Happy New Year! It's time to say goodbye to 2008 and welcome the new trends of 2009.
Jane Buckingham, the president of the market research firm the Intelligence Group, forecasts the future of cool, from food to fashion.
The economy will shape trends by forcing people to be more creative, says Buckingham. People won't buy as much, so Buckingham predicts we'll see more homemade fashion, unique accessories and bright colors to keep away the blues.
Hot Color: Orange
The hot color for 2008 was purple, a rich and regal hue. Buckingham believes orange is the new color of 2009.
"I think we're going to be seeing a lot of brights because even though people are sad, they want to put on a happy face and the big color that's working right now is orange," she said. "But I think we're also going to be seeing a lot of blues, greens and pinks."
"Last season it was all about the skinny jean, which nobody can pull off and is really a nightmare to wear," Buckingham said.
When Katie Holmes sported husband Tom Cruise's jeans, she seemed to bring back the baggy boyfriend jean look.
The more flattering knit jean is next. "It's sort of a cross between a legging and a skinny jean and it's much easier to wear. Everybody looks good in them," Buckingham said.
No more of the casual look at work for men, who will now have to dress to impress, says Buckingham. Expect to see fewer skinny ties and more bow ties, but not every man can pull off the look.
Noodles in '09
Sushi has been the craze for a long time, but noodle bars are springing up all over the country.
"What's great about it is that it's a cross between a little bit of excitement but also a little bit of a comfort food and you can get it in a lot of different varieties," Buckingham said.
Black nail polish was all the rage last year, which Buckingham attributes to the neo-goth "Twilight" phenomenon. In a complete reversal, Buckingham predicts variations of white nail polish and more French manicures.
Parenting Back to Basics
The antics of wild-child celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton helped usher in a return to strict parenting, Buckingham says.
And the era of overindulging kids with expensive clothing and gadgets, spa services and ostentatious parties seems to be waning, too.
"We're finding parents saying they want simplification for their kids. They want them playing with wooden blocks. I want them to have unstructured play. There's no need to teach my child French while they're in the womb. So, i think we're gonna see a lot more simplification with parenting," Buckingham said.
Instant Tech Gratification
Buckingham says that technology will evolve from Facebook and YouTube to taking the show on the road with the Bold, iPhone and Google phone.
"You can now directly e-mail a photo from your phone to a frame. So you want to e-mail grandma a picture of your little boy at Little League you can send it from the game to her frame. It bypasses her computer," she said.
"You can watch a video on the plane on your phone. What we're finding is that we're becoming a completely mobile society where you don't even really need your computer. And we're hearing that when times get tough people are disconnecting their Internet service and just keeping their cell phone Internet service."
Games People Play
"Last year it was more about the sort of aggressive, violent gaming like the 'Halos' and 'Grand Theft Auto.' Now we're actually seeing a tend toward much more peaceful ones," Buckingham said.
She predicts people will be more interested in mind-spirit meditation and relaxation in gaming, with new games like 'Flower' gaining popularity.
The Green Scene
Goodbye recycling, hello to precycling. This year is all about bringing your own shopping bag, composting and buying items without any packaging.
"So it's not enough to recycle, it's to make sure you can cut down before you get there," according to Buckingham.