Recycled Candy Kitsch


Resident style guru and trend-spotter Susan Muncey looks at the garish world of candy kitsch…

Candy kitsch is a trend that won’t go away. From the 1960s to the ‘80s, American toys like Barbie, My Little Pony and Care Bears transformed the colour palette of the young wardrobe. During the 1990s, when many international brands opened their first branches in Japan, Harajuku-style fashions were adopted by Europeans, and designers like Servane Gaxotte started making jewellery from recycled toys in the form of miniature teddies and dolls.

Taking its cue from art and design (such as the Campana brothers’ teddy bear chair), today’s candy kitsch look is very much inspired by Fairy Kei fashions from Japan and other parts of Asia, some of them imported directly, others created by local designer-makers. From Lady Gaga’s Hello Kitty dress and doll-like makeovers to Katy Perry’s fairytale princess gowns, popular youth culture has embraced and embellished this trend.

Textile designer, Dale Hume, was inspired by Japanese Street style to create a “fun textiles collection that would appeal to young women.” She sourced materials from her childhood toy box, charity shops and car boot sales to use for her degree collection in 2012.



Since UK based Lush Cosmetics launched their handmade fruit and flower scented bath and beauty range in a rainbow of pastel shades in the 1990s, bath and spa products have been taken to a new level in their bid to tempt hungry customers.




Pastel shades of lemon, pale plum pink, powder blue, peppermint and frosted cream feature in textiles and product design. Accessories are inspired by childhood memories of play, sugarcoated cakes and confectionery.





In an age when children’s entertainment and eating out are major economic considerations, it’s no surprise that colours, textures and aromas are designed to mimic their edible counterparts and draw upon the nostalgia of childhood to tempt adults to spend.

Candy-stripe-by-Rebecca-Lefevre (1)


Candy striped fabrics have progressed beyond tea-towels or deckchairs, and are now popular as upholstery textiles in interior design. Colours will increasingly take on a more tribal flavour. Meantime, expect to see plenty more vintage style dolls on clothes, bags and jewellery. But might we have overdone the cake? According to the Daily Mail, too much cake can make you hairy, so best not be too greedy.



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About Author Profile: Susan Muncey

Trend consultant Susan Muncey, is Editor of Visuology Magazine. In 2008, she founded online curiosity shop, She writes on style and trends for several blogs, including, and The Dabbler. She previously owned cult West London boutique, Fashion Gallery, one of the first concept stores in the world. Susan graduated in geography from Cambridge University and is also an Associate Member of the CFA Institute. She lives in London with her husband.

3 thoughts on “Recycled Candy Kitsch

    February 26, 2015 at 11:48

    I like the spiky sweetie shoes, they are pretty fearsome, although not sure they would suit me…

    Plenty of use of \\\’candy\\\’ colours around at the moment with the recent trend for \\\’flat design\\\’ online – the colour palette used for flat design has quite a retro \\\’candy\\\’ spectrum I think

  2. February 26, 2015 at 19:23

    I’m not sure those shoes would fit you, Worm, but you could have some custom made – perhaps a men’s version with a lower heel?

    February 27, 2015 at 00:29

    I think that your next post should define visuology for us.

    When I read about fashion, I have the impression that I am reading a foreign language that employs English words and (mostly) grammar. To be sure, I had that impression when I read computer jargon before I worked with computers, but now I can say “initialize” seriously, and grow irritated with someone who means “normalize” but won’t use the word. In any case, this doesn’t matter–my wife manages my wardrobe, and I and the world are better for that.

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