Trending trends for 2014

2014-01-01 06:00

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From tech to fashion and décor to travel, we’ve got the scoop on the hottest new ideas coming your way this year.


Electric sports cars: For most of us an electric car calls to mind a Noddy car with good intentions but zero woema.

That perception is clearly outdated. In 2013 we saw Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Nissan and even DeLorean unveil clean, green speed demons.

We’ve also seen – and will continue to see – the rise of a new segment of exclusively electric sports car manufacturers such as Tesla, Fisker, Rimac and Lighting.

The Mercedes-Benz Electric SLS has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h and accelerates from 0-100 in 3.9 seconds. Let’s see Noddy do that.

Mercedes-Benz Electric SLS

Autonomous driving: So advanced are the safety features in some high-end sedans that self-driving cars are an imminent reality – from a technological point of view.

This year a specially equipped autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Class drove a team of German engineers some 100km from Mannheim to Pforzheim, manoeuvering through pedestrians, traffic lights, roundabouts and other obstacles on urban and rural routes.

Now the pertinent question is: ‘Should we do it?’ as we delve into an ethical hornet’s nest.

– Dylan Culhane, editor of Mercedes-Benz Magazine


• 2014 is all about Cape Town, with the Mother City staking its claim as World Design Capital this year. There’s a real appetite for design innovation from Africa, and Cape Town is at the forefront of it.

The Pavillion Clock Tower is an iconic landmark at Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a lively and popular destination four tourists and locals alike.

Interactive tourism is on the rise: ‘Been there, learnt that, made the T-shirt myself’. It’s all about authentic experiences and personal development. Being the first to do or learn something new or unique – and telling your friends about it on social media – signals social status.

• The demand for multi-generational holidays – parents, grandparents and children travelling together – is growing. Establishments are catering for this: witness the rise of the family-friendly safari.

Adventure tourism pits travellers against nature – and themselves. Trail running is the fastest-growing sport in the world and in southern Africa trails in far-flung places such as the Wild Coast and Lesotho – are increasingly popular.

– Lin Murray, editor of High Life, British Airways’ inflight travel mag


Better battery power: Surely 2014 will be the year in which we can buy a phone that lasts a whole day.

Please? So far, phablets (tablet phones) such as the Galaxy Note have answered our prayers – to a point – and newcomers include Sony’s Xperia Ultra Z and the forthcoming Nokia 1520. Generally, the larger the device, the better the battery life.

Appcessories: These are simple gadgets that, when linked up to your smartphone, are powerful tools to help you measure, pay or control.

They include wearable fitness items such as a pedometer wristband (FitBit) or a Bluetooth heart rate belt, which feeds your beats per minute to apps such as Endomondo or RunKeeper.

We also like the iHealth blood pressure monitor. Expect more of these.

The rise of the reasonably priced smartphone: Nokia’s Lumia 520 has benchmarked a new category coming in 2014 – sub-R2K phones that are 95% as good but four times cheaper.

– Tech writer Neil Gardiner


Not keeping up with the Joneses: 2014 is going to remain tough on our pockets. With daily living expenses increasing, we need to prioritise what’s really important: long-term financial security or keeping up with the Joneses?

Saving for retirement: The 2013 Sanlam BENCHMARK survey reveals that 62 percent of employees cash in their retirement savings when they change jobs or get retrenched.

In 2014, the retirement industry will need to work with government to find more ways to ensure South Africans have a better chance of being financially independent when they retire.

– Karin Muller, head of Sanlam Growth Market Solutions


• Women

The Rebel: Take a hint of punk, add a little rock and mix in some grunge. At recent international shows, all the major designers showed off their most dishevelled looks, complete with tartan, leather, studs, chains and spikes.

The Tomboy: The trend is inspired by the legendary Coco Chanel who was the first to feminise typically masculine fabrics such as pinstripes, herringbone and houndstooth. Top tip: It’s all about the right attitude. Wear slouchy suit trousers or a herringbone blazer with nonchalance.

The Cozy Lady: The hourglass shape reigns this season with nipped-in waists, rounded shoulders and low necklines. Complete the look with a whimsical coat – think candy colours such as powder pink or baby blue as seen at Victoria Beckham, Prada and Dior.

• Men

The Explorer: Mountaineering, exploration and the great outdoors give direction to guys’ fashion this winter. Designer labels Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger lead the way with moss-green hunting jackets, shearling-lined duffel coats and quilted parkas. Complete the look with oversized boots and a mountain-ready backpack.

The Sophisticated: Sportsman There’s a huge focus on tailored active wear this season. Colour-blocking, techy fabrics and pop colour accents add an urban edge to classic pullovers and slim-line trousers. Stylish sneakers are essential, so grab a pair of retro runners in a bold colour.

The Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2014 collection at the London Menswear Fashion Week.

– Megan Perks, Ackermans Club Magazine fashion director


• As Brazil plays host to the Soccer World Cup this year, South American flavours will be celebrated. Alex Atala, chef patron at D.O.M in São Paulo, Brazil, is inspiring chefs around the world with Latin flavours from various chillies, Argentinian steak cooked on the parilla (open fire), ceviche (raw marinated fish) from Peru and Mexican dulce de leche (milk pudding).

• Haute chicken will be showcased as the not-so-humble bird.

• Mixologists are playing with solid cocktails – think gin and tonic as a marshmallow cube, sangria jelly or piña colada ice balls.

• The kitchen garden is still hot – and chefs and foodies will rediscover more forgotten and heirloom veggies.

• Savoury desserts will be big. Imagine chocolate and brinjal or coconut and tomato.

– Abigail Donnelly, Woolworths TASTE food editor


3D printing With this new technology now almost affordable and accessible, anything from ceramics to jewellery can be made.

African patterns Bold, simple geometric patterns inspired by Africa are everywhere – from kitchen countertops to upholstery.

Copper, gold and silver Metallics are seen on countertops and in lighting – especially single lights that dangle from the ceiling like large jewels.

Wood and leather Natural materials are making a comeback in this synthetic age. Look out for the new-generation easy chairs rather than couches.

The kitchen It’s the heart of the home and it’s where everyone likes to socialise. Make it cosy yet fresh with bright colours and lots of patterns.

–  Sumien Brink, editor of VISI


Reality series are still big, such as Survivor SA Champions with Mark Fish and Corné Krige as captains of their tribes, on M-Net from 19 January at 17:30; another season of Strictly Come Dancing on SABC3 and the 10th Idols season on M-Net and Mzansi Magic.

– Thinus Ferreira, TV critic

» Get your copy of iMag in City Press on Sundays

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