Top trends! Thinking outside the box for 2013 - Features - Fashion - The Independent

Top trends! Thinking outside the box for 2013

Sporting the up-and-coming colour for next year, our trends guru, Matthew Bell, tells you what’s really hot and happening

Big buttons

At last! It's OK to have big buttons on your mobile phone. Once, big buttons were the tech equivalent of a Mini Metro or blue rinse. They suggested you might refer to "the interweb" without irony. Now, thanks to the rise of the touchscreen, buttons on phones are getting bigger, as the screens grow in size. Confusingly, while mobiles are getting bigger, tablet computers are getting smaller. Do keep up.

3D printing

Incredible as it may seem, you can now print whole objects. Like a house, or a car, or a husband. At the moment it's mainly plastic items, which the "printer" builds up, layer upon layer, but technology experts are excited. "While initially they'll benefit designers more than anyone," says Rhodri Marsden, "the implications for consumers, manufacturing industry, copyright holders and lawmakers are going to be profound."

Small beer

You can thank Gordon Brown for this: 10 years ago, he gave tax breaks to breweries below a certain size. Dozens of tiddlers have sprung up, and craft beer is fashionable. Now there are as many breweries in Britain as there were 70 years ago. "Craft beers are brewed to have more flavour and character," explains Andy Lloyd, a buyer for Majestic. "They have increased complexity and structure, making a drink to savour."

Wrist charger

What is the obvious solution to your phone's battery running out? A wristband charger, of course! OK, maybe not so obvious, but an ingenious way of making sure your phone never dies. Simply slip on this horrible black band, made of synthetic materials and packed full of powerful batteries, and you'll never have socket anxiety again. Perfect for long journeys, the Universal Gadget Wrist Charger is also suitable for gamers.

Deep fried everything

Well, chicken, to be precise, but the rest will follow. This year, junk food went upmarket, led by the reinvention of the burger. Now, John Whaite, winner of the The Great British Bake Off, predicts the deep fat fryer will make a comeback. "They're so handy for doughnuts, churros, yum yums, samosas and spring rolls," he says. Handy for an early heart attack too...

African prints

Say goodbye to boring magnolia: the bright and busy patterns of western Africa are coming into our homes. According to Kate Burt, who writes about interiors at yourhomeislovely.com: "African patterns are a niche trend that is going to become more mainstream." She says 2013 will be all about bright and bold colours. Sunglasses at the ready!

Budget cars

It may be made of Kit Kat wrappers, but if you get change from £6,000, who cares? The Dacia Sandero launches in Britain next month, and will be the cheapest car on the market. Worldwide sales of the Romanian marque have boomed since it was bought by Renault, with Dacias now accounting for 10 per cent of all that country's exports. A few things to know: it's pronounced Dach-ee-ya; a radio costs extra; and the £5,995 model is available only in white.

Wear and share

Capture every moment of your life, and upload it on to the internet! The Looxcie video camera is a small and sleek video camera that you can wear on your ear, or snap on to your car, or bike, and upload the results via Bluetooth into the ether. Looxcie's first headcameras were too big, but this second generation is smaller and more discreet. Priced at £140, it's ideal for amateur Big Brother inmates and not-so-undercover reporters.

Yellow clothes

A controversial one, this. The big new colour on planet fashion is yellow. The brighter the better – think sunflowers, buttercups, vats of custard. Quite why is unclear, as yellow is not the easiest colour to wear: it has a nasty habit of suddenly looking awful. Think Jimmy Savile's hair, Pudsey the bear, mustard stains. Still, it has the merit of being cheerful, which can't be said of many fashion folk.

Pressure cooking

No, not as in soufflé to a deadline. This is about making efficient use of heat, by, like, using a saucepan with the lid on. Popular in the 1970s, pressure cookers fell out of fashion. A few years ago, chef Catherine Phipps was amazed when her sister-in-law knocked up a "delicious meal of black beans with sausages" in half an hour, and now she's published The Pressure Cooker Cookbook. Dishes that once required hours of stirring now take a matter of minutes. As Shirley Conran didn't say: life's too short to roast a mushroom.

Architectural platform shoes

Big heels are back. Fashion shows in 2012 saw a spate of extravagantly styled and gravity-defying heels, and these towering Babels are expected to flourish into 2013. Christian Louboutin has used an Eiffel Tower for the heel. Dutch designer Leanie Van der Vyver forces the wearer to tip forward and has shin supports. Expect mayhem on the high street.

Vertical gardening

Gardens were once about cucumber-striped lawns stretching into the distance. Now, the only way is up. Walls of tumbling foliage have been popping up at urban hotels; garden centres are to stock the wherewithal to stack your azaleas at home. Like those shoe holders that hang in the wardrobe. This trend is particularly convenient for those with small gardens, but could look a bit odd in the country. Could make mowing the lawn tricky.

Sister acts

The Eighties will be big in 2013, not least in music. So expect big things from Haim, three sisters from Los Angeles who rock an indie Belinda Carlisle sound. They supported Florence and the Machine this month in Dublin, and have been longlisted for the BBC's Sound of 2013. Also tipped are Savages, an all-woman post-punk rock band from London, and Palma Violets, who aren't women, but are a bit like the Libertines.

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