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Genue Inc.
August 24, 2017

Pattern Trends in Plastic

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about plastic as a material.  It’s not something I usually consider when I am designing a pattern. However, I have been seeing a lot of interesting designs being created with this material recently. Plastic behaves a bit differently from most materials in that it is extremely versatile—it can be made in almost any color and opacity; it can be cut, bent and shaped any which way—the list goes on.

 

I’ve realized that while plastic is not necessarily the first thing that jumps to mind when I’m designing patterns, it really lends itself well to the medium! I have seen so many amazing accessories, furniture, décor, etc., all made from patterned plastic. In fact, plastic has become so pervasive in pattern design, I’ve even noticed a few trends. If you’re interested in working with plastic or are looking for a different kind of design inspiration, read on!

 

 

Monochrome

 

 

If you love simple, clean design, look into monochrome pieces. Monochrome is a big trend in many areas of design right now, but it lends itself especially well to plastic. Monochrome plastic can be slick and shiny, or soft and matte.  Either look fantastic! Try it in basic black, white, or in a unique hue like turquoise or baby pink. We especially love this Carolina Hererra piece—in it, she mixes pattern, plastic, and textile. It’s quite a combination, but it all works because of the minimal color palette. And it’s such a unique idea to have all those plastic pieces cut and reassembled into an amazing pattern. We’d love to try it!

 

 

Layered

 

 

With plastic, layering is key, especially when it comes to pattern. By layering pieces of plastic, you can bring in different colors and textures. You can really play with the opacity of plastic, using transparent pieces to create new and unique effects. An amazing example of this is this skirt from designer Joanna Van Der Puije. We are obsessed with how she used only opacity and layering to create an incredible monochrome ombre effect. This is something totally innovative and we are in awe! Of course, fashion is not the only medium on which you can layer. If you are designing for interiors, exhibitions, etc., you can also give layering plastic a try. It’s so simple, and experimenting could give you some amazing results.

 

 

Neon

 

 

Is it just me, or do neon and plastic go hand in hand? Neons have been trendy for a few seasons now, but they really take center stage when created in plastic. It really takes that artificial aesthetic to the max and looks incredible. We especially love these printed plastic homeware sets from J.Crew! A bright neon contrasted with clear plastic or a neutral tone really makes the colors pop. Neons likely won’t be going away anytime soon, so why not give them a try?

 

What do you think designers—do any of these trends spark your inspiration?

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