Fashion, beauty, food and interior design: currently all of these disciplines are completely in line with one another. Whichever way you look at it: unfinished, natural and pure are the keywords in today’s aesthetics.
According to trendwatchers there is a simple explanation for this movement. After the excesses of the nineties and the first decade of the twenty-first century, we now want everything to be simple and sober. It is also a natural reaction to today’s far-reaching technological developments that appear to make everything until now deemed impossible possible and raise the bar farther than ever before. Organ culture, self-driving cars and 3D-printed food: this only engenders stress and resistance in people. All of this is far more than most people can comfortably absorb, so to preserve their sanity people are reverting to what is most familiar to them: the basics, in their purest and most unadulterated form.
Food, beauty, fashion
Probably the front-runner of this trend, our attitude towards food clearly illustrates its development. People these days exhibit an overwhelming preference for unprocessed and organic food. Big supermarket chains are offering more and more responsible choices in their endeavour to keep ahead of the competition with an ever-increasing number of organic food shops, and spelt bread is on the menu of almost every restaurant. If you consciously pay attention to every morsel you put into your mouth, you will also be more conscious of
what you smear on your skin. As a result, natural cosmetics are also conquering the market. And, while we’re all trying to consume less, we prefer everything else in our environment to be less exuberant, too, as reflected by the ‘nude’ make-up trend (which actually requires considerable expertise to apply) featured on many of today’s catwalks.
Less is also more in the fashion industry today. Earth tones and subdued, sophisticated silhouettes dominate the latest collections. The ‘normcore’ trend, a style of clothing that elevates the conventional to a work of art, underwent a serious revival last year. At the same time, there is a strong development in ‘fair trade’ fashion, with hemp fibres, organic cotton and big chains being publicly criticised for their production methods. ‘We want less, but better’ is the message communicated by the masses today.
The interior design industry has also been flirting with the pure and natural by reintroducing recycled products and reusing raw and vintage materials. This trend is reflected in the latest colour schemes, reverting to muted, subdued earth tones. Mother Earth is a key source of inspiration and more and more use is being made of natural materials. Wooden flooring has always remained a popular choice, but these days it can be recognised as genuine wood. A key aspect of the natural look is that the planks have a matte finish. After all, unfinished wood is not naturally shiny! Quick-Step developed an extra matte finish for several of its hardwood floors, incorporating the convenience of a varnish with the look and feel of unfinished wood. The Variano and Palazzo collections perfectly reflect the ‘natural’ trend with their allure of pure, untreated wood. Several of the decors in these collections are finished with the extra matte varnish, while others are oiled, which still produces a matte and natural effect.
Love your imperfections
Although the trending hashtag on Twitter #loveyourimperfections refers to bodies and self-confidence, it clearly indicates that perfection is no longer the standard. Imperfections are embraced and no longer relegated to the background. The six new oak floors in Quick-Step’s Palazzo hardwood flooring collection have undergone as little treatment as possible to create the most natural-looking effect. The planks in the Country raw oak, Blue Mountain oak oiled and Cinnamon oak extra matte decors still show plenty of cracks and knots. These are the least finished of all the available decors and retain the most natural imperfections. The Refined oak extra matte, Frosted oak oiled and Summer breeze oak oiled decors are more rustic, yet smoother in their appearance. This makes them perfectly suited to the more subdued ‘less is more’ interior.
Reused materials and recycled products are becoming increasingly popular in interior design; not only due to their high level of sustainability, but also for their unique charm. Small planks in a variety of widths, lengths and finishes: a floor composed of a veritable patchwork quilt in wood perfectly fits in with this trend. Quick-Step’s Variano collection incorporates all of these characteristics into a single, easy-to-install plank. Rough and smooth planks of various dimensions are carefully put together to create a unique whole, exuding an atmosphere of sophisticated nonchalance. Imagine: the authentic look of an old wooden floor, with Quick-Step’s renowned ease of installation. The two latest additions to the collection have been finished with the extra matte varnish to create a genuinely natural effect.