‘biophilia’ style: nature as self-expression, solace | Lifestyle

From tattoos to clothing to furniture, more and more people are adorning their bodies and homes with nature themes. Designers and artists who see this “biophilia” trend think it’s a response to both the pandemic and anxiety about destroying the environment.

“Our collective longing for nature and the comfort it provides, especially during the pandemic, has led to a fixation on all things earthly. It’s popping up in all kinds of design spaces,” says Veronique Hyland, fashion features director for Elle magazine and author of an upcoming collection of essays, “Dress Code” (HarperCollins, March 2022).

The trend “goes hand in hand with our growing awareness of sustainability,” he says.

“Biophilia” is a term popularized in the 1980s by biologist Edward O. Wilson to describe humans’ connection to the rest of the natural world.

Experiencing the outdoors has become something of a luxury, Hyland suggests, with fewer people having access to green spaces or the free time to enjoy them. So people take nature with them, whether it’s a bracelet made from beach glass, a leather jacket made from mushroom fiber, or a tattoo of dad’s favorite flower.

“I’ve definitely seen an increase in people wanting nature-themed tattoos,” says Stephanie Cecchini, owner of Lady Luck Studio in Goshen, New York. “I think it’s because people think more about their tattoo and use the representation of nature to reflect their own lives. There are many more customers who are choosing to get custom tattoos instead of just choosing flash art off the walls.”

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