This year for the third successive time I had the pleasure of going to London’s Olympia for the Top Drawer retail show. Although this show doesn’t revolve around design this is one of my favourite shows as it informs us of what has made it through the design processes and what has made it out on the other side; and within the next few weeks are going to be on the shelves of some of the biggest shops in the country.
Every year this show seems to follow a trend and the majority of suppliers seem to follow each other in offering a range of ‘safe’ products; This year wasn’t different to that and big names such as ‘coach house’ seemed to offer what was expected of them. I was also disappointed in big names such as ‘Wilde in Wolf’ who in the past few years have offered new and exciting products which have been fun and refreshing and in some sense the company has given the board game industry a new lease of life through there picturesque branding.
Last year I found that this event was influenced largely on the boom of ‘industrial looking’ products which were raw and rough and possibly fairly nostalgic to the older generation. Within a year of that show we seemed to have jumped 10 with an emphasis on contemporary design this year, we were flourished with thousands of colours, retro patterns, Scandinavian looking furniture as well as several iconic polaroid camera’s lurking around the show.
After an eventful day of shopping I have therefore found that the years are rolling on, and theres a chance of bright colours, with rigid, and inventive furniture moving in from the East. We find a flourish of instant photos re-developing in the centre of the country and several boring drops of rain lurking around the country.
If I could sum this show up in a single food i’d call it a ham and cheese panini… Foreign, Reliable, but at the end of the day… its boring!!!