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With New York Fashion Week currently taking over NYC, we thought it would be a great time to discuss the influence and impact of fashion on interior design. Many of us may know what interior design styles we like thanks to channels like HGTV, yet few of us have likely ever really sat down and thought about the crossover between the two industries. By diving into fashion’s influence on interior design, we find three major takeaways you can use to keep your home looking amazing.
Impact of Fashion on Interior Design
HISTORY MEETS SOCIAL MEDIA
As one interior design blog put it, “[f]ashion is not just about the clothes we wear or the outfits we put together, it dominates much of our day to day lives from the homes we live in to the offices we work in and the cars we drive. Everything, it seems, is governed by fashion trends.”
For decades, if not centuries, fashion stood above interior design in terms of impact. It was considered settle fact that anything seen in fashion would eventually filter down to interior design within a few years. Yet within the last decade, the lines have begun to blur. The advent of social media where everyone from brands to bloggers now stream NYFW street style and runway shows means that the world is able to see the newest trends as they occur.
Gretchen Aubuchon, Editor in Chief of Fashion + Decor also cites the influx of social media images and blogs as the point where fashion and interior design collide. “We’ve never seen fashion and interior design be ‘more in tune with each other than they are now,” where “[t]he drivers behind the top brands are seeing and hearing the same things as the consumer is, at the same time” she says.
HOMES AREN’T THE ONLY ONES SEEING THE IMPACT
When we think of interior design, we most often imagine homes, either our own or someone else’s. Yet, it’s not just residential areas where fashion’s influence can be seen, it’s also the commercial spaces where you shop, dine, and enjoy spending time as well. Nicole Maltarp, Interior Designer at JDavis Architects, says that watching fashion week is a one way they select styles and designs for projects. “We take a close look at fashion colors and patterns to make quality selections” which ensure their designs stay fresh and relevant.
Rebecca Smith, Assistant Designer at Kimberly Bryant Design, supports this view saying, “Currently the trends are more classic. People want a timeless look that they don’t have to change or tweak again in 5 years, but they also still want to showcase their style and personality, just like in fashion.”
Smith provides examples of fashion influencing commercial design by describing how “pops of color or ‘pops of pattern’ are being used throughout spaces such as a green tiled wall on the menu wall of a coffee shop, a restaurant with neutral wood tones with bright blue chairs used for seating, or a patterned floor in the entrance to a hotel lobby.”
Even if you think you aren’t directly being influenced by fashion in your interior design style and preferences (bringing to mind this infamous scene from The Devil Wears Prada), really the “two fields are irrevocably intertwined,” as one article so succinctly states.
Crossover Between Fashion and Interior Design
It’s not just fashion being an influence in interior design; it’s also major fashion brands crossing over and launching their own home collections. It’s “not uncommon now to sleep on Calvin Klein bedding or sit on Ralph Lauren chairs” says one design blog. Everyone from Gucci and Missoni to Kate Spade and even H&M have home collections inspired by their fashion brands aesthetic.
The influences go in both directions, with fashion designers also taking notes from interior design. Victoria Redshaw, founder and lead futurist at the trend forecasting company, Scarlet Opus, cites numerous examples of this such as how marbling effects have shown up in the work of Prabal Gurung and Balenciaga. Further, “Dior has reproduced the patterning of ancient Chinese vases on haute couture gowns,” and most notably, “Dolce & Gabbana, which has taken the traditional blue-and-white patterning of the Mediterranean’s majolica tiles and transported them directly onto dresses, bags, shoes and most, recently, childrenswear.”
With both fashion and interior design taking cues from each other and crossing over becoming more frequent between the two, events like NYFW are all the more relevant in informing your potential home design.
So what does this mean for you? Well, just like how the line between fashion and interior design is blurring, you can also take inspiration from both to create and design your dream home. Here are three takeaways on how you can use NYFW’s style and interpret it for your home.
(1) DON’T DATE YOURSELF
No one wants their home to look dated, so finding ways to incorporate trends into a more neutral palate is a smart way to ensure you don’t date yourself.
Decide what parts of the trends you’re seeing on the runway you love – such as the use of pastels, florals, or bright colors – and then bring in touches of that throughout your home.
In the same way that very few people can get away with wearing a trend from head to toe, you never want to design your home based solely on trends. Yet, adding in touches of them will keep your home feeling fresh and you can continually swap them out to avoid becoming dated.
(2) DON’T BE LITERAL
In the same way that you rarely see the exact versions of what walked the runways being sold in stores, you also don’t want to get too literal when it comes to your fashion influencing interior design.
You still want your home to be comfortable and inviting, so adding in pieces that are way over the top or uncomfortable will create the opposite effect.
Instead, look for general themes you can interpret for your space such as using jewel tones or mixing metallics.
Unless you truly don’t want people ever coming over or you enjoy being uncomfortable, then taking inspiration literally is something to avoid.
(3) MIX IT UP
Finally, take a cue from street style and don’t be afraid to mix some styles and trends. Things like luxe fabrics such as velvet combined with saturated colors can equal the perfect combination for a statement sofa.
None of us wear just one single style every single day and your home should be no different. Mixing and layering multiple styles in your home will keep your design unique to you.