Folk motifs from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, embroidery, bold flowers and a spirited mix of patterns take today’s design in an exciting direction – a contrast to the pared-down Scandi chic of recent years. Carefully chosen details reminiscent of babushka’s demitasse coffee cups are the latest must-haves.
Once upon a time, on a catwalk far away, small decorations on canvas parka jackets and summer dresses added a hint of Eastern Europe and Balkan folk costume. These soon spread and got bigger and bigger until fun, folksy florals crept into our living rooms too. Bouquets grew larger, vases sprouted blooming outsize motifs, and the classic embroidered rose put in an appearance.
Bolstered by boho style
Fashion has an established love for ethnic chic, so Balkan style will be set alongside loans from Asia, India and Arabia. It’s exciting to observe the different international decorations as they rub along nicely together. Embroidery, tassels and fringes are characteristic both of sought-after Israeli designer Dodo Bar Or, who has a studio in Paris, and new Berlin label Zazi Vintage.
Viennese fashion designer Susanne Bisovsky is said to have pioneered the folklore trend. Well before Dolce & Gabbana, she showcased folksy fashion on the catwalk and curated Slavic sources of inspiration in the interiors of her Vienna salon. It’s no surprise her label is a hot ticket in Li Edelkoort’s latest trend forecast.
Rediscovering antique chic
The trick with the new boho chic is to play with decorations and patterns and watch them flourish! Granny-style, rose-patterned rugs are dusting down their image for modern settings where they look bold and individual. Lavish antiques also make an appearance, as well as cut glass, woven rugs, vintage Slavic statement jewellery and textiles with striking retro patterns. Russian dolls are also enjoying a comeback (inside a comeback).
Mix and Match: Have fun!
The first rule of mix and match is: there are no rules! Antique flowers on porcelain combine with other patterns, floral motifs bring joy to an oh-so-old-school table. Even Balkan family festivities couldn’t be more fun than the new free play with folksy patterns.
Creative chaos: the art of combinations
American interior stylist Kelly Wearstler has popularised a glamorous Hollywood Regency style in recent years. Her gold detailing, wide black-and-white-striped wallpapers and geometric-patterned floors are unmistakeable. Her latest project, the Proper Hotel in San Francisco, is grand in a new way – with plump sofas, modern art hung salon style, and retro-patterned plates on tablecloths. She mixes surprising elements: strong, contrasting colours, antiques and bunches of roses – no more lilies. Wearstler calls this style ‘European Vintage’: it certainly reflects the typically eclectic new Slavic style mix.