How does the world of Fashion influence the world of Interiors?

According to Gretchen Aubuchon, Editor in Chief of Fashion + Decor, who recently spoke with industry leaders in both the fashion and the home design fields about this very topic, feels that “the worlds of fashion and decor are colliding.”  She explains where there was once a 5 to 6 year lag from the runway to furniture showrooms, “then a couple of years ago we were seeing just a 2 year or 2 season lag, and now both worlds are engaging as the creative minds are joining together with the social media forces.”

It seems, according to many, that almost as soon as a collection hits the runway, reporters, photographers and bloggers are sharing these events with their readers and viewers. Through these images that are posted on blogs, websites and across our television screens to the consumer. So, where fashion was once a true driver of the world of interiors, the two are now working together.

Could social media be the real influencer here?

Aubuchon believes that “designers are now looking to the same blogs and websites to see what their customers see, what trends seem to be taking off and have holding power.” She continues to tell me that “The brands in fashion and home decor are now hearing the same things, at the same time and therefore not really influencing eachother.

I do think that fashion will always influence home decor a little bit” However, she adds “I also see decor now stepping in to influence fashion a little bit.” She explains this by using the Icat prints as an example. They were all the rage in the furniture showrooms last year and now they are starting to hit the runways.

The worlds of fashion and decor are colliding.

Another example of this fashion and decor collision Aubuchon continues, “Lonny Magazine’s December issue came out the same week as the Chanel 2013 Pre-Fall collection. Both collections featured tartan and Scottish influences. I believe that we are seeing the merging of these two worlds.” Again she believes that much of this “colliding of two worlds” has much to do with social media. “Never before,” she adds, “have these worlds been more in tune with each other than they are now.”

The drivers behind the top brands are seeing and hearing the same things as the consumer is, at the same time. Street Style is another important and powerful influence in the worlds of fashion and design.

 Our lives are not beige, why should our homes be all beige?

“In the past,” Aubuchon continues, “we were letting the catalogue companies, such as Pottery Barn, direct our style. We would never do that with our clothes, so why would we do that in our homes?” She adds, “Our lives are not beige and why would we dress in bright colors and come home to nothing but beige?” Now, she believes, that customers are starting to dress their homes with the same personality they dress themselves. “Your home is a reflection of yourself.”

Interior designers have always believed in decorating your home to suit your way of living, tastes and lifestyles, but this was not always happening. “If you love bright color, and if you love fun prints, you shouldn’t be just wearing them,” says Aubuchon. “They should be in your home as well.” You should be living with them.

Florals, a sign of the times?

Some of the big trends in both fashion and home decor that Aubuchon is noticing are the same in both the world of interiors as well as the world of fashion. “I attended Fashion Week as well as High Point and we are seeing the very same trends. The number one trend across the board is floral.” She also notes that “Vogue had a huge floral spread devoted to such and Vogue is saying that Floral is “it” this spring.

Even the pre-fall collections are featuring florals everywhere, and this is so different from what normally happens.” People are done with their bland beige. “I think this is why people went to color-blocking a year ago and now we’re moving into florals.  People want to be happy,” says Aubuchon. It’s a sign of the times. The economy is getting better and people’s moods are lifting.

Forever in blue jeans

Denim is making a huge comeback. According to Aubuchon “We are also seeing a lot of denim. Denim is all over the runway and also in the home – in all shades and all styles. I’m going against the grain here,” she adds, “but orange is still big for spring 13.” Stripes and checkers are also coming back. Marc Jacobs has stripes featured all over his line, but he has checkers all over the Louis Vuitton line. (Jacobs is also creative director for Louis Vuitton.) Aubuchon predicts a resurgence of both stripes and checkers, both in the home and on the runway.

Emerald green is the Color of the Year

“I love that Pantone has a color of the year,” says Aubuchon. “I love emerald green. However, I don’t think that everyone should be going out to buy emerald green couches. I think we should look at it as though it is a baseline color for things moving into 2013 but we shouldn’t let a color dictate our styles.” Aubuchon is noticing that in fashion as well as in the home people are focusing less on trends and more on buying things that align with their own personal style.

While I love these color trends, I don’t think that we should look at them so seriously that we change our wardrobes or change the way we decorate.” Instead, if we embrace the color, we should look at somehow pulling it into our own wardrobes, Aubuchon suggests – perhaps a scarf, perhaps a pillow, instead of refurnishing, or repainting. Interestingly enough, this color has been popular before Pantone declared it as such. We’ve been seeing emerald for a while now in our interiors as well as in the showrooms.

Animal instincts

A perfect example of whether a print is in style is how it is being used and picked up. Aubuchon thought that the leopard print was a trend, yet she attended High Point only to see it all over the place from furniture to pillows to rugs. Clearly this is not a pattern that is going anywhere soon. And in New York City, leopard print is being worn by practically everyone you see – whether it is a shoe, bag or scarf. “I think that leopard print will become like the navy and white stripe,” Aubuchon predicts. “It will be a staple and it is clearly here to stay. It is no longer a trend. It has transitioned well. It’s a classic now.” The cowhide rug, however, she believes has been played too much and is on its way out.

Advice to those just starting their own nests.

Starting a new home can be a large, expensive and daunting undertaking. Aubuchon advises on where to start small and what to build upon. There are certain areas where we do not need to spend a lot of money, and there are areas where money should be spent. Our tastes are all different, as are our lifestyles, so what might be right for one person might not be right for another.

“I believe that curtains and fabric are so important. No one should be buying their window treatments at Target or any place like that. If you don’t have the funds to go to a high end fabric source, there are so many discounters that sell really great fabric brands at really great costs. Go there and get deals and have drapes made,” she says. When it comes to furniture, she believes that you buy the best that you can afford. If you can’t afford some of the more expensive chairs, go to an estate sale or antique store and spend a little bit of money, have them painted and re-covered and they will turn out to look like something that is sold for much more at an upscale furniture store.

There are great pieces out there to be found. With couches, go to Ikea and get some custom made curtains or a custom made slipcover. For those just getting started who do not have a budget for art, find personal items around the house, post cards and frame them. Frame your grandmother’s Hermes scarf. Load up the walls with stuff that’s you. If you can’t afford wall paper, paint your walls or do some stenciling. She also believes that when starting out buy staple pieces of furniture that suit your personality and lifestyle, perhaps a dining room table with some cool vintage chairs, or a nice couch to accent your living space.

What’s in style this  fall?

I asked Aubuchon what she predicted to be in style this fall, both on the runways and in our homes and without hesitation she replied “Color and florals. The fall shows are usually filled with beige, black, grey and in 2013 we’re going to see the addition of color.  While  black, beige and grey are here to stay, we will be seeing fewer monochromatic color schemes, especially in our homes” She added that just as a camel trench is a classic,  an all grey room or all black room has the same staying power.

She also believes that we will see fewer discussions around trends and more around what people like, and making sure that they are attaining that style in fashion and in the home and at a quality level. “People will be aligning themselves with brands that represent their personal style instead of simply following the trends.” Aubuchon adds that “Street Style has had a little bit of an impact of what we are seeing in fashion. I think it’s driven what we’ve seen with J. Crew with the layers and patterns, tons of accessories. Street Style is now being brought into brands.” Street Style is the art of capturing fashionistas all over the world through the mediums of magazines and blogs.

Aubuchon believes that “We need to stop looking at the worlds of fashion and decor as two separate worlds. If you feel strongly about the world of fashion, it should be reflected in your home as well.”

Gretchen Aubuchon is Editor in Chief of Fashion+ Decor. “Style your home…Style yourself. Fashion + Decor takes fashions from the latest runways and pairs them with a match in home decor. Fashion + Decor is the largest and the only online tool that inspires readers to bring their personal style out of the closet and into every single room of the home.”