I admit it. I’ve fallen victim to another of the latest trends . . . that of being a dormandiser. I’ve just bought one of those silly revival Austin Minis: those teeny little cars that could probably fit three in a row inside a wide girth Suburban. Totally impractical. You know—those cars featured in that terrific 1968 movie with Michael Caine? Or better yet . . . from this year’s The Italian Job with Mark Wahlberg . . . . Wait, that’s a remake of . . . that terrific Michael Caine movie from 1968 called . . . The Italian Job.
But what’s a dormandiser, you ask? It’s quite simple. Take the words “dormant” and “merchandise,” shake
them up, and you have something many people are hungering for—dormandise!—those
products that, though long past, still linger fondly in the minds of consumers.
A dormandiser, thus, is someone like me, who buys retro.
Ours is a shaky economy, and today corporations are taking a hard look at launching
new product brands and spending millions creating instant name recognition amongst
the penny-pinching consumer skeptics. Why not bring back those products—or
even those commercials, movies, brands—that tap into fond name recognition?
For companies, this trend can be used to revive advertising campaigns from long
past; on popular colors since discontinued (witness the lean toward orange/brown
combos); on products that still have that retro feel. It’s everywhere.
Go retro. Tap into your inner Care Bear and use it in your next design.
The new hit makeover show, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” is the
No. 1 program on cable TV’s Bravo today. According to Entertainment Weekly,
this summer’s breakout hit is the most talked about show of the season
in which five gay men, experts in various areas such as interior design, wardrobe,
cooking and style and culture, make over an “aesthetically challenged” straight
Apparently, the men who have been made over have had countless marriage proposals
from women all over the United States after their segment has aired. Heh. And,
this show is a perfect example of manity, a trend coined by Faith Popcorn earlier
this year, in response to the growing interest in male vanity. Men are no longer
afraid to embrace the idea that they will lose their machismo by caring about
or improving how they look, live and act.
Take advantage of this trend and market to the style-challenged male, hungering
for an upgrade. Keep up on the colors and styles that make men tick—such
as this billiard room designed by Rebecca Shearn of Interiors by Decorating Den.
Its soothing dark tones of cabernet, soft bronze and curry gold will build a
wonderful comfort zone for its testosterone-filled inhabitant.
Says Popcorn, “Over the next few years we will see enormous marketplace
growth in this industry as men’s desire to achieve and maintain beauty
and youth becomes mainstream. The phenomenon is driven, in part, by aging baby
boomers that reject gravity as much as they rejected the establishment in the
1960s. If it’s not mass now, it will be soon.”
“Graffiti” meets “vanity” to create gravanity, a term
coined by trendwatching.com to describe the obsession of regular consumers to
create something that is uniquely theirs; something they can leave behind or
advertise their existence. Whether it’s personalized license plates (small
scale) or building wings named after benefactors (obvious large scale), millions
are looking for ways to achieve their 15 minutes of fame.
How can you work this ego-boosting trend into your next design? Whether it’s
an embellished initial trumpeting above a doorway or stenciled upon a pillowcase
or a digital photograph reprinted Andy Warhol-style on a canvas, consider the
many ways you can stroke an ego with a personalized design element.
Kathleen Stoehr is president of Chemistry Creative, based in Minneapolis,
She has more than seven years’ experience covering trends, window treatments
and interior fashions, and is a former editor-in-chief of Window Fashions magazine.
Stoehr can be contacted for comments, queries and trend information at firstname.lastname@example.org.