April 19, 2013 § 2 Comments
April 18, 2013
By now you may have heard that Brooks Brothers has put together a Great Gatsby inspired collection of suits just in time for the movie release. I am especially excited about these two occasions as I discuss The Great Gatsby and the Gatsby look in my presentations.
There is a “Gatsby look” that has strong influence in both fashion and home. Typical deco is black, gold, silver and white as seen in Pantone The 20th Century in Color/1920s. Silver and Jet Black form the sleek contrast essential to the Art Deco aesthetic.
I am especially excited about those two influences as I discuss the “Gatsby look” in my trend presentations as it has historically had a strong influence on both fashion and home. A typical palette of the 20s, as depicted in my book, Pantone: The 20th Century in Color would have consisted of Silver and Jet Black forming the sleek contrast essential to the Art Deco aesthetic of the era. In addition, colors such as Carnelian, Champagne Beige and Turtledove were important accents, while Lavender Violet “beckons with a cool allure”.
Art Deco got its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925 and attended by exhibitors from twenty countries and sixteen million viewers. The modern language of luxury promoted by the fair began, for the most part, in the ateliers of the designers and craftsmen of France.
The 1930s saw the rise of Deco Architecture. Art Deco cathedrals of commerce and entertainment radiated glamour into the economic gloom of the 1930s.
The Deco palette of the 1930s fulfilled its mission as an antidote to the Great Depression with luscious tones. The silver of 1920s Deco remains, but the obvious luxury of gold becomes more important as precious metals are layered against smooth chocolate, misty jade and mauve.
The Art Deco movement has had such influence aesthetically from color palettes to design elements. Deco is certain to have another moment of glory even if it is 90 years later. The newest approach to Deco, as shown in the Pantone View Home forecast for 2013 that we create every year, is a palette of far more color, consisting of Silver and Champagne Beige, Monaco Blue, Jasper (a deep bluish green), Rio Red, Tap Shoe black (an homage to the flappers), Chinchilla and Moon Mist (a dreamy gray).
Are you inspired by Art Deco? What are some of your favorite Deco things or places?
April 3, 2013 § Leave a Comment
April 3, 2013
We know that most people who love learning about color are particularly fascinated by the history and background of various hues. Let’s have a quick lesson on blue and culture from my book Colors For Your Every Mood.
It was not until 4500 B.C. in Mesopotamia that blue emerged as a decorative hue. Brilliant blue threads were used in ancient Peruvian embroideries circa 800 B.C. While thousands of miles away, blue was used in linen fabrics found in the caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Indigo replaced woad in importance as a dye in the Middle Ages because it proved to be more hardy and reliable. It also made blue a more available color. Marco Polo was fascinated by the production of indigo in India where it was produced in great quantities and its quality desired. The color was extracted by plucking out a species of the herb by the roots, putting it into tubs of water and other ingredients and leaving it to rot. The reality of this glamorous color, admired by all the world, was some very labor and animal-intensive effort. The tubs of water containing the dye were also filled with a mixture of fruits, wood ash, or putrefied urine (camel urine was specially effective!) The dye-bath was actually a pale yellow, but oxidation eventually turned the textiles to blue.
Now take a look at what a new discovery has revealed about the Maya and their secret recipe for blue.
March 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
March 25, 2013
As we all know, color is a fundamental element in makeup choice, specifically the undertone of the makeup. To better understand undertone it is important to note that there are essentially three general classifications: warm, cool or neutral. Undertones denote an underlying color within any given hue.
With my Color Clock system every Colortime® palette has warm, cool and neutral colors, even though AM (Sunrise) tones are predominantly cool, PM (Sunset) tones predominantly warm, and Midday (Sunlight) is a balance of both.
The other day I read an article featuring Bobbi Brown on Ellemagazine.com where she talks about her new Lilac Rose Collection. Brown states that “The Lilac Rose Collection isn’t just about purple. It features dusty pinks and heather grays, which are more natural shades of purple and are perfect for creating a feminine smoky eye. Plus, these shades have blue undertones, so they look flattering on all skin tones.”
Brown believes that a blue base of undertone is flattering to all skin types. This is a very interesting concept when there are actually three different undertones possible. But makeup, as we all know, is about experimentation and in the end, you really need to try before you buy to be certain that it’s going to work for you. And there are ways to “crossover” into any of the three classifications for special effects, which are discussed in my book, More Alive With Color.
My dear friend and colleague Judith August wrote a book called Gotcha Covered! The Compact Guide to Camouflage Makeup where she shares her makeup tips and techniques for using makeup to cover or hide areas that you may not want to be seen. In her book she has a whole chapter called Neutralizers and How They Work where she too sings the praises of Lavender as well as peachy orange and pink.
Judith suggests using lavender liquid foundation as a “neutralizer to even out discoloration. Lavender acts like a neutralizer blending the different areas and creating an even palette.” Pink is Judith’s secret weapon. She believes that “the surprising effect of the color pink is its ability to help us look 10 years younger.”
What do you think? Have you found that lavender is flattering on your skintone? Do you have the perfect shade of pink? What are some of your secret makeup weapons?
My advise is to let your Colortime® palette guide you to the best cosmetic colors for you. Click here to find out more about the Color Clock and Colortime®.
February 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
February 28, 2013
As a color/design consultant, forecaster and author, I always look to the art world for inspiration and direction, especially shows and exhibits that are garnering much attention in the art world. So I read with great interest on artdaily.com about one show that changed it all.
“The International Exhibition of Modern Art — which came to be known, simply, as the Armory Show — marked the dawn of Modernism in America. It was the first time the phrase “avant-garde” was used to describe painting and sculpture.
On the evening of the show’s opening, 4,000 guests milled around the makeshift galleries in the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue.
Two-thirds of the paintings on view were by American artists. But it was the Europeans — Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp — that caused a sensation.”
And what a sensation indeed! It was 100 years ago that art in the United States was forever changed. It was only one year later that Cubism would continue to evolve the world of art.
The serious, demanding intellectualism of the Cubist proposition was too important to be rendered in the decorative colors of the Fauves. Picasso and Georges Braque delivered their message in somber tones, along with the bits of wrapping paper, wallpaper, newspaper, and even sand, dirt, and house paint. Eventually, later Cubists like Robert Delaunay and Juan Gris introduced more vivid colors in a desire to capture the vibrant urban reality of pre-WWI Paris.
Nude Descending a Staircase (No.2) was the star of the Armory show and is a star in the book Pantone The 20th Century in Color. Take a minute to listen or read about the Armory Show from 1913. If that doesn’t quench your thirst you can click the link below to explore the website that the Smithsonian has put up that is a detailed timeline of archival material from that very show.
February 14, 2013 § 1 Comment
February 14, 2013
Have you heard of the Stroop Effect?
Wikipedia states that “The Stroop effect is a demonstration of interference in the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., “blue,” “green,” or “red”) is printed in a color not denoted by the name (e.g., the word “red” printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color.”
I mention the Stroop Effect in reference to the blue rose, Applause, because it actually looks purple.
When we think of blue our minds conjure images of the sky and the sea. Blue is the color of constancy and truth. Yet, as we gaze upon the “blue rose” we see lavender or purple.
Blue (or any other color, for that matter) can also hold some deeply rooted cultural associations. For example, in some societies, blue is viewed as a protective color. In the Middle East front doors are painted blue to keep the evil sprits from entering the house while many Native Americans paint the front doors of their dwellings blue for the same reason.
How does this effect our psyche?
When we see the blue rose our minds are registering purple. Purple is the combination of the excitement of red and the tranquility of blue, the marriage of two diametrically opposed emotions.
A critical balancing act always exists. Which emotion takes the lead?
What is your visceral reaction to this blue rose? Are you feeling conflicted by its name and color?
Please enjoy a poem and a song about blue roses.
Roses red and roses white
Plucked I for my love’s delight.
She would none of all my posies–
Bade me gather her blue roses.
Half the world I wandered through,
Seeking where such flowers grew.
Half the world unto my quest
Answered me with laugh and jest.
Home I came at wintertide,
But my silly love had died
Seeking with her latest breath
Roses from the arms of Death.
It may be beyond the grave
She shall find what she would have.
Mine was but an idle quest–
Roses white and red are best!
February 5, 2013 § 6 Comments
February 5, 2013
When it comes to decorating your home one of the quickest ways to make a change is with paint. Whether you are painting the walls, furniture or the ceiling, paint can give you that lift without having to do a full scale renovation.
But how can you be certain that the color chip will look the same when it is applied to the wall?
For novice painters (as well as veterans) it is always amazing to see a pastel such as a light Candy Pink, turn into Bubblegum on the walls. A small sample will rarely be seen as the same color when viewed on a much larger scale, as the color becomes more intense when you are literally surrounded by it. In addition, there are other considerations, such as the color of the surrounding space, particularly ceiling and floor. Most importantly, it is the quality and quantity of light in the space that will make the difference.
It is always best to start with a simple chip that is more subdued than the color you envision in the space. If you are working with a professional painter, colorist, or decorator, or are brave enough to experiment on your own, you can also try modifying the base color with a dollop of its complementary color. You can also try “dirtying” the color a bit (not a bad thing in painter’s parlance) by adding a pinch of brownish umber shade sold in tubes and bought in a paint or hardware store. Follow the directions on the label. If you prefer a grayer shade, you can always add a bit of black, but experiment first.
Here are some additional guidelines before spackling and tackling the walls:
Test the color in the actual setting.
Test your color over a white background. This can be done directly on the wall or on a large poster board or masonite measuring at least five feet by five feet.
Paint two coats of color over the white.
Move the board around to different areas of the room so that you can see it at every angle.
Look at the test at different times of the day to see how the color might change in natural light and artificial light.
If the effects are pleasing, you are ready to roll.
Do you have a painting story or painting horror story? What successes or failures have you encountered when taking on a painting project? Did you “Do It Yourself” or hire a professional?
January 22, 2013 § 2 Comments
January 22, 2013
In business, you want to wear colors that make you feel confident, and confidence-building colors are those that make you look and feel your best. For that reason, I recommend wearing your Signature Colors-those that repeat, contrast, and/or enhance your personal coloring. In order to do that you must understand your personal Colortime.
Take a look at this Estee Lauder ad with its three wonderful examples of Colortime colorings, Sunset, Sunlight and Sunrise.
Based on these examples the Sunset’s Signature Colors (woman on the left) would be golden tawny tones like Camel or Cognac. A coral pink necklace will brighten your skin and add a great accent.
A sand-colored suit and a blue-green shirt to show off your eyes are Signature Colors for the Sunlight’s (woman in the middle). Add a touch of dusty rose to complement the skin and capitalize on your own coloring.
If you are a Sunrise Colortime your best Signature Colors are a Frost Gray suit with a Bonnie Blue shirt.
Experts tell us about the four-minute time barrier, a period during which initial human contact is established. If the initial reaction is negative, the eye and the mind start to wander elsewhere.
You never have another chance to make a first impression.
This information can be found in my book More Alive With Color.
Click the link below to see how the Wall Street Journal suggests you dress for success.