can go abstract or more defined with the trend, as we see in Dries Van Noten’s tie-dye-esque background florals. This trend lends itself to a watercolor approach, but we think it’s newer to mix that with some harder edges and psychedelic influences.

Landscapes & Tablescapes

The artist painting their surroundings is a big trend we have seen on the runways for a few seasons, and we don’t see it slowing down. The worldwide stay-at-home orders will see people looking at their tabletops, backyards and even their pets for portraits of the life they are living in this moment. The recent New York Times Art in Isolation interactive feature shows many artist’s using their creativity to share what’s around them. And, UNICEF’s ‘Voices of Youth’ digital group is taking submissions and featuring youth artists on their website.

Rejina Pyo worked this idea into their marketing, too. They asked customers, while under social distancing rules, to create an art piece using their favorite Rejina Pyo piece. The winner was a tablescape painting featuring a bag and some bananas. Due to an abundance of submissions, they continued to share art on their Instagram. What a beautiful way to build community! (and get those loyal customers increasing their lifetime value)

A look at the data

The recent uptick in search for ‘painting set’ tells us that people are looking to create something during this time. That, coupled with social distancing guidelines around the world, will most likely push designers into a wave of art-inspired designs while consumers will seek to buy this newly familiar trend (the breakout related query for ‘painting set’ was ‘painting set for adults’).

The searches for ‘mens floral shirts’ has appeared to be lowering over the last couple of years as the trend saturates the market. While many brands still find success with the print, it’s a good idea to start combining it and evolving it with other trends seen in the market, like the tie-dye inspired warped floral shapes. Test out ideas now so you can make them bigger later.

A look at our intuition

We think that this trend isn’t going anywhere, as we have seen it over the past few years and the recent wave or home isolation has changed what people do in their free time to stay entertained and inspired. We expect the designers to be more inspired by their own at-home creations; specifically, abstract impressionistic paintings and landscape prints of their own spaces and surroundings. The newly created nostalgia to the home after isolation ends will probably help sell the landscape portion of this trend.

The floral trend will continue for men as their clothing becomes more feminine and explores the gender-bending reality of today’s youth. Brands will need to keep the ideas fresh and interesting, since the market has become saturated with floral-printed garments for men. Womenswear sees a recent return to femininity and sophisticated dressing, so the menswear market will followup suit with many aspects of this softer side of fashion. The worldwide isolation will most likely accelerate this trend of dressing up outside of the house, so be ready with dressier floral options, too.