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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

London Design Festival 2012

Donning my walking shoes and hitting the pavements of London Town last week - Miss Mannequin went in search of good design at the London Design Festival. I say at...but Dear Reader that would make the event seem small and based in one place. No No, design installations, pop ups and exhibitions where springing up all over town. Each year the event gets bigger, bolder and brighter...so what did the designers have in store for us this time?

Split between Design Junction at the Sorting office in London's West end, 100% Design at Earls Court and Tent / Superbrands, eastside in Brick Lane (along with sideshows at Tom Dixons dock and various happenings at almost every street corner) there was certainly plenty to see.

Cast your minds back to 2010 Dear Reader; a year when two political parties joined forces and the economy was precariously teetering on the brink of disaster. The Design World resonated to themes of industrial rawness, deconstruction and insolent re-interpretation of old classics. The motto was ‘recycle, re-use and renew’.  The mood was heavy.

Contrast with last weeks Design Festival where the mood was somewhat different. A significant change in the tone sees similar themes, but grown up - freshened and developed - with a more luxurious approach. Sackcloth and ashes having been cast aside, what was clearly visible where the richer materials and contrasting vibrant colours to lift the mood and inspire a brighter outlook. Metallics, pearlescent and precious metals ruled, whilst accents of neon pink and acid greens scorched the eyeballs against a background of greys and earnest young fogey wood tones.

This new opulence stimulated my senses and made me question; are we stabilising and coming out the other side of recession? Or are we, as a nation, simply so bored of the economic outlook that we choose to ignore it and revel in a sparkling party mindset, hoping that the crisis will subside?

It goes without saying that 2012 has been an astonishingly exciting year for us Brits; the Queens Diamond Jubilee, The Olympic Games and umpteen more sporting wins since, could well account for the high spirits that have encouraged a boost of confidence and more positive forward looking buzz. Whatever the reasons, Miss Mannequin declares that the London Design Festival is setting trends in more ways than one. The future certainly looks bright.


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