Trend Party: Octopus

My friend Jennifer's favourite animal/icon is the octopus. I'm a fan as well, though not quite to her level. Though I do have a very large indigo print of a botanical illustration of an Octopus in my livingroom:

Sorry about the terrible shot. It's very bright in here today and getting one without glare proved difficult!

Since I purchased this octopus print about 2 years ago I've watched the animal-of-the-moment change a few times, though I suppose all could still be considered very popular. When I say animal-of-the-moment I'm referring to trends in product design.

The owl is probably at the end of the life cycle, as are deer and birds to some degree. I've noticed (and noted) that wiener dogs are a hugely popular motif right now, and I have to also mention octopi! They've been picking up steam for the last 3 years. As an icon they started out appearing more and more in coastal products, from companies who specialize in creating products that work with coastal home decor. At the same time they gained popularity in fashion circles, especially in jewellery. However in the last six months is when the wiggly-legged fellows have started to really show up on everything.

Octopus as a motif comes along with a whole under-the-water trend. Whales, starfish, jellyfish, octopi, they are all suddenly cute and desirable. Perhaps it the pendulum of trends that has driven our consumer fascination - if we were  last looking to the woodland sky in the form of birds and owls, then perhaps it makes a sort of sense that we now look to the depths of the ocean for our inspiration.

Another way to look at the trend is to relate it back to Steampunk, which is still...(groan) gaining steam in the mainstream. The best way I can explain the connection, knowing little about Steampunk literature, is to correlate the view of Octopuses as intelligent, yet dangerous creatures in science fiction writing. The Victorian fascination with creatures of the sea aligns nicely with the Steampunk fascination with the Victorian era, and the sort-of surreal variations on Victorian imagery the Steampunk movement seems enamoured

(surreal Steampunk Victorian era inspired pill box via Etsy)

Here are some more examples of the trend.

Mugs/Cups by Feel More Human

Dish scrubbies by Boston Warehouse (ok I admit I have the white one too, and it works really  well)

Letterpress card by Hello Lucky (hmm, oddly like my wall print!)

Octopus print apron by Anthropologie

A very dignified candle holder from Vagabond House Pewter

Pillow by Thomas Paul via Nautical Luxuries

Octopus-inspired chandelier by Autoban via Remodelista

Wow, how awesome is the Octopus track jacket? It's only $40 us. Hmm. A gift idea! From Etsy.

Check out these earrings! This is from a whole Etsy shop dedicated to selling jewellery molded from sushi-grade octopi: OctopusME.

See if you can spot Octopus jewellery in this deliciously surreal promo video for Bjorg Jewellery

More reading:
A blog called "Everything Octopus"
A list of the best of Steampunk literature

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