#8 FolkloreTrendstory

Sanseveria

Sanseveria
Kingdom

Photography: Iris Duvekot. Styling: Lidewij Smeur. Make-up artist: Jitske Serné. Videographer: (GIFs and film) Pauline Wiersma. Model: Bram @ Maxmodels.

Sanseveria
Kingdom

The majestic Sanseveria combines powerful shapes and spiky extremity with generous anonymous gifts. Like a strict but fair ruler who reigns over our living room like a king over his domain_______.

With its rugged leaves, Sanseveria undeniably projects a masculine primaeval strength. With its long pointy leaves it’s reminiscent of mountain peaks, this regal ruler of dry plains and regions with a rich folklore. Tormented by powerful natural phenomena, Sanseveria stands tall without flinching. This powerhouse does not allow itself to be dominated.

Sanseveria
Sanseveria
Sanseveria
Sanseveria

Photography: Iris Duvekot. Styling: Lidewij Smeur. Make-up artist: Jitske Serné. Videograaf: (GIFs and film) Pauline Wiersma. Model: Bram @ Maxmodels.

With its rugged leaves, Sanseveria undeniably projects a masculine primaeval strength. With its long pointy leaves it’s reminiscent of mountain peaks, this regal ruler of dry plains and regions with a rich folklore. Tormented by powerful natural phenomena, Sanseveria stands tall without flinching. This powerhouse does not allow itself to be dominated.

Into battle

An inspirational example of strength and persistence. And particularly inspiring in the year in which Donald Trump became president and immediately restricted all sorts of personal freedoms. In these uncertain times of blunt unfounded statements and masculine domination, everyone is suddenly wondering what they believe in. There’s a shift of power happening in the world, that’s clear. Many are fighting for freedom, and intense tests of strength are the order of the day. There is a need for a powerful countervoice and indestructible role models. Trends even predict a new punk movement (according to trend agency Nijman + Van Haaster) with sharp and aggressive shapes, just like those of Sanseveria. We are desperately seeking clarity and something to hold on to. We’re fighting, we’re protesting, and we don’t really know who’s pulling the strings. There is doubt, distrust and wariness. TV and social media bombard us with fake news, and even a president offers ‘alternative facts’. Companies are no longer prepared to tolerate it, and are stepping up to the mark where society fails to, citizens are taking to the streets and going into battle with governments who have lost their respect. We all increasingly resemble warriors in our own way in our shared battle for equality, transparency, humanity and a sense of community.

Sanseveria
Sanseveria
Sanseveria
Sanseveria

Schilderij 1: Grant Wood - Woman with plants Schilderij 2: Henri Rousseau (1909) ‘The Equatorial Jungle’ by the courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Anonymous philanthropist

If there was a prize for the most tolerant plant - an undervalued characteristic in our own society - Sanseveria would win it by a mile. It can survive in even the darkest corner, needs no sunlight and is not difficult about water. It can be ignored for weeks, and will still stun with its architectural shapes. Sanseveria also emits oxygen at night. Research by NASA (!) even shows that the plant purifies the air in the home and counters harmful substances such as formaldehyde (often a source of allergies) and benzene. Good air quality ensures regular respiration and a good immune system.

Where are we heading?

This zeitgeist is leading to a new idiom in art, to more sharp, aggressive shapes in interiors and fashion. Sanseveria is part of that trend. Dark green is important in the moody colour scheme, and black is making another comeback. According to trend forecaster Aafje Nijman a massive ‘punk rebooted’ movement is on its way featuring even more contrasts, powerful shapes and harsh contradictions. This can be seen in the designs on the catwalk from - amongst other things - Versace’s sturdy black motorcycle boots with studs and buckles that were spotted this summer on the catwalk. And judging by the sturdy leather corsets from Balmain for autumn/winter 2017/2018 and the rugged sharp lines of Saint Laurent’s most recent collection this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are no longer opting for luxury, but are fighting enthusiastically and fearlessly for freedom and equality. It’s no surprise that camouflage is also reappearing in the fashion world right now. For instance, take a look at the autumn/winter collection from Vêtements, the new Parisian fashion brand which has been the subject of enormous attention. According to trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort the camouflage look has nothing to do with the threat of terror in society or a link to war, but is all about consumers’ collective longing for nature. Sanseveria with its camouflage patterns is setting the trend. The established view of aesthetics is thereby being turned upside down. Everything can be wilder. More mad. Not instantly readable. It also applies to products from nature: large leaves with clear, powerful shapes will dominate, such as palms, banana trees and our beloved, indestructible Sanseveria. We are opting for jagged plant shapes with unconventional styling and rugged details. Forgotten plants with a rich history and a link to folklore are being resurrected and restored to the pedestal from which they were deposed.

Sanseveria
Sanseveria

“YOU CAN ENJOY A LONG LIFE, PROSPERITY, INTELLIGENCE, BEAUTY, HEALTH AND STRENGTH AS LONG AS YOU LOOK AFTER SANSEVERIA PROPERLY.”

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

Sanseveria rules again. Sanseveria was a highly valued houseplant in China centuries ago, because they believed that the Eight Gods gave their eight virtues to those who cultivated it. Hence you could enjoy a long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, health and strength as long as you looked after the plant properly. They were often placed close to the entrance to the house so that the eight virtues had a clear path. Sanseverias were really cherished until the Chinese good luck bamboo arrived, and pushed Sanseveria off its throne for a long time. Nowadays this powerful presence is back on the scene.

Nature’s protest song

Because flowers and plants can stand out, go wild and exaggerate again. They simply don’t want to be taken seriously anymore. Whereas people are the opposite - they went to be taken more seriously. Both have a growing need to come together in a new way, to overthrow the established beliefs and make unexpected choices - to do things that aren’t right! There’s a desire for rugged materials, strong colours and shapes, edgy, not clean, with marks everywhere. As a protest. Anyone who has had enough of Trump and Putin’s masculine dominance but does not just want to opt for the feminine always has the option of using Sanseveria androgynously. Turn it upside down to create a surprising hanging plant (there are even special designer pots available for this). That’s an instant blow against the established order. Because everything we do seems to be big cry to be heard. Nature is joining in the protests in its own way by turning everything upside down as a result of global warming. It cannot be ignored or stopped. Nature too is claiming the right to be heard. The sharp, spiky shape of Sanseveria - displayed on many windowsills - reminds us of that_______.

Anonymous philanthropist

If there was a prize for the most tolerant plant - an undervalued characteristic in our own society - Sanseveria would win it by a mile. It can survive in even the darkest corner, needs no sunlight and is not difficult about water. It can be ignored for weeks, and will still stun with its architectural shapes. Sanseveria also emits oxygen at night. Research by NASA (!) even shows that the plant purifies the air in the home and counters harmful substances such as formaldehyde (often a source of allergies) and benzene. Good air quality ensures regular respiration and a good immune system.

Text
Rosanne Loffeld