Sunday, November 6, 2016

Trendsetter Fox


"As the sun sets" - charcoal,ink and watercolour sketch . Copyright Wilma Simmons  
The "woodland" creature  as a trend in  fashion and home decor and  bespoke design was (and in many places, still is) very popular. Dashing deer antlers, awesome owls, and then fantastic foxes.... I know I am often behind the times with trends, but I was surprised to hear that foxes have been "in" for well over 3 years! Perhaps a year I thought, but it seems that foxes have been on the rise as a popular design motif for some time. At the well known  international Renegade Craft Fairs  there were reports of items with "fox" images to be the best sellers as early as 2011 and then followed the predictions...
 "Trendspotters  called it  back in February. (2012) More and more, foxes are popping up on the radar as stylish elements in design, outfoxing the omnipresent owl as the It thing in woodland animals. Could foxes be the new owls in hipster home decor?...  Remember when every store you went into had some sort of Owl decor? Well bye-bye owls...Foxes are in! Amanda Etty was ahead of the game calling this trend out back in the January 2013 issue of Style At Home , and it's still going strong!   (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/trendspotting-are-foxes-the-new-owls-181403 and http://www.styleathome.com/shopping/buying-guides/article/foxes-are-the-new-owls)
Fox amigurumi - handmade purchase from Renegade Craft Shop, Townsville Queensland 2016 
How did the fox replace the owl as the "hipster" animal design star? 
I am not sure if anyone has written a PHD thesis on how trends are determined? 
However, some reasons for animal trends have been attributed to : 
- pop culture   The owl certainly didn't lose in the popularity stakes when Hedwig was featured in Harry Potter books and movies? Which animal has been featured in the latest Disney movie?
- current financial situation/lifestyle It has been said that we may have subconsciously turned to the owl, the symbol of wisdom during the Global Financial Crisis 
-adaptability of form, offering many  depictions and interpretation s appropriate to many different audiences. 

Art Tag "Kitsune" - Copyright Wilma Simmons 
I think foxes captured designers' imagination because of their multiple personalities - I am sure you have seen cute,  clever, mischievous, wily and wicked versions of foxes. The fox as a form can be adapted to many age groups and tastes across cultures.  For example, I think the fox can be a symbol for males or females and  stylised in a very contemporary minimalist way, traditionally depicted in a more English aristocratic "stately home" setting,  or even illustrated as a cute  child-friendly cartoon character. With so many stories about foxes, both folk tales and children's stories from so many different cultures, it would appear that the fox has a universal appeal. 

Is it now time for the fox to fade into oblivion too? From what I see, both the owl and fox seem to be still popular design choices and appear destined to be in favour for a lot longer  . However, here's a tip - one of  the style forecasts for 2017 by Home Beautiful  is  Botanica, with its rich ripe colours and textures from nature. Perhaps the plant world will take over from the animals as style trendsetters... What's your prediction?