Natural Themes In Furniture and Fashion Key For 2013

Nature is ever-changing, always surprising and a constant source of inspiration and ideas for thousands of people the world over. From living creatures to the natural phenomenon of sunrise and sunset, from rainforests and manicured gardens, from the air to the sea and everything in between; nature is man’s greatest muse. Whether crafting real leather sofas, devising theatrical work, designing clothing with an animal print or creating any sort of art, there is always something special which can be taken from nature and developed into something new, fresh and exciting.

As the New Year rolls around, the design schools and art councils of the UK become abuzz with the excitement that relates to the upcoming London Fashion Week. The annual February event will see feverish preparations up and down the country as some of the most influential designers send their new collections down the runway, and one of the recurring themes, which pops up time and time again in these long-awaited shows, is nature. Alexander McQueen was famous for incorporating a natural theme throughout his shows and his pieces; his gazelle-horned jackets and bird-of-prey ball gowns were worn by fashionistas, celebrities and trend-setters the world over, and his work carefully walked the line between critically acclaimed and incredibly popular.

Up-and-coming designers like Lindsey Thornburg and David Hershberger are also focusing on a new ‘earthy’ sort of fashion, which finds inspiration in everything from sunsets to skylarks. They also try to use as many natural fabrics and materials as possible, with high-quality wools from all over the world, rich cotton and genuine leather. Eco-fashion is also a huge aspect of the fashion industry at the moment; designers are shunning acrylics and polyester in favour of organic textiles, recycled materials and Fairtrade fabrics. Naturally dyed fabrics are preferred to those which are unnaturally created, in keeping with the environmental issues which are becoming harder to ignore. The fashion houses of today are proving to the rest of the design world that fashion can be authentic, natural and beautiful without compromising on eco-friendly quality.

Of course, this is something which interior designers have known for decades. Whether it’s the delicate floral prints of Cath Kidston, interspersed with horses or birds on light, inoffensive backgrounds, or the impressive strength and power that exudes from a real fur rug or a genuine leather sofa, nature has been incorporated into the home for many years. Integrating a natural theme within a living space can start from something as simple as a printed cushion, a vase of fresh flowers, a natural scented candle or a painting of a scenic landscape. These types of additions add a zest and a vitality to any room and make those living in it feel more at one with nature. Using certain materials can also help to contribute and give a sense of authenticity. Laying real wooden flooring, or ensuring that wooden beams are exposed can give a home an earthy and natural feel, while staying away from obviously man-made materials such as PVC and polyester, can help to maintain the theme throughout.

Eco-friendliness is also an important aspect of home life for many nowadays, and the best place to begin a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle is with the interior decoration of a home. Sustainable materials such as leather will always be a prime choice for those indulging in furnishings; leather sofas are hardwearing and durable, as well as being eco-friendly. Many are now constructed from wood grown in replenished forests, and their fibres are natural to ensure comfort and eco-conscientiousness.

Whether for aesthetic purposes or for something deeper, using natural materials and drawing on nature as inspiration for all sorts of design options is one trend which does not look like waning. As long as nature is still surprising and exciting, so too will the resulting designs be.

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