Ever wonder where stationery trends are born? Look no further than the pages of Vogue magazine…or the racks in any ready-to-wear department. These days, fashion = stationery, and stationery = fashion. Not only are some of the industry’s best-known fashionistas—including Kate Spade, Vera Wang and Martha Stewart—designing major paper collections, but stationery is also reflecting the major design, color and pattern trends set by famous fashion/home designers around the globe. Today’s customers are all about lifestyle, and that means having their stationery choices echo their tastes, whether it’s in fashion, home decor, or accessories.

So, let’s see what’s on the Paper Runway this season:

A Taste for Lace: Thanks to Kate Middleton’s beautiful wedding gown worn in 2011’s “Wedding of the Century,” classic lace has become modern chic—shown not only in virginal white, but also in a kaleidoscope of colors. This everything-old-is-new-again pattern is showcased throughout the stationery market, but never more so than in wedding and bridal shower invitations, such as new lace looks from industry mavens Crane (www.crane.com) and Anna Griffin (www.annagriffin.com), done in shades from lovely lavender to shimmering silver, from glistening gold, to oh-so-dramatic black.

Gray is the New Chocolate: Several seasons ago, chocolate brown was all the rage in fashion, giftware, bridal and home decor, especially when paired with tints of pink or aqua. But move over brown—your place has now been taken by a variety of subtle, sophisticated grays, ranging from silvery shades to perfect pewter, to warmer, darker dove gray. Of course, the palette has been refreshed to catch the eye of today’s customer, so look for dynamic pairings like metallic gray and sunshine or goldenrod yellow, such as showcased in The Gift Wrap Company’s (www.giftwrapcompany.com) fresh-picked Daisy gift wrap and packaging and Vera Wang’s striking Charcoal Grey & Saffron Express Jewel Bachelorette Party invitation done for William Arthur (www.williamarthur.com).

The Color’s So Bright, I Have to Wear Shades: There may have been a few clouds in the economic sky, but on the ground, things have never been brighter! A rainbow of rich, robust, vibrant hues have exploded in the market, lending a cheery radiance to both fashion and fashionable paper products. Look for color-splashed patterns, energetic solids, and lively neons everywhere, including a dazzling eco-friendly recycled paper yellow notebook from Ecojot, (www.ecojot.com) as well as a Vibrant Bloom square invitation by Kramer Drive (www.kramerdrive.com) which showcases “Tangerine Tango,” Pantone’s color of the year.

It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod World: Chevrons and paisleys, color-blocking and ikat, stripes and polka dots, a menagerie of animal prints and a flock of feathers, wild geometrics and cheerful daisies—look around you, everywhere it’s the 1960s! Reinterpreted for the new millennium, these retro-inspired designs bring back memories of joyful youth for baby boomers, and look modern and playful to Gen X and Gen Y customers. Splashed across social stationery, journals, home office, photo albums, laptop accessories, even wedding invitations, these sunny, optimistic patterns are fresh, fun and fashionable—this trend is evolving every season and shows no sign of stopping. Check out Waste Not Paper’s (www.wastenotpaper.com) Rajasthani Paisley and Pop Pool eco-friendly notes, The Inviting Company’s (www.invitingco.com) multicolored ikat-patterned invitation, and Jonathan Adler’s explosion of 60’s-inspired note cubes and photo albums, available from LifeGuard Press (www.lifeguardpress.com).

Debra Gold, president of Gold & Company (www.goldsco.com), is a veteran strategic marketing/brand communications expert serving the stationery, gift, and home industries. Her clients have included over 100 well-known stationery and home companies such as Up with Paper and Mrs. Grossman’s Paper Company, as well as leading trade show management companies AmericasMart, George Little Management, and The California Gift Show among others.