December 31, 2014
Have you ever wondered why trends are trends?
Where do the trends come from and what inspires them? I have too. Trend research is a passion and something I actively study with specific focus on color trends.
I’d like to talk about a pattern/trend that I have been observing for quite a few years, the butterfly. To be honest, I couldn’t think of a time when I wasn’t seeing the butterfly in some aspect or another. In very recent months and specifically in the past year there has been a resurgence of the butterfly in varying iterations and industries from home to fashion.
Let’s investigate some of the trends that the butterfly has inspired. We will take a look at the rise of the butterfly in the past four years and the supporting players who keep this stunning beauty in the consumer’s eye.
Why is the butterfly such a popular main stay in the fashion world? Could it be because of the symbolism it holds within our culture and other cultures? Understandably, the butterfly has many different connotations depending on where you were raised, your religious affiliation, and your cultural background.
Much like color beliefs and color likes/dislikes, there are likely to be many different takes on the symbolism of the butterfly. These beliefs are long engrained and passed down from generation to generation and often very difficult to change. So, I won’t try to change your minds but I will share some of the symbolism and intrigue on the insect.
There are two pieces of history on the butterfly that I find of particular interest and that seem to have cross-cultural. One is the idea that the butterfly represents the soul the other is an Irish blessing that reads…
“May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun, and find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches today, tomorrow and beyond [khandro].”
Let’s start with Aristotle and Greek mythology in the story of Psyche. Psyche is the Greek word for soul. Please click the link below for more on Psyche and Cupid.
Keeping the story of Psyche in mind lets explore a few of the ways the butterfly has been used in fashion that show the butterfly transformed from insect to stunning designer creations that represent the true beauty and detail that the butterfly holds.
In Spring of 2011 we started seeing the re-emergence of the butterfly in fashion. For those who are located in the PNW, you were treated to a stunning butterfly appearance in the window of fashion designer Luly Yang.
Broader exposure to the butterfly came during fashion week spring of 2011 in Alexander McQueen’s ready-to-wear collection. The spring collection was the first collection after McQueen’s death where Sarah Burton then cemented her place in fashion.
And again we were captured by the Damien Hirst exhibit titled In and Out of Love where controversy was made over the careless preservation for the life of the butterfly.
Fast forward to the 2013 mainstream when your YA novel loving tween (or yourself) was wowed by the big screen debut of the second in the Hunger Games Trilogy “Catching Fire”, where we saw the always fashionable Effie Trinket in Monarch Butterfly McQueen dress.
By the time 2014 hit there was no denying the butterfly had transcended from insect into a wardrobe must have. Whether the butterfly has influenced the color trends, a silhouette or an image of the insect itself, it’s easy to see why the butterfly is a trend influence.
Change is the key word as it has long been the catalyst for encouraging sales or, at the very least, getting the consumer to pay attention, and that’s what trends are all about. The very word “change” inspires symbolic design motifs. They have been flying high as a design motif and will continue at all styling, product and color levels.
The butterfly theme will be very much in evidence in home furnishings for 2015.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year from Eiseman and Associates!