Venturing through the many halls of , the massive textile and wall coverings fair taking place this week in Frankfurt, can feel like an odyssey. Thankfully, the show’s popular trends exhibit puts the major directions of the industry into perspective. Arranged by six curators – most prominent among them the WGSN Group – the impressive display grows out of the annual Trend Book that the fair also produces. The curators determine the trends well ahead of the show, and then invite exhibitors to contribute products. They end up selecting some 2,000 swatches and panels from over 10,000 submissions.
Hence the display’s variety. Bringing together the best that exhibitors have to offer, the four trends – Protect, Energize, Nourish and Enrich, all under the banner of Well-Being 4.0 – are manifested in everything from vivacious to subtle colour palettes and sumptuous to high-tech textures. Displayed on tables at the front of the exhibit, they also inform its five cocoons representing various sectors and product themes: retail, technology, hospitality, sustainability and craft. If it could be viewed from above, the exhibition would resemble a flower arrangement, with the five cocoons around a central stage ringed in “petals” featuring the full colour palette.
Each pod features collaborations with up-and-coming designers and artists. In the hospitality pod, a multimedia projection of stylish people sleeping by New York artist studio Dawn of Man sets the mood; sound showers and meditation sessions bring the message home as do the willowy curtains, by brands including Rasch. Martina Golik’s powder-pink Sweet Pouf, part of a collection inspired by the five major tastes, is also on display.
In the verdant sustainability booth, designed by Nina Gautier, plant-derived yarns and dyes are shown in a beautiful cabinet of curiosities meets botanist’s lab. The display also features furniture made out of recycled post-industrial waste by Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale – though you wouldn’t know it by looking at the pieces, which appear to be crafted from natural stone.
In the craft cocoon, a giant stylized loom is hung with pleated and woven textiles by such mills as Kadeco, while the duo of Thinkk Studio spins lamp shades on their bicycle loom. The display is rounded out by vases and other household items created with self-colouring clay by Handmade Industrials.