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Christmas Future

July 22, 2013  By Michelle Brisebois

Christmas is the one season where tradition meets trend. There is always
this tug of war between what’s current and what’s always been done.

Christmas is the one season where tradition meets trend. There is always this tug of war between what’s current and what’s always been done. When we look at the trends for Christmas 2013, it’s evident that each one manages to balance both of these aspects beautifully.

Flashback to the disco era with shiny silvers and other small nods to the ’70s.



Kristen Bradbury, accessory buyer for Andrew Peller Limited, has been immersed in Christmas trends for several months now and she sees an interesting melding of trendy themes and colours with traditional cues. “It’s always great when a new program can build on themes from a previous year,” she says. “This year we’re seeing a definite sense of nostalgia amplified in a very fresh and trendy way.”

Industrial chic
This is a look captured beautifully by Restoration Hardware. It’s a little deconstructed in its appeal. Edison lights on trees, hurricane lamps and galvanized steel all epitomize the look. Apothecary jars, clocks and burlap tree skirts with plain printed lettering set the tone as well. Burlap shows up again as bows on gifts tied with twine. It’s a throwback to the Industrial Revolution yet very trendy today.

Gold and brass
Although gold is a traditional Christmas colour, brass takes it to an earthier place. People are tiring of chrome and silver, so brass offers some beautiful warmth in their place. If gold is shown, it tends to be a rosy shade of gold. Look for ornaments and beautiful candle holders to show off this trend. The softer, browner tone of brass pairs beautifully with some of the other hot colours this year, such as pale pink, icy aqua and blue.

If you’re of a certain vintage (coming of age in the ’60s or ’70s), just think of those cues from your childhood and you’ll be on trend with this theme. Vintage hockey skates, wooden toboggans and maple leafs are showing up as ornaments and decorations. Cowichan sweaters and Hudson’s Bay blankets would line up with this theme too.

Mad Men
The ’60s are hot right now and are having a huge influence on fashion. Tap into this trend with larger round tree lights and ornaments shaped like martini glasses. This is a style that evokes a balance of femininity and masculinity. Think of your aunt’s pink appliances from your childhood. Pastel shades are shown offset by black and cream.

The Arts and Crafts movement of the 1920s was seen as a reaction to the industrial revolution. Society’s current attraction to handcrafts is largely seen as a reaction to the technological revolution. Anything hand crafted is still very hot. Knits – especially stranded knitting as seen in Scandinavia – are big. Craft paper and gift tags with a handmade look on simple, plain paper stock will steal the show. Gifts wrapped in tea towels mean that the wrapping is functional and eco-friendly. Christmas ornaments covered in newsprint with a lacquer finish have captured the DIY essence. Bespoke is a term that means “customized” and handcrafted one-of-a-kind items offer those unique and precious looks and feels that people desire. Saint Nicholas in his traditional robes is more “au courant” than Santa Claus.

Winter wonderland
Animals such as birds, owls and rabbits epitomize this look. Reindeer in the form of stags (not the cartoonish manifestation of recent decades) are still hot. Polar bears continue to be popular, as are black bears. Birch bark, wood, twigs and snowflakes also nod to this trend. Colours that work here are pearl whites and icy blues, which pair beautifully with the brownish tones of brass. Long glass icicles dangle from the tree branches and twinkle in the light.

Rainforest and jungle
This trend may seem odd within the context of Christmas but it’s born of the prevalence of emerald green as Pantone’s colour of the year. Emerald green is a lovely base on which to build a Christmas palette. The modern twist comes by adding the teals and fuschias of the rainforest. Think of the colours in a peacock and you’ve nailed this trend. Velvet and brocade are fabrics that pair well with this look. Succulents and air plants affixed in a wreath can create a beautiful decoration that is colourful and contemporary.

Studio 54
Here’s where shiny materials and glamour reign supreme. This theme nods to a ’70s disco tone showcasing a dark colour palette. This territory is about treating the holidays as a very special event. This style is opulent, special and sensuous. Combinations of black with shiny gold or silver capture this look perfectly. Satin and velvet work well here too. Rice-sized LED lights are touted as being popular for Christmas 2013 and will work well with the Studio 54 theme because they are small points of light that will emulate a disco ball.

Gatsby chic
The Roaring 20s have been in the style spotlight recently due to the success of the TV show Downton Abbey. The movie remake of The Great Gatsby also drew attention to this trend. Art Nouveau colours such as pale apricot, aqua and pearl make this style trend sing. A tree decorated entirely in shades of pearl or cream with accents of silver and small touches of black would be gorgeous. A garland made of faux pearls would be lovely here. Feathers too are shown inside clear glass ornaments. Perhaps you could display a feather boa as a garland? Velvet and lace are key to this look. Many male celebrities have been seen sporting velvet jackets lately. Cloches are big too – not the hats but the glass domes that cover everything from botanicals to Saint Nicholas figurines.

Christmas can be as traditional or as trendy as you want it to be. One trend we’re seeing is the move toward having multiple trees on display in homes. This is a wonderful way to have tradition and trend all under one roof, no need to choose. If he wants Canadiana and she wants Gatsby, help them have both. However, when it comes to the battle over ham versus turkey for dinner, leave that to the butcher.

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