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Natural, sustainable and unusual: The Christmasworld trends for 2019/20

Feb 20, 2019

Green is in vogue – at the world’s leading trade fair for festive and seasonal decorations, not only matcha green but also naturalness and sustainability were on trend. Appropriately, the canon of shapes is geared around the aesthetics of Scandinavia and Japan. It was also clearly demonstrated at Christmasworld at the end of January 2019 that products are becoming more meticulously crafted, which means they are more individual, selective, and even luxurious. But charming and cheerful designs are also on the rise, and these are enriching festive decorations.

The Christmasworld trends for 2019/20 show that they are natural, sustainable and unusual.  Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
The Christmasworld trends for 2019/20 show that they are natural, sustainable and unusual. Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

The Christmasworld trends in detail: tender festivities, essential ceremonies, sweet traditions and luminous celebrations – this is how Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano describes the four big trend worlds for the coming 2019/20 festive season. On behalf of Messe Frankfurt, the designer trio was once again responsible for the much acclaimed trend area. To create this, they filter out current trends from society, fashion, architecture and design, and transfer them to the upcoming colours, shapes and materials. Tender festivities is a calm and peaceful trend with a minimalist design. Central to it are unusual shapes and surfaces, combined with matt finishes, stone effects, as well as creased or folded textures and exquisite papers. Naturalness and modernity, combined with rough and rustic aspects, are the distinguishing features of essential ceremonies. This trend is expressed in rough, untreated surfaces and warm, baked colours. The look, in general, is handcrafted and natural. Sweet traditions, on the other hand, is a cheerful, charming and light-footed trend: the surfaces are evocative of icing and sugar pearls, and there are hand-written patterns and drawings, as well as naive motifs. Norwegian patterns are also characteristic of the style, as are fresh colours – peach, red and berry shades, for example. With luminous celebrations, the name says it all: elegant, luminous and dark shades with intensive colourings and changing metal colours. Iridescent surfaces, spangles and sequins, ultra-shiny finishes and lurex effects, as well as velvet and feathers, make up an unusual Christmas 'couture'. With their new products, the Christmasworld exhibitors offered retailers a rich portfolio of decorations from which they’ll be able to draw for the whole year.

Deeper, richer, darker – the most important colours
In addition to the matcha trend colour and all the different shades of green, an intensive deep blue is also coming to the fore in the seasons ahead. In addition, powder pink and berry shades, earthy colours, and coral, the latest Pantone trend colour, have prominent roles. But also the classics – gold, silver, white and black – and lastly, serene pastel colours should not be forgotten this year. All in all, colours are becoming deeper, richer and darker.

It is going to be glamorous and exquisite for the next Christmas season, with lush greens, blues and velvets! Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
It is going to be glamorous and exquisite for the next Christmas season, with lush greens, blues and velvets! Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Striking baubles and tree decorations
Stories can certainly be told on the Christmas tree. The variety of Christmas tree decorations knows no bounds and winter has long ceased to be the only central motif: decorations in the shape of sausages also adorn the tree, as do soya sauce motifs, chocolate strawberries, doughnuts, croissants and ice-creams – candies are an extremely popular motif this year. They are joined by pom-pom decorations in cheerful colours, hand-blown teddy bears, emojis, lips, and modern interpretations of Miffy the rabbit, as well as figures reminiscent of children’s book illustrations. At Christmas 2019, however, silver wristwatches can also be hung on the tree or from twigs, and the sea can be brought into the wintery room with seahorses, jellyfish and fish. Those who find this too frivolous can choose simple glass baubles with a milk glass effect and restrained patterns, simple paper stars or solid wood baubles painted with, perhaps, delicate floral motifs and twig designs. Valuable and meticulously crafted baubles and tree decorations are also on trend: for handing down the generations, for example, there are bell-shaped baubles embellished with 24 carat gold, as well as elaborately painted baubles decorated with feathers and sequins, or painted with motifs from the Old Masters, such as Jan Vermeer’s 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'.

Curtain up on the latest trends – sea creatures, beetles and culinary motifs, such as pretzels and doughnuts, spice up the Christmas decorations. Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
Curtain up on the latest trends – sea creatures, beetles and culinary motifs, such as pretzels and doughnuts, spice up the Christmas decorations. Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

The materials: nature is the most popular material
Can consumption be 'green'? Yes, it can: wood, cotton, linen, glass, ceramics, terracotta and recycled plastic and paper were the most popular raw materials at Christmasworld. Wood is the number one material – both in the floristry sector as well as for decorative accessories and gifts: the material forms the basis for displays in the shape of trees, animals, plant containers, bowls, small hanging shelves, candle holders, lanterns, baubles, tree decorations and planters. They can be polished, painted, varnished and sprayed, or they can be carved, roughly hewn, made of several pieces, and combined with moss, twigs and leaves. In the autumn and winter, wooden mushrooms with velvet tops decorate tables, and wooden candleholders combined with silver give winter decorations their festive note. Paper stars and trees in all colours imaginable adorn the wintery window and become hanging decorations on twigs and tags on gifts. Choice flowers grace both straight and opulent glass vases, as well as varnished, etched and untreated ceramic pots. Dried and fresh blooms enhance hanging decorations and wreaths; ribbons and paper are decorative additions. Aside from artificial Christmas trees, many exhibitors also offered modern trees made of wood this year.

The shapes: leaves, blossoms, winter animals, sea creatures, birds and insects are still on trend
Nature defines both the materials and the shapes: hanging decorations in the shape of leaves made of pearls or paper, and in the shape of glass and metal blossoms, make up the stylistic palette. Traditional winter animals, such as polar bears, stags, squirrels, owls and deer, continue to have a place in Christmas decorations – as stand-alone objects or small tree decorations. And birds and sea creatures also remain on trend in the coming season. In addition to this, insects are popular: beetles, dragonflies, spiders, grasshoppers, as well as butterflies and bees, decorate twigs, Christmas trees, tables and chests. The beetles are frequently life-sized or even larger; they can be silvery, golden, filigree or made of pearls and combined with stone effects, hand-blown and elegant in glass, or young and cute in red and white.

Ribbons & wrapping materials
The colour spectrum of the style worlds is also reflected in the seasonal wrapping materials. With ribbons, natural materials are very clearly on trend: there is a strong focus on cotton, linen, jute and raffia. Renewable raw materials that are biodegradable come into play. The natural materials are reinforced by earthy tones, such as beige and nougat, but also red and blue, sometimes with an atmospheric sprinkling of gold. The trend is complemented by traditional winter and also Easter motifs: rabbits, flowers, Father Christmases, squirrels, stars, hearts and spots, stripes and other different patterns provide a wide range of stylistic possibilities. To complement this, decorative gift tags made of thin wood, perhaps in the shape of cacti, or tassels and thick felt cords, broaden the scope for different wrapping possibilities.

Candles & fragrances
There were hardly any exhibitors at Christmasworld who did not use recycled plastic for their tea lights. The transparent plastic packaging was frequently replaced by small paper bags. Also on trend are candles in different containers: in glass, but also in terracotta bowls and metal tins. Because candles not only provide a pleasant light, but also take on a decorative character themselves, many exhibitors are offering a wealth of different shapes: small trees that are reduced in design or naturalistic, as well as candles in the shape of pine cones, slices of cake, doughnuts and mushrooms. In addition to this, candles with holders made entirely of wax, spherical candles with varnished, rippled and marbled surfaces, and traditional pillar candles were also available to order. But also abstract renderings of the Holy Family, stars, pineapples and, finally, candles with complex textures, such as scaly surfaces and ones that imitate embossed metal. The colours here: pastels and the trend colours of blue, matcha green, powder pink and lilac, as well as the traditional festive colours of bronze, silver, gold, white and black. Also on trend: scented candles – fresh and citrussy, for example, or calming with lavender.

Visual merchandising & lighting
Beautiful lighting – particularly from energy saving LEDs – doesn’t just create an atmospheric mood in apartments, houses, shops and restaurants. Shopping centres and towns can also score points with their own citizens and tourists if they tell the right story, so drawing visitors into town centres and shopping streets. The Christmasworld exhibitors showed very impressively how this works. It is clear that Christmas needs to be staged; visitors want to be enchanted and entertained, and they want to collect unusual selfies. To this end, towns and shopping centres are becoming backdrops and stages. When the curtain goes up, elaborate and, sometimes, enormous figures in exciting dazzling colours are displayed, transporting us into unfamiliar worlds; life-sized stags that change colour or a dramatically lit flock of birds that seems to be taking loudly to the skies. At the same time, life-sized stylised trees in pink and white show the way to unforgettably beautiful festivities, and large hot-air balloons invite us to linger and observe with small stories. Of course, good old Father Christmas also needs to be there, with witches jumping out of delicious gingerbread houses and birds starting to sing – completely classic and wonderfully familiar: for the sake of the little ones.

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Christmasworld: Seasonal Decoration at its best
Christmasworld is the world’s most important order venue for the international decoration and festive articles sector. Held annually in Frankfurt, it presents the latest products and trends for all festivities of the year and provides innovative concept ideas for decorating large-scale and outdoor areas for the wholesale and retail trades, shopping centres, DIY markets and the green sector. Christmasworld is characterised by the complete spectrum of festive decorations while a wide-ranging programme of events with Trend Show, special exhibitions and expert lectures is a valuable and informative source of supplementary inspiration for everyday business. The last event in 2019 was attended by 1,089 exhibitors from 45 countries and over 45,300 visitors from 123 countries.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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* provisional figures 2018

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