design trends
cosmic trends
In honor of the weekly social media posting trend and hashtag game, Throwback Thursday, we’re getting nostalgic about the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain. The cosmic neutral palate, hypnotic shapes of the decorated ceiling, and ornate pillars built to resemble trees of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece still captivate the imagination. 
After over 15,000 miles in planes, trains, and automobiles – we’re back.
You can view photos from our travels to Corsica, France; Seville, Spain; Gothenburg and Stockholm, Sweden; and Healdsburg, California, USA here or here.  
We will add new cultural insights from the journey as soon as we finish categorizing themes, downloading hi-res images, and cross-referencing notes. Watch this space. 
color evolution
Fall Trendscaping
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way... things I had no words for.”
― Georgia O'Keeffe
Be on the lookout for the saturated dark tones of the artichoke flower this fall. 
As a keen observer of the intersection between food and fashion industries we couldn't resist capturing this visual merchandising moment: Simple and Crisp orange slices frolicking in Anthropologie.
Explore the trend evolution of Food x Fashion within these ten crucial Trendscaping™ posts. 
  1. A sea of pink as elegant as it is delicious. Reassess Róse
  2. Social journeys that capture culture. Reexamine the Walking Stories.
  3. A limited edition collaboration from Erin Fetherston that's perfectly sweet. Rethink Biscuits on the Runway
  4. Monochrome merchandising and customer friendly assortments. Resume the Window Displays from Italy.
  5. Jewelry in gluten-full miniature from Monaco. Reconnect with Miss Bibi.     
  6. A gossip-worthy moment at the world's largest confectionery emporium.  Reopen a fashionable Product Placement.
  7. Three short films about the whimsical life of a dessert-obsessed girl. Review Candy L'Eau
  8. Economic change that's gratify beyond an impulse purchase. Review Basics are the New Black
  9. Stylish picnic gifts that embrace history and Britishness. Repeat Designer Hampers from 2008.
  10. A statement for modern life, depicting the conjunction of high low. Revisit Supermarket Chic
Color trends
Blondehouse Econoline
The quintessential surf aesthetic is summer’s unstoppable trend. Forget the “beach bunny” image and tap into the vitality and fearlessness of wave-taming subcultures with the perfect contrast to sun-drenched beaches – brilliant neon turquoise.
Synonymous with road-tripping revelry, nostalgic sensibilities remain relevant as ever amongst hard-edged summer imagery. This vibrant hue, a deviation of harmonious blue known as being the color of communication and self-expression (hello, Twitter logo), is the perfect seasonal embellishment.
Take it for a drive. 
Liu Jo windows
Color craft is part of a merchandiser’s ability. Certain product stories are enhanced by color and arrangements are well thought out so as to minimize confusion. For example, it is well known that certain shades of blue and green, in combination with black, should be presented in a customer-friendly arrangement that allow each color to be distinguishable from the other – reducing mix-ups, accidental purchases, and ultimately returns.
merchandising by color
In contrast – literally – to this school of thought are the window displays at Liu Jo. Spotted in Rome, this still life photographic arrangement in pale pink is a trend in both color and form. Possibly inspired by the work of Carl Kleiner and Evelina Bratell’s work on the  Ikea baking cookbook  Hembakat är Bäst (Homemade Is Best), Things Organized Neatly’s clever Tumblr feed, and Swedish installation photographer, Helga Steppan’s See Through series, the simplistic display is visually refreshing in comparison to the others near the Via del Corso.

We love the retailer’s take on combining lifestyle objects with one important statement piece. This standout presentation is an example of marketing, brand, and creative collaboration that is relevant to multiple trends in food, fashion, and consumer packaged goods.   

blue trends
Blue colorway
In times of transition, blue represents a sense of calm and has a very positive association, making it a very safe global color. Water and sky ground the landscape, bringing forth a sense of transparency, balance, and interaction. 
August feels very much like a blue month. The diverse shade range coupled with the clean, digital aesthetic - is summer's last dynamic and vivid statement before fall approaches. Remember that in 2014, when this "it" color brings harmony to passionate palettes. 
UPDATE 9.4.12: Pantone's top colors for spring 2014 include various shade of blue. 
Color Trends
Last week we realized that our Instagram feed was punctuated by a sea of pink tones. 
The biggest problem with trend forecasting is that sometimes you forget how much you love a color until it's finally arrived (more than a year after our initial report). Such is the case with a chalk-dusted pastel pink  which has become the new neutral in fashion and a sign of spring on global wine lists.
We rediscovered rosé as a grown up version of "blush" many years ago in Paris but, it took time for the color to gain cultural relevance. Perhaps the hue has been damaged by a series of memorable pinks in the 1970s and 1980s, including Sutter Home's "White Zinfandel" and Mary Kay cosmetics. But consumers are finally willing to channel the iconic grace and elegance of Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s.
The cause/effect in the popularity of oxblood last fall sets the stage for a washed out pink as a counterbalance to statement pops of color. A milky peony is also a nostalgic ultra-femme alternative to overtly eager pinks that are so commonplace in the lingerie and teen market. 
It takes more than optimistic thinking to track and edit relevant trends before they're commonplace. Contact us to take the guesswork off of your plate. 
Orgami Street Art
Mademoiselle Maurice is a 28 year old French artist that caught our attention.
She works in a variety of different mediums — from paper (origami) to yarn (crochet) — to create non-permanent colorful art. Each piece is a naive works at first sight based on the events encountered during her daily life.
We love the idea of street art performed with hundreds of colorful origami glued on the walls of Paris.
It seems like forever since we were in Paris marveling at the window displays, featuring Anglomania as a defining theme in 2012.
Earlier this month, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee proved that the British know how to market with ceremony and grandeur. And if these products and projects serve as a trend indicator, July 27th will be an Olympic moment to behold.  
Selfridges Urban Survival Backpacks
{photos: Selfridges}
Luggage, backpacks and tote bags are getting overhauled in Olympic-inspired artwork as the world sets its gaze on London. Selfridges has geared up to an historic summer of sports with the launch of its limited edition Urban Survival Backpack range, created by Mulberry, Oliver Spencer, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, 3.1 Philip Lim, Barbour, Eastpak, Kiehl’s, and Nike. Other brands embracing the trend include: Gucci with the Series Collection (a combo pack of high-tops and a large leather duffle boasting the London skyline), Y-3 with a Faster, Higher, Stronger Collection of graphic totes, and MCM with a pyramid-studded punk homage to the Union Jack flag.
Colette Olympics  Orlebar Brown
{photo: Colette}
Across the channel, French concept store Colette is celebrating the Olympics with a musical marathon offering a combination of songs set to the beat of abstract geometrics to go along with its selection of Olympic-inspired wares. We love the 5th Anniversary shorts from Orlebar Brown featuring iconic sports imagery from the Getty Images collection by photographers including Slim Aarons, Dennis Hallinan and John Arsenault.
Coca-Cola Olympics Cans
{photos: Matt W. Moore}
Aiming to prove that Coca Cola’s not just a drink but a cultural superstar, the brand has tapped producer Mark Ronson to mix the sounds of athletes in training for the games with Katy B’s vocals. The brand also engaged designer Matt W. Moore, aka MWM, to create a visual identity boasting his signature “Vectorfunk” style.
Following suit, the 2012 Olympic Games in London are getting creative to engage a new audience online. The Olympic Athletes’ Hub aggregates the verified social media feeds of more than 1,000 current and former Olympians and posts content directly from Facebook and Twitter accounts. A gamification layer incents fans to interact with the site to access exclusive training-tips videos and gain virtual and real-world prizes according to how many athletes they like and follow online.  
Framed as a cultural innovator with roots in modernism and heritage, the London Olympics are sure to deepen our fascination with all things British.