The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Right at Home: NY Gift Fair serves up a mix of old and new, vintage and high-tech

  • Print

On this side of the aisle, weathered barn boards and a chipped farmhouse table are laden with patchwork toys, quilts and wooden pull toys. On the other, the latest innovation in holographic technology turns a kid's iPad case into a mini surfing movie.

That's the nature of the massive, biannual New York Gift Fair, a compendium of what's new that blends the slick and chic with the homey and charming.

It's a working fair, meaning that store owners are there to buy. If you want to know what the trends are, watch where the crowds gather to place orders.

A sampling of what was popular:

NEW VINTAGE

This look holds strong going into Holiday 2012 and beyond: burlap and kraft paper gift wrap, enamelware storage containers, forged iron tabletop items and bushel baskets full of old-fashioned textile prints turned several booths into ersatz general stores.

Dutch company Pip Studio had a busy booth filled with country floral porcelain, bags and paper goods in girly hues like rose, powder blue and pink. Merel Boers' china and napery collection featured her signature girly, curliqued artwork, given a contemporary edginess in black and white. At Wu and Wu, illustrator Fiona Hewitt's eye-catching Asian kitsch collection of fawns, wide-eyed children and bluebirds graced a collection of craft kits, cookie tins and little purses.

FOLK ART

Merben's booth had an interesting array of mohair and felt throws, pillows and accessories, embellished with crocheted flowers, ribbons and fringe in beautiful vegetable colours and made by Nepalese women.

Los Angeles-based Annabel Inganni's Wolfum studio offered napkins, pillows, and a collection of Baltic birch ornaments, bookends and wall hooks hand-printed with bold Southwestern and ikat motifs.

Natural Life, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based maker of girl-centric, bohemian-style accessories and home goods, featured an artful collection of painted kitchen tools, ceramics, hemp bags and trinket trays. Much of it was emblazoned with the company mantra, "think happy, be happy," or similar upbeat phrases.

Animal-themed decor was big. KarmaKiss had cool ambient lamps in the shape of owls, cats and birds. Mercantile Home's booth was abuzz with people checking out ceramic squirrels, raccoons and mice clad in bright paint-box hues like orange, blue, chartreuse and fire-engine red.

TECH ACCESSORIES AND TOYS

Whimsical, colorful cell-phone cases and designer headphones peppered many of the giftware and toy booths. There were neon silicone sleeves, some with goofy bug antennae, and some cool holographic 3-D ones with jungle animals or beachy waves.

Native Union showed sleek, slim-profile handsets for mobile phones, as well as some fun new patterns and colours in retro-style handsets.

Popar Toys demonstrated Augmented Reality technology that lets kids webcam themselves into 3-D adventure books to become astronauts, construction workers or scientists.

Protocol demoed some remote-control helicopters and vehicles aimed at a young adult market.

EXTRA CREDIT

Gently glazed or matte-finished pottery was a strong element. Artist Alexandra Fallon, of Brielle, N.J., had tiny pinched-rim cups at Source and Tradition. The Dutch-based Label Aleph offered pretty pastel-hued clay vessels. The soft, ice cream colours added to the sweetness of these pieces, and they stood out from the bolder brassier graphic wares at booths like Jonathan Adler's and French Bull.

Letterpress cards and wrap dominated the stationery marketplace, with homespun designs rendered in eco-friendly soy ink on recycled papers.

___

Sourcebook:

www.mercantilehome.com

www.nativeunion.com

www.naturallife.com

www.karmakiss.net

www.pipstudio.com

www.wuandwu.com

www.popartoys.com

www.labelaleph.com

www.wolfum.com

www.missblackbirdy.com

www.protocolny.com

www.sourceandtradition.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Publicity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Down the Hatch- A pelican swallows a fresh fish that it caught on the Red River near Lockport, Manitoba. Wednesday morning- May 01, 2013   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Have you fallen victim to misleading cable, Internet or cellphone promotions?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google