Fashion Color Forecast From The Fifties: #TBT

June 24, 2015 § Leave a comment


June 25, 2015

Discovering or rediscovering history is something I truly enjoy. What can be more life-affirming than a trip down memory lane? It’s fun looking back at the signposts that are left of a life once lived, reflecting on the food, fashion, and music of eras gone by is something both the young and the old enjoy. How many times have you seen the Internet meme celebrating the wonders of the past? 

Today is wonderful but yesterday was something else, especially when it is tangible. There is nothing like feeling and smelling these relics from our past. I’ve heard it said that “the nose is the doorway to nostalgia,” especially if you read old books.

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I was flipping through one old book in particular when I realized I was completely transported, not just by the old-book scent, but also by the wonder and promise that this first-of-its-kind forecast held. The book that I am referring to is the venerable textile manufacturer Hockanum’s Coast-to-Coast Woolens fall 1955 fabric color trend forecast. You might be familiar with it if you have read Pantone: The 20th Century in Color, as it was featured in the chapter between Cosmetic Superstars and Fantasyland. 

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Below is the foreward from the Hockanum forecast:

“From coast to coast, America soars, sails, rides, treks, walks. America goes places. So does Hockanum.

Here, in a few pages, is a fast trip through Hockanum Coast-to-Coast Woolens for Fall ’55. Not all of the collection is here, of course – but there is enough to give you a quick look at our Fall color story, with proposed coordinates – and a lightning idea of some of our non-stop fabrics.

The new trend toward ensembles shows up clearly. One fabric links itself to another – and yet another. Colors stand alone with strength, or fall into costume groups, giving each other additional grace and impact.

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The fabrics have gone into all markets – coats, suits, dresses, sportswear, separates. There you will come upon them again – and we hope you will find the helpful signposts, pointing the way to a good, successful season.”

This forecast was a blast from the past, but as familiar and comforting as the fashions we loved on Mad Men.

David Letterman Had His Colors Done By ME!

May 21, 2015 § 2 Comments


I was talking with the ladies in my office about missing the final episode of the David Letterman Show.

Did any of you watch it?

I was fortunate enough to have gotten to be on the Letterman show many years ago. It was one of the most exciting yet unnerving experiences. I had to audition for nine people, including Lorne Michaels.

It was one of those days where everything that could have gone wrong did. My flight was late to arrive. It rained in biblical proportions and I was caught without my raincoat.

In spite of all of those obstacles, I managed to get the spot.

I am thrilled to say that I did David Letterman’s colors. He falls into the Sunlight Colortime® and he also seems to favor the Crossover colors.

gMAWC Fanguide-Sunlight gMAWCFanguideCrossovers

I am sad to say goodbye but forever grateful for the opportunity and experience to have gotten to be a part of history.

So long Dave.

Thank you for this wonderful write up, Lori E.

Color spotting, messages and meanings – Mercer Island Reporter.

Memphis Is More Than A Movement

May 21, 2015 § Leave a comment


May 21, 2015

Was the uber-influential 1980s design collective Memphis named after a Bob Dylan song, the capital of ancient Egypt, or the birthplace of Elvis Presley? The first answer is correct, but Memphis founder Ettore Sottsass would have loved the question: Memphis was a deliberate mash-up of high- and low-culture references, expensive and cheap materials, functionality and playfulness.

Sottsass was in his sixties when he gathered a bunch of European twenty-somethings to launch Memphis during the 1981 Milan Furniture Fair. Their provocative, zany offerings, including Sottsass’s Carlton Cabinet, attracted immediate media endorsement, and Memphis was star material right off the bat.

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It is wonderful to see this movement having another moment in 2015. The color palette may have slightly softened to speak to today’s color palette but the feeling, context and the design elements are enduring.

Please take a moment to click the link to see how the Memphis movement looks today.

The Macarons: Lamps Inspired by the Memphis Movement – Design Milk.

Optical Illusions Are Fun And Colorful On #TBT

April 23, 2015 § Leave a comment


April 23, 2015

 

Originally posted November 19, 2010

Optical Illusions

Vision Scientist Studies Color Contrast, Illusions
By Sonja Patterson

“Your eyes may be playing tricks on you. Without your even knowing it.”

 

“The whole world is an illusion,” says Arthur Shapiro, a vision science researcher and psychology professor.

“It’s easy to believe that when you look out into the world, you’re seeing what’s really there and not just a representation of what’s really there. The distinction between our perceptions and reality is an important one, and people should understand it,” he adds, “as much as they can.”

Read more HERE

Look at Dr. Shapiro’s illusions by clicking HERE

How A Color Becomes A Trend

April 22, 2015 § 1 Comment


April 22, 2015

“If you had any doubts that pop culture now defines a big chunk of the fashion world, not to mention the fashion you see and will potentially buy, this should put them to rest.”

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Follow the link for more.

How a Color Becomes a Trend: Introducing Minion Yellow – NYTimes.com.

Retreat Into A Place Of Quiet Blue Calm #TBT

April 2, 2015 § Leave a comment


April 2, 2015

Originally posted on February 1, 2010

As the spring is approaching we found it fitting and inspiring to share a story about gardening. If you are looking for inspiration for your summer garden why not start with the color blue? Keeyla Meadows was inspired by a specific blue (Majorelle blue) found in the personal garden of Jacques Majorelle.

As a true fan of the color blue I was thrilled to read about the use of blue as the focal point for which a wonderful garden is inspired. It might not seem that blue would be a good choice to build a garden around but as it is written in the Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color, blue seems like the perfect choice.

Here’s why…

The color blue is strongly associated with sky and water, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. In the presence of a blue environment, we feel calm. Humans are soothed and replenished when they view blue and there is some evidence that when blue enters our line of vision, the brain sends our chemical signals that work as a tranquilizer. Blue is an excellent choice for areas demanding mental concentration or for products and environments that invite concentration or relaxing, “meditative” moods.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed That Changes Blue #TBT

March 26, 2015 § 3 Comments


March 26, 2015
OLD
 
Originally posted on May 17, 2010
The world of multi-hued creatures never fails to amaze and amuse with its incessant and often clever usage of color. The Language of Color at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (a display that is no longer available for viewing) there were many examples of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and insects included, demonstrated and taught how certain specimens ward off danger, defy their predators and relentlessly attract the opposite sex.
•Coral snakes advertise that they choose not to be eaten by wearing bright rings of color
•Milk snakes adapt the same means of warning, even though they are not truly poisonous (but its a great way to get your enemies to think you are)!
•Similarly many species of butterflies imitate their bad tasting relatives in their brilliant patterning of orange, yellow and black
•Cuttlefish can change their colors to conform to their surroundings—effectively camouflaging themselves so that they can eat their would-be assailants.
•Some species of mice adapt to their environment by being sand colored at the beach and earth colored if they live on the land.
•Some species absorb pigment through the foods that they eat and metabolize, for example, the scarlet ibis, which eats crabs, and shrimps, which, in turn, eat red algae.
•As vivid as a brightly colored parrot may appear to humans, they are even brighter to each other, as their perception of color allows them to see the ultraviolet spectrum
•Microstructures in fur, feathers or scales reflect only certain wavelengths of color. Frogs are seen as green because they reflect blue light through yellow pigment.
•The white hairs of a polar bear are clear, lacking the pigment to absorb wavelengths, or reflect certain wavelengths. As a result, they reflect back the entire spectrum, which results in our perception of the polar bear as white.
•A male bird of paradise from New Guinea flashes much bolder colors than the females, in effort to attract. (The males of many species are often brighter than the female).
•If a male parrotfish gets eaten, the dominant female changes her sex—and puts on his brilliant colors.
(Editors Note: Now that’s what we call “survival of the fittest!)
NEW
 

“The changing color of a chameleon’s body is an impressive sight—but how it happens has long been a significant scientific question without a compelling answer. Now, researchers have identified a thin layer of deformable nanocyrstals in their skin which gives rise to the phenomenon.”

BORROWED

The final portion of this blog post on the color changing trend is courtesy of technology trends.

Technology is also impacting product development with amazing effects in fabrics and fabrications.  These products change color based on the heat generated by the wearer’s neural activity.

Color-changing jacket Color changing shrug

Color changing jacket 2

BLUE

32 Years Ago It Was All About Pink #TBT

March 5, 2015 § 6 Comments


March 5, 2015

I woke up singing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and feeling a little nostalgic. The lyric “It was twenty years ago today” was in repeat in my head. Feeling inspired, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some vintage advertising from the 80s, hence the post title.  As many of you trend followers are aware, right now fashion is all about the 80s, especially for kids. So, why not revisit the time that is so heavily influencing us right now.

It was fun and shocking to see all of the funky fashion. I was most taken by the use of Honeysuckle. I know, I know, you may be growing tired of all the talk of this color but I promise this post will be a little different.

There are many interesting “trends” happening now that were also happening in the 80s. Brace yourselves.

Frankie says relax don’t do it….Fur and Honeysuckle.

I haven’t been brave enough to try this look as an adult. Socks and sandals…I might need to leave this one to the kids.

This fantastic graphic in Black, White and Red with Honeysuckle. Can’t you just see Lady Gaga in these shades. Rah Rah ooh la la.

I think this chair is the only item that seems to be timeless and just happens to be pink. Good design never goes out of style.

Good golly Miss Molly and John Crier and Pink, oh my!

So many things happening here. Short shortsside ponytailpegged sweats with knee seaminghead bandsvests and this years Honeysuckle with last years Turquoise. My head just exploded.

I hope you had fun in this 80s time warp. It seems like such a long time ago and yet so very current. Was it too horrifying for you? I don’t think any of these images are nearly as scary as some of my personal fashion statements from then.

Metamorphosis: From Form To Function

February 4, 2015 § 1 Comment


February 4, 2015

 

In the last year we’ve seen and talked about the butterfly as a fashion statement but we haven’t spent as much time talking about the butterfly as a symbol of change or the metamorphosis. 

The term metamorphosis is evocative of so many different things. The thesaurus puts it into the perfect context for this conversation. “his amazing metamorphosis from gawky hayseed to sexy pop star.” Additional terms to describe metamorphosis:  transformation, mutation, transmutation, change, alteration, conversion, modification, remodeling, reconstruction; humorous transmogrification; formal transubstantiation. Some pretty lofty words here, but they are all about change.

Illustration by Boyoun Kim

Illustration by Boyoun Kim

In an article titled Oscars 2014: The Year of Metamorphosis written by Jenelle Riley in the December issue of Variety, Riley has done a great job in articulating the spirit of metamorphosis our favorite actors have gone through for some of the top movies of 2014.

These days, it’s not enough to be good looking and a good actor. It’s just as important to be willing to adapt and transform yourself for that perfect role. That might mean adding prosthetic pieces, losing/gaining weight or simply baring it all with reckless abandon. Anyway you slice it, the critics all agree that the key is in the transformation. 

When we see our favorite actor in a movie, it’s truly exciting to see them morph into someone we don’t recognize and even more thrilling when they capture a spirit that we’ve not yet seen from them. 

What is more fun than going to the movies and having your mind blown from the story or the setting, the actor or the acting, or the costumes? One might say that this year’s Oscar contenders far outshine their stunning wardrobes. Lucky for us that there is room enough for accolades all around.

I find that the term transformation can also be applied to the students in my color class. I revel in the various levels of expertise and knowledge of color that my students bring to the table. In the four days we share together I too experience a transformation in myself as well as witnessing that change in the students.

What star had the biggest metamorphosis that made you take notice? Was there a specific color related to that change that “spoke” to you?

Closing 2014 With A Trend: The Butterfly

December 31, 2014 § 3 Comments


December 31, 2014

Have you ever wondered why trends are trends?

Where do the trends come from and what inspires them? I have too. Trend research is a passion and something I actively study with specific focus on color trends.

I’d like to talk about a pattern/trend that I have been observing for quite a few years, the butterfly. To be honest, I couldn’t think of a time when I wasn’t seeing the butterfly in some aspect or another. In very recent months and specifically in the past year there has been a resurgence of the butterfly in varying iterations and industries from home to fashion.

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Let’s investigate some of the trends that the butterfly has inspired. We will take a look at the rise of the butterfly in the past four years and the supporting players who keep this stunning beauty in the consumer’s eye.

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Why is the butterfly such a popular main stay in the fashion world? Could it be because of the symbolism it holds within our culture and other cultures? Understandably, the butterfly has many different connotations depending on where you were raised, your religious affiliation, and your cultural background.

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Much like color beliefs and color likes/dislikes, there are likely to be many different takes on the symbolism of the butterfly. These beliefs are long engrained and passed down from generation to generation and often very difficult to change. So, I won’t try to change your minds but I will share some of the symbolism and intrigue on the insect.

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There are two pieces of history on the butterfly that I find of particular interest and that seem to have cross-cultural. One is the idea that the butterfly represents the soul the other is an Irish blessing that reads…

“May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun, and find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches today, tomorrow and beyond [khandro].” 

Let’s start with Aristotle and Greek mythology in the story of Psyche. Psyche is the Greek word for soul. Please click the link below for more on Psyche and Cupid.

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/a/mythslegends_4.htm

Keeping the story of Psyche in mind lets explore a few of the ways the butterfly has been used in fashion that show the butterfly transformed from insect to stunning designer creations that represent the true beauty and detail that the butterfly holds.

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In Spring of 2011 we started seeing the re-emergence of the butterfly in fashion. For those who are located in the PNW, you were treated to a stunning butterfly appearance in the window of fashion designer Luly Yang.

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Broader exposure to the butterfly came during fashion week spring of 2011 in Alexander McQueen’s ready-to-wear collection. The spring collection was the first collection after McQueen’s death where Sarah Burton then cemented her place in fashion.

And again we were captured by the Damien Hirst exhibit titled In and Out of Love where controversy was made over the careless preservation for the life of the butterfly.

Fast forward to the 2013 mainstream when your YA novel loving tween (or yourself) was wowed by the big screen debut of the second in the Hunger Games Trilogy “Catching Fire”, where we saw the always fashionable Effie Trinket in Monarch Butterfly McQueen dress.

Image via Eonline courtesy of Lionsgate

Image via Eonline courtesy of Lionsgate

By the time 2014 hit there was no denying the butterfly had transcended from insect into a wardrobe must have. Whether the butterfly has influenced the color trends, a silhouette or an image of the insect itself, it’s easy to see why the butterfly is a trend influence.

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

Change is the key word as it has long been the catalyst for encouraging sales or, at the very least, getting the consumer to pay attention, and that’s what trends are all about. The very word “change” inspires symbolic design motifs. They have been flying high as a design motif and will continue at all styling, product and color levels.

The butterfly theme will be very much in evidence in home furnishings for 2015.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year from Eiseman and Associates! 

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