"Fall in Love with Your Future"
CosmeticBusiness 2021: Niels Holger Wien Unveiled the New Worlds of Colour and Materials
What trend researcher and colour expert Niels Holger Wien brought to the podium of the conference room on the first day of CosmeticBusiness in Munich on 20 October was both a tradition and a premiere at the same time. He has been regularly presenting the coming zeitgeist along with colour and material trends to the public since 2017. The "CB IMPULSE 2022 Beyond" colour card was published live at CosmeticBusiness for the first time for visitors to purchase. Based on Wien's lecture, it aims to translate contemporary inspiration into worlds of colours and materials and to refine current trends for the near future. It is intended as a resource for the conception and design of future cosmetic products and their packaging. Last year it could only be presented online due to the pandemic, so it now celebrated its live premiere.
Hope, Sustainability and Community
The very well-attended conference programme at the trade show demonstrated the great demand for these trending topics. Under the title "Prospects & Impulse 2022 Beyond: Zeitgeist Impulses and Colour and Material Worlds for the 2022/2023 Season", Wien shared some inspiring observations and conclusions. He evidenced and explained all of them with the help of numerous insights from art, fashion and architecture that he has gathered in the course of his research.
As usual, he embedded the colour and material trends that he analysed into the thematic context of the zeitgeist. It came as no surprise that this was heavily influenced by the pandemic and COVID-19. Wien thus observes the zeitgeist of "hopetimism", an artificial word made up of "hope" and "optimism". It describes the way we now seek "dopamine dressing" in order to open ourselves up to new things again after a period of isolation and distancing. "Hyperconsumption" is therefore a thing of the past and is being replaced by sensible consumption and a "less is enough" approach, according to Wien. "Circularity", the recyclability of products and materials, is in demand. This means it is essential to question and rethink existing practices. The trend analyst sees "biophilia" as the leitmotif for this. In other words, we need to develop more "love and empathy for nature" again rather than merely being considerate of it, Wien says. After all, along with many other fundamental values, it is this that unites us and constitutes the "Common Ground". This is another central theme that Wien sees as defining the current zeitgeist, not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Natural and Simple, yet Effective
In the second part of his lecture, Wien described how he derived the coming colour and material trends from these contemporary impulses. The desire to indulge mindfully and sustainably and to be in harmony with nature is summed up in the colour world "Mindful Pleasure". It is all about timeless materials and natural, untouched colours. Among others, Wien lists "Natural Cotton White" and "Sepia Brown" as alternatives to the classic black/white. Colours such as "Watermelon Sugar" or "Jade Powder Green" can also stand for "simplicity with substance", according to Wien.
The "Sensitive Future (Future Sensible)" colour world aims to achieve a new sense of time and space, as Wien describes it. The trend analyst claims that the future is "no longer rectangular, but is instead sensitive". He sees in this world materials that allow plays of light and reflections, whose colours change and that are "perfectly imperfect", as can sometimes be seen in recycled plastic, for example. Wien sees in this a "simplicity that is nonetheless effective". Colours he includes in the spectrum are muted shades such as "Linen Paper", "Purple Shade", "Silver Moon Dust" and "Peach Pearl".
Colourful, Radiant and Intense
The "Dream Reality" colour world is more vibrant. For Wien, this is about a yearning to be somewhere else that has grown throughout the past months of the pandemic. It includes colours that appeal to our senses and things that are evocative of somewhere else, or perhaps even of another time. Recognisable craftsmanship plays an important role in this colour and material scheme, as do opulent patterns as well as bold, radiant colours and colour combinations. These include a "Pompeian Red" alongside a "Bamboo Yellow" and "Pink Orchid".
The fourth colour world, "Show Your Colours", goes one step further. It symbolises the strong contemporary desire to take a stand and declare yourself a supporter of something, as Wien puts it. In fact, he sees it as a new spectrum of primary colours. These powerful colours can make things seem substantial as well as giving structure to rooms. The power of colours has long been lost in digitalisation, says Wien. There is now space for reconsideration, which could also generate positive impulses. "Cadmium Green", "Signal Yellow", "Fire Lilies Orange" and "Raspberry Sorbet" are powerful examples from this spectrum, which Wien explains can be further intensified with glitter and sparkle.
Dare to be Visible and Trust Intuition
Whether he was talking about zeitgeist themes or colour and material worlds, Niels Holger Wien linked almost every aspect with a call to action. He appealed to his audience to find the courage to be present and visible, to trust more in their intuition and finally – with reference to a song by Billie Eilish – to fall in love with their own future.
Over the course of the trade show, visitors were able to exchange ideas about the zeitgeist impulses and CB IMPULSE 2022 Beyond personally with the trend analyst as part of the "Meet the Expert" format.
Source: Niels Holger Wien, photo: Leipziger Messe GmbH / Jens Schlüter