OSMOSIS the grey card of life



Spring-Summer 2008

To measure the strength of light a photographer is using a grey card to determine the value between dark and light. In the same way we need an instrument to measure our current mood and appreciation of society; are we indulging in serenity with light grey flooding in or are we burning bridges bringing the darker shades of ashes?

Are our greys pretty and picture perfect like the lustrous shining tones of pearls or urban and invisible like concrete poetry? Is your grey basic and boring or exotic and avant-garde? How grey are you? How grey are we?

Grey was going to be the shade of the 21st Century until mutual global aggression made us regress to black and white; the “you are with us or against us” rhetoric.

With a strong feeling of political, economic, ecological and humanistic failure, a growin need to go back to grey, to consensus, osmosis, blending and cross-fertilisation starts to invade the political arena, financial markets, social issues and our own families and households. A true need for consensus is felt. Or should I say an urge for consensus?


photo Philippe Munda



Therefore, I have been determined to make a colourcard only out of grey. To show howbeautiful the world can be between black and white, how rich in tone and how strong instatement. And how many variations of these greys exist, made by clouds and shadows andall other blended, fused and hybrid materials.

Grey is the symbolic colour of networking,sharing and open-ended enterprising. From fleece to oxford to colourwovens and two-tone patterns, textile is also looking for alliances: wool and silk, silk and cotton, cotton and lycra, lycra and acetate, acetate and nylon…


photo Philippe Munda

photo Paul Barbera

These grey silhouettes will move through life like shadows and clouds in a more anonymous way signalling the end of our fascination with the people press and reality TV. Modesty, anonymity and privacy are the new ideas for the time to come, co-ordinating, balancing, negotiating, exchanging, permuting and moderating are

the new terms which will be used to describe newer ways of democracy and a more contemporary form of business where growth will be defined not only by shareholders’ greed but by their ethical and ecological principles.



photo Pierluigi Macor

Live Wire.Machachi, 1998

With this tendency towards fused and muted hybrids, fabrics will be layered, textiles will be colourwoven and dye processes will provide lively surfaces, patterns are blurred and prints are sketches and dreams.

Never before have I felt such a need to express a trend as holistic and dominant.



Yet since “every cloud has a silver lining”, we will alternate bad and good news, male and female, urban and rural and therefore matte and shine. Coming to terms with reality.



As an afterthought, I designed several other accent colours to nourish our greys to flourish into gardens, parties, picnics, travels, safaris and rituals. They are discreet, washed and bleached to seamlessly blend into the main grey message; with only some acidic brights to highlight the urban grey environment and to bring a touch of folklore in neutral territory, just like flowers emerging like red-hot flames after a bushfire signalling hope and renewal.

Some people may think that these neutrals are ideal to dress in a light-hearted yet neutral way, whereas others will feel a sense of loss and even impending danger.

It may be clear that some of these trends forecast severe and natural disasters like draughts, floods, winds and quakes. We can only hope that we will be spared from the manmade one.

Li Edelkoort