Who else read Colin McDowell’s column this morning on BOF? It was a critical synopsis of London Fashion Week. As I made my way through it, I was somewhat annoyed at the cynic tone, though nodding in agreement for most of it.
It’s true, pattern shines when innovation is applied through interesting material, illustration, technique and color. Though that’s the top tier, no? When you have a merging of texture and form, you have the ultimate product.
This is true not only in fashion, but for home, beauty, digital and anywhere else we consume and interact. While form sets the tone, pattern emits a mood. People are attracted to one product over another based on this dressing, and it’s the designer’s responsibility to create with purpose to navigate us through the experience.
For example, a few years ago I worked on Panasonic’s redesign. I created about 30-40 subtle patterns that were a bit more female friendly. They were inviting and a stark contrast to the cold lines and minimalist gradients technology represented 6-7 years ago. As you can tell, this trend picked up and nearly every financial and technology site that’s updated it’s look in recent years has moved in a similar direction.
Pattern can be a crutch, so can a template. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Understandably, McDowell wants to be wowed, as do we all, though holding such a negative tone towards printed pattern cop-outs isn’t so productive in my mind. I believe it all serves a purpose, so long as it’s original and moves the needle forward. – SK