Monday, June 17, 2013

Trends for 2013 - A Bit Belated

Now that we’re half way through 2013, I’m finishing up that blog I started in January on forecasted trends for this year. We’ll analyze how much of them we’ve seen come to pass...or at least I’ll provide my inspired commentary.

I’m always fascinated with projections of what will our culture will widely embrace (and what marketers desperately hope will take off.)  Let’s start with the most significant, life-affecting subject that informs our world view and daily living:

The “It” color for 2013 (here’s a hint): “Ha, ha, ha -- ho ho, ho, and a couple of tra la las..."  Yes, emerald. The experts at have declared that green is “magical” and represents clarity, historical insight, prosperity, balance and harmony. The Pantone Goddesses bade farewell to 2012’s Tangerine  Tango, “which provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward” and welcomed Emerald,”a vivid,verdant greent that enhance oursense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony”. On their home page you can see a bright, shiny emerald colored beetle. Maybe I should stop taking vitamins and going to therapy, and instead invest in more colors for my well-being. Quite frankly, while New York and L.A. might look like the Land of Oz, Atlanta is still a year behind; I’m seeing Tangerine all over the place on women. But you're stuck with "The Merry Old Land of Oz" song in your head.

Other fashion trends? Color blocking in black and white, flat shoes for comfort (hallelujah!), and all-over lace casual -- not like a wedding though, thank God. The bright colors of last year are moving to more subtle (again b&w), and tailored. For men, “meggings” with a long shirt. I can say with surety that this fashion trend for men will only work in Midtown. Atlantans know what I mean.

Makeup? Glitz. More bold, red lips, eye details (like rhinestones on lashes) and nails. So apparently the theatrics of Kim Kardashian as well as country music and reality tv stars are working their way into fashion. My prediction? Never will go mainstream here in the South, at least for those over 22. Unless you regularly attend events like the MTV Awards. 

Okay on to less exciting but considerably more vital topics:

Economy and Technology

The Sharing or Peer Economy Triple Pundit describes these phrases as business built on the sharing of resources – allowing customers to access goods when needed. We’ve seen lots of websites spring up in the last five years allowing participants to share household goods, apparel and accessories (, recycle no-longer-needed items (freecycle), coops for fresh foods, photos (flikr), etc.. Now the concept of sharing has been adopted as a business model. The cool business terms are peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, collaborative consumption, and the access economy. Toss these terms around in business conversation.  

Wearable cameras – NSFP also predicts these will go mainstream. “As a slow economy continues to put a dent in pleasure travel and lifelogging technologies like wearable cameras , new platforms for travelers to catalogue and share their experiences with ‘armchair explorerers’ will emerge”. You can attach these to bicycle handle bars, belt buckle, helmet, or for that special Star Trek Borg look, attach one to your ear. There are even camera glasses. This goes beyond mere convenience and moves into the world of surveillance gear. So be aware and behave in public people - you may be on Candid Camera.

Continuity across devices – IT Business Edge has the last word on these next few examples. The website discusses the communal desire to have the ability to pick up the session on a different device in exactly the same place you left off. “Innovation will … provide a continuous experience for users across call logs, text messages, notes and activities as they move from laptop to desktop, from tablet to mobiles. The ‘app-ification’ (new term for moi) of curated media by innovative firms like Netflix and SnagFilms across devices such as Rokus, Boxees and tablets will further drive content delivery beyond traditional TV.”  

More efficient government data management -- This one was humorous: “With the adoption of sustainable standards, private enterprises and governments alike will be able to tap into a trove of valuable data to create exciting and technology-forward public services.” Guess the NSA’s cornered the market on that one.

The “cloud” will become more intelligent  -- The Futurist predicts the cloud will not be merely a place to store data but will transition into “becoming an active resource in our daily lives, providing analysis and contextual advice…(such as) designing your family’s weekly menu based on everyone’s health profiles, fitness goals, and taste preferences.” I’m still waiting to become intelligent enough to use the “cloud”. (Or trust the cloud with my personal data.)

Game technology:  Take your game or show from big screen to iPad to travel to another room in house. It’s the “Get media where I want it” concept. Yeah, we’re more evolved. It’s still all about getting what I want when I want it.  

The economy may become increasingly jobless, but there will be plenty of work --  So says The Futurist. “Rather than worry about unemployment, tomorrow’s workers will focus on developing a variety of skills that could keep them working productively and continuously, whether they have jobs or not. It’ll be about finding out what other people need done, and doing it.” Uh, is't this what you call...freelancing?

Science, Medicine and Healthcare
Many jobs will be created in healthcare IT: This has been widely forecasted by numerous sources. From patient portals to telemedicine to mobile apps to technology-enhanced diagnosis to electronic medical records and billing systems.

Medical supply and equipment costs are abating under market pressure, says Price Waterhouse research. That’s good. The other side of the coin is “medical cost trends will move upward next year (wow, what a surprise) due to the uptick in patient utilization rising as the economy strengthens and medical advances are driving growth in high-cost care and catastrophic claims.” But you know, none of us really knows what healthcare and medicine will look like until Obamacare unfolds itself starting in 2014

Neuroscientists may be able to predict what you’ll do before you do it. Talk about predictions. Again The Futurist has an eagle eye on fascinating ideas. “The intention to do something, such as grasp a cup, produces blood flow to specific areas of the brain, so studying blood-flow patterns through neuroimaging could give researchers a better idea of what people have in mind.”

Okay, this is really where it’s at for 2013:
Mac and cheese with twist/spin (comfort foods) – what does this mean? Serve with pork ringlets, fried mac and cheese with flatbread and bleu cheese, Mediterranean mac and cheese…the variations are endless. If you eat Kraft boxed mac and cheese with the distinctive neon orange color, don’t tell anyone.

Gourmet-flavored donuts (bacon, kimchee, flan – I’m sorry, disgusting) and popcorn (in ice cream, candy, gourmet food).  

Duck eggs. Yes, duck eggs. Bon Appetit says chefs will choose duck eggs over chicken eggs for their larger and tastier flavor. "There's an ultimate richness to the duck egg that's just so much better," says Matthew Gaudet, chef at West Bridge Restaurant in Cambridge, MA. Apparently available at farmers' markets, some Whole Foods Markets, and

Homemade yogurt. I was happy with store bought Greek yogurt though I’m intrigued since one of my friends from northern Africa said she makes her own and loves it. Now that I have a recipe, I may try it.

The Ikarian Diet (from the Greek Island of Ikaria) -- whole grains, locally-grown produce, red wine, fish, yogurt, goat-milk products, slow-paced lifestyle. Mother Jones has an interesting piece on this. Find an even longer one in the New York Times.

Another subject that’s near and dear to my heart is -


Brass -- According to bloggers as reported by House Beautiful, brass and other shiny metals are in as well as grass cloth wallpaper, and camouflage. ‘Scuse me -- camouflage? That’s for little boy’s bedspreads. Apparently it’s not just in traditional green and olive colors but with unusual twists like reds, orange and yellows (see the chair cover in slideshow #2). The grass cloth reflects eco-friendly focus on using organic, sustainable materials. Budget Blinds recommends woven wood shades made from bamboo, grasses, jute, reeds, rattan and other natural renewable resources for honest, simple beauty. Brings the outdoors in.

Informal garden design as an alternative to a more “trimmed and controlled” standard. The formal aspect that seems to hang on though is “architecture of green” (hedges and shaped shrubs – so very British).

Twentieth century furniture. "A revolution has hit the world of antiques, art, and collecting, and rooms will never look the same," Diane Dorrans Saeks of The Style Saloniste says. "Designers are putting a new spin on interiors, blurring the lines between furniture and art, and embracing bold, new materials."

The Chevron: a bold, dramatic, V-shaped pattern. Also geometrics and other graphic, colorful shapes like the tribal ikat ( swirls and diamonds reminiscent of but way cooler than tie-dye) and Moroccan motifs.

Bolder color trends. Monaco Blue, Poppy Red, Nectarine and Emerald (the latter consistent with the big fashion color). Thank you House Beautiful.

White kitchens are coming back! Yay! I’ve always loved light kitchens whether contemporary Euro-looking kitchen with the frameless laminate cabinetry or white painted wood cabinets. I never warmed up to the natural dark wood cabinet that’s so popular. I can't get depressed in the dark when creating food. And of course “multi-tasking appliances, hands-free faucets, and increased smartphone and tablet functionality,” says Jamie Gold, a certified kitchen/bath designer in CA (NDSM Observer). “Value-oriented remodels will remain popular,” she predicts, “with homeowners incorporating existing flooring, fixtures, cabinets and/or appliances into their design plans to save money and retain favorite design elements.”


Rise of the Nones – This was especially interesting to me as I’m always curious about spirituality. A new “non-religious” or not tradition-specific spiritual movement will take hold, capturing the growing number of new atheists and millennial “nones” who do not follow any religion. A recent Gallup poll debunked the large growth prediction but the jury’s still out on this. Currently it's estimated that the "nones" represent almost 18% of the  U.S. adult population. Life in the Post Modern age.

Media and Entertainment

Professional video gaming competitions – PR News Wire says these are poised to become mainstream phenomenon. Major League gaming is a driving force in this movement drawing as much as 15,000 attendees and online viewing. 

Consumers make entertainment decisions based on social media – Consumers are increasingly turning to their favorite bloggers and social media networks to decide how to spend their limited entertainment time and money.” Sure, I see what other friends are doing for entertainment on Facebook, maybe take a survey and then make a more informed decision. That’s how I figured out what stage play and tourist attractions to take my 16-year old son to for our trip to New York City. And of course, there's Groupon.

There you have it – the 2013 Prophecy and Analysis Report.

I’m going to go have some gourmet mac and cheese…