Our 12 year-old son Alex sent me a text message on my mobile phone today (I love that my phone works as well in London as it does at home!). He was desperate for me to buy a book for him written by one of his favorite authors, Anthony Horowitz. This book has been released in the UK, but not yet in the US, and is the third in a 5-part series that Alex has been waiting for since the day he finished the second book.
Of course, I know that this book will probably be available at our local Barnes & Noble within a few weeks, and I also know that the 7-pound price for a paperback, translated into 14 dollars at today’s horrible exchange rate, is higher than I would pay if I waited for it to appear in Eden Prairie, MN. But my guilty-mom gene (I travel WAY more than Alex and his sister Biz wish I did) merged almost at once with my trend gene, compelling me toward the till at Selfridges with the book in my hand. It was one of several purchases I made today during another round of trend spotting color here in London.
You can read yesterday’s post for my observations on brights. Today I am obsessed with Purple, and that’s what I was buying. Why? Because there was so much of it in apparel. And while there was less of it on-hand in home décor products, it still felt directional.
Purple showed in multiple personalities. Whereas shops and stores on Oxford Street were all about Red-cast Purples, those on King’s Road seemed to have a soft spot for Blue-cast ones. On the apparel side, the number of Blue-cast Purple sightings was as high as the Red-cast tally. One of my favorite color combinations: Red-cast Purple plus Red-cast Gold (Next). Another: Blue-cast Purple plus Fuchsia (Oasis).
Home products were more likely to favor Purple’s cool side. Soft pales, saturated and clear mid-tones, complex middle values and dark tones were all pushing for recognition. They seemed to be gearing up for a splash that will emerge more fully this fall in home décor in the US and strengthen through 2009.
For example, Zara Home (there are three home stores attached to apparel shops in London) brought a clear pastel Purple together with Aqua and Green in a fresh palette that felt uplifting, shown in table linens and decorative pillows for top-of-bed. I especially liked a starched crochet charger that I photographed against a darker Purple rug to show off both values (see left).
Conran’s featured a complex mid-tone in solid-colored velvet in their upholstery collection, while Heals took the mid-tone story cleaner in a feminine color trio of Purple/Aqua/Pink. Habitat showed open-stock dinnerware in deep Purple. Other colors in the collection completed a fashion-forward autumn palette: a Denim-inspired mid-tone and a rusty Red.
Both types of Purple, warm and cool, will have their say in our upcoming color forecast release (if you subscribe to The Trend Curve™, you can pre-order beginning today at last year’s price by emailing Janice; expected release date: 9/30/07). Red-casts have been with us for some time, and consumers are comfortable with them. That said, Blue-cast Purples feel new and will step up going forward. We will find ways to include both as the transition from warm to cool plays itself out over the next two years.