Trend Alert: Shapes & Silhouettes

What’s hot in the events industry this year? Showing off your curves, of course, and not just in fashion. Shape and silhouettes are increasingly being worked into everything, from furnishing to linens to exquisite lighting design.

The straight lines and angularity of rough palette boards and rustic bare kitchen farm tables dominated the scene for the past few years, but creatives are now opting for the molded look of cozy, low-slung couches, waves of floral accents in and above guest seating, and meandering pathways studded with the gentle glow of candlelight. It’s a renewed love affair with the enjoyment and exploration of shape—visual texture, as it were—and it’s reaching into every facet of event design.

An emphasis on silhouette and shape adds dimension through the richness of fabric like velvet over a luxurious couch or settee inviting guests to not only utilize their setting, but encounter it—feel it. This continues to be evident in everything from entertainment to interactive food and beverage stations. The value of the experience and the impact on all five senses continue to be a high priority in all events.

Photo courtesy Jenny DeMarco Photography

This is also clear in the elaborate vignettes designers are creating to act as photo backdrops or personal sweetheart lounges (as opposed to simple sweetheart tables). These often involve a wall of greens or blossoms, a large table with rich linens, sometimes draping or a canopy overhead, and elements like pillars with overflowing arrangements, tall candelabra or chandeliers dripping with blooms.

Photo courtesy Jenny DeMarco Photography

Dark woods complement this overall look as seen in glossy finished furnishings. Rosewood, walnut, and mango wood lend a weightier sense of glam and mark the shift away from Scandinavian lightness and blonde woods.

Follow the trends right to Catersource! Join us at Catersource 2019 in New Orleans for more information on this important topic. Click here for session information and here to take you to registration.

In fashion, clean lines, sleek fabrics and those with definite shape, like sharply starched tulle in ballerina tutus are flooding back in. Geometric patterns, which have recently enjoyed increased popularity are still in the forefront as well, especially in linens, fabrics and printed design, often creating the illusion of shape within a shape.

On the interactive entertainment front, hosts are once again requesting silhouette artists to create quick, yet beautiful custom portraits for guests and VIPs. Video-mapping and projection illusions are also stealing the scene and taking digital entertainment to a new level. We’ve seen love stories interpreted on the side of grand wedding cakes or the skirts of huge ball gowns, and whole venues transformed from bare to exotic with projection mapping.

Thus commences the season of silhouette and shape and the exciting new designs that feature them. There can only be more beautiful things to come!

Registration is now open for Catersource and the Art of Catering Food 2019. Click here for more information or to register.

Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute

Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.