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

March 26, 2015 § 2 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.

Screen shot 2014-12-31 at 9.16.23 AM

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.

Screen shot 2014-12-31 at 9.17.27 AM

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.

Screen shot 2014-12-31 at 9.17.10 AM

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.

Screen shot 2014-12-31 at 9.17.38 AM

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.

Screen shot 2014-12-31 at 9.16.43 AM

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.

 LulyYangwindow

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! 

Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year 2015: Pantone 18-1438 TCX.

December 12, 2014 § 2 Comments


December 12, 2014

Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute™ has been designating a Color of the Year to express in color what is taking place in the global zeitgeist. A color that will resonate around the world, the PANTONE Color of the Year is a reflection of what people are looking for, what they feel they need that color can help to answer. Not necessarily the hot fashion color of the moment, but a color crossing all areas of design which is an expression of a mood, an attitude, on the part of the consumers.
To distill the prevailing mood into a single hue, the PCI team, led by executive director Leatrice Eiseman, combs the world looking for future design and color influences, watching out for that one color seen as ascending and building in importance through all creative sectors. Influences can include the entertainment industry, upcoming films, art, emerging artists, travel destinations and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, lifestyles + playstyles, new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention. 

 Pantone_Introducing_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_banner

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

The Versatility of Marsala

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

 

Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year 2015: – Color trends, color palettes , Pantone 18-1438 TCX..

How will you be incorporating Marsala? Let’s talk about it.

 

Have You Ever Considered A Career In Color?

November 12, 2014 § 2 Comments


Screen shot 2014-11-12 at 12.57.16 PM

Screen shot 2014-11-12 at 12.58.05 PM

Another Colorist Shares Her Thoughts And Love Of Color

October 30, 2014 § Leave a comment


October 30, 2014

I love hearing from former attendees of my color/design class. It is always a treat to see how they are using their knowledge and love of color. I enjoy seeing how they share their love of color.

Please take a moment to stop over to S.I.P. & C.O.lour to see how a former student is using her color education.

S.I.P. & C.O.lour: MAKING COLOUR and some other fun facts.

Colorful Pairings That Stand The Test Of Time

October 1, 2014 § 1 Comment


October 1, 2014

If you were looking at the Huffington Post last week, you may have read an article called “Fashion And Ballet Go So Well Together, And We Have The Sketches To Prove It”.

You may have been caught up in the wonder and glamour of the costumes and the sketches, just as I was. It all got me thinking about another time when ballet and fashion met. I wrote about it in the book Pantone The 20th Century in Color in the chapter called Theatrics.

Theatrics is all about the symbiotic relationship between Leon Bakst and The Ballet Russes Scheherazade. This was a complementary combination that sparked color and fashion trends.

Below is an excerpt from the chapter.

“Russian-born Bakst brought a fascination with folk art and Eastern sensibilities into his work. His patterns simplified Turkish, Persian, and Central Asian textiles into bold, modern geometry. Suzani embroideries were simplified into cotton prints of concentric circles. References to complicated ikat patterns were delivered in crisp applique or beading. Diaphanous, patterned scarves swirled suggestively around women’s costumes constructed with simple bras and hip bands rather than a stiff corset. Occasionally, as in star dancer Vaslav Nijinsky’s performance in Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, sexualized choreography combined with Bakst’s designs challenged social mores of the day.

But his admirers were undaunted. His work elicited a fashion craze, which opened the way for brightly collared clothing with Orientalist touches like plunging V-necks, turbans, and tribal jewelry. His set designs were no less influential, and for many years to come, divans and floor cushions were used to evoke a bit of Scheherazade’s enchantment.”

Bakstcostumes

It’s always fun to look at where trends are now and where they are headed but it can be just as fun looking back and following them along their colorful way.

Click the link below for more on fashion and the ballet.

 

Fashion And Ballet Go So Well Together, And We Have The Sketches To Prove It.

Just As A Child Is Drawn To Candy, We Are Drawn To Red

September 17, 2014 § Leave a comment


September 17, 2014

People just don’t like red-they love it. People whose favorite color is red have a zest for life; they are, quite literally “movers and shakers.” They need to be well informed, involved. Because of its psychological associations with fire, heat, blood, and danger, red is impossible to ignore and so is the person who prefers this most exciting of colors.

Does this sound like you?

Click the link to read more about red and its physiological and psychological influence on us.

BBC – Future – How the colour red warps the mind.

Slime, Neon, and Fluorescent Green: Color(s) That Save Lives

July 21, 2014 § 1 Comment


July 21, 2014

Building a case for “slime green”

If you were playing a word association game, what would be your immediate response to the word “green?” Would you visualize the brilliant blue-green of a tropical ocean, a verdant bed of velvety moss, silver-green willow branches, the lush deep green of a pine scented arbor, the sophisticated sparkle of emeralds, or the sickly yellow-green associated with nausea and mold or slimy, scary creatures?

As the range of green is enormous, so are the possibilities of positive or negative associations.

If you are one who views the yellow-greens as “slimy” and associate the color with negative associations, this blog post is for you.

In my book Colors For Your Every Mood, I wrote about “Slimy Green” and the many associations (see opening paragraph) with the color being connected to things of an unappealing nature. Today, I would like to discuss a few positive attributes of “slime green.”

As the color may differ for each purpose, the greens that fall in the bright, neon, and fluorescent family are best suited for safety.

Screen shot 2014-07-21 at 11.20.22 AM

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council recommend that kids and adults “…always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night.”

One bicycle enthusiast’s blog titled “THE DECIDEDLY UNFASHIONABLE CHARTREUSE SAFETY VEST” where he writes about the joys/pains of wearing such a color: safety versus fashion?

It’s not much of a choice, when you think about it.

Another area to highlight (pun intended) is the use of highly-visible clothing as worn by workers who are around moving vehicles.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) identifies their criteria for “high-visibility safety apparel” as any clothing worn that has highly reflective properties or a color that is easily discernible from any background.” They also have this to say about the standard:

“The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) is ‘the trade association for manufacturers of safety and personal protective equipment’. ISEA is accredited by the ANSI as a standard developing organization.”

So, the next time you are turning your nose up at the sight of those sulfuric yellow-greens, keep in mind that the color is keeping your loved ones alive whether they are in the field or on the streets.

Remember: with color it is CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT.

Did I change your mind on yellow-green?

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