This winter has seen a big key trend towards fairytales, folklore, enchanted forests and most predominant of all, woodland creatures. How many of you during your festive Christmas shopping have noticed a sly Mr Fox captured on a plate or cushion? Or perhaps you have spotted a proud stag emblazoned on a jumper, mug or a placemat?
Well, it was the Autumn/Winter fashion shows in Milan earlier this year that led this trend, and a whole movement to a fantasy world of enchanted forests filled with friendly woodland critters. Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti, and Stella Jean, each took us into a wonderland of fairytale and wilderness. At Dolce & Gabbana, foxes, big-eyed owls and squirrels were appliquéd onto lace shift dresses, and Little Red Riding Hood even made an appearance in her fur hood and billowing red robe. At Alberta Ferretti the collection was folksy, earthy and ethereal, showcasing feathers, tree bark textures, rich moss greens and blooming embroidery.
Artists and various designers have also followed suit and taken on the woodland creature trend. Take Mister Finch, a textile artist from Yorkshire inspired by English folklore and nature, who has currently collaborated with Anthropologie to showcase his adorable, and curiously humanised animal sculptures. Pieced together from recycled materials for added authenticity and charm, his collection in Anthropologie’s Kings Road store features a devilishly handsome fox, a moon-gazing hare and creepy crawlies aplenty. Then there’s British jewellery designer Jon Forster, who earlier this year brought the outside in with a collection of rings inspired by woodland animals.
So how do you bring this trend and woodland critters into your own home without bringing to life the animated forest of Farthing Wood? This year’s Ideal Home Christmas Show staged some perfect example room settings, combining natural fabrics: a knitted wool stool, a fur covered sofa cushion and leather bound books in muted earthy tones, with wooden furniture and woodland creature accessories. With this trend that is exactly how it is done, it is all in the accessorising. Instantly update your living space with some fox, owl, hare or stag cushions, like those from Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Habitat. Pair with a warm tartan throw and vintage florals for a rural retreat look. Or fully indulge in the enchanted forest theme for Christmas, with a Christmas tree adorned in woodland creature baubles. Marks & Spencer offer sparkling bear, stag, bird and squirrel decorations to bring life to your tree.
Alternatively, bring the forest and animal accessories to your dining table with woodland ceramics, like those designed by Starla Michelle Halfmann at Anthropologie. Her love of the natural world and animals is evident in every vivid brushstroke of her designs. Or John Derian has teamed up with Astier de Villatte to add his iconic imagery to their classic white tableware; his prints include a bright-eyed tawny owl, a devious crow and intricate flowers.
Whichever way you choose to channel this winter’s enchanting woodland trend; may it add to a more magical and story tale Christmas. Happy Holidays!