Kartell à la Mode

September 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

September 24, 2015

Kartell is an Italian company that makes and sells plastic contemporary furniture. Headquartered in Milan, they began manufacturing automobile accessories in 1949 and expanded into contract and home furnishings in 1963. 


They have now forged an interesting partnership with one of the most imaginative fashion designers with a long-standing reputation in the use of unique color and pattern combinations. Christian LaCroix became the darling of the fashion runways in the 80s, but the 90s and early 2000s saw a decline in both business and attention. However, in recent years, we have seen his name on the ascendancy again, this time combining with “Kartell à la Mode,” as it is being called, in creating and producing a new handbag line.


Available in two sizes, a tote and a clutch bag, the fabrication is injection-molded plastic, a material that Kartell is referring to as “rich and sensual,” certainly not the usual connotation and impression of plastic. The shapes are geometric in design and both styles will be available in five colors, although those five colors have not been named yet.


Kartell has a recent history of producing some other intriguing, industrial–inspired molded plastic in inventive fashion forward looks and, very recently, they partnered with No.21, a Milanese shoe manufacturer. Called “The Knot,” the provocative and intricate styling on the sandal is quite unique, one that takes special skills to make. It is available in five colors: black, powder pink, mustard yellow, khaki green, and burgundy.


The look of the shoes fits very well into the influences we saw recently in Paris. Stilettos have given way to much lower heels, with sneakers being the “shoe du jour” in every imaginable color, pattern and, most often, with sparkle.


Question: What do you think of the color range of the Knot? Would you wear this kind of shoe?

From Paris With Love

September 15, 2015 § 3 Comments

September 15, 2015


If you didn’t know already, I travel…a LOT!  My most recent trip was to Maison & Objet, a lifestyle uber tradeshow featuring all things “design.”  It takes place at an exhibition center outside of Paris and covers 246,000 square meters or about 61 acres.

Villpinte villepinte_hall

My traveling companion, assistant, and color/design associate, Melissa Bolt, walked every inch of the show with me, photographing our foray into the stadium-size halls.

Lee & Melissa mirror

We became immediately aware of the presence of design trends we have noted in recent seasons:

Eyeglasses as wall art and part of home décor accessories,…

Glasses Audrey art Sunglasses painting

…Owls peering from their perches,…

Owls yellow Normann Owls

…Butterflies still flying high,…

Butterfly pure silk Butterfly trays blue Butterfly chair

…Shoes as wearable art,…

Jewelled oxfords

… crowns that are not exclusively for royalty,

Crown plates

…and concentric circles, as seen in these South African wire bowls

Concentric baskets

to name just a few.


My Thoughts On Agnes Martin

August 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

August 31, 2015
Agnes Martin is a fascinating artist who had an interesting perspective and attitude about color, proportion and shape.  Martin worked only in black, white, and variations of brown in the 50s, but after leaving New York in the 60s and moving to New Mexico her work started to embrace a wider palette.  During her time in Taos, she introduced light pastel washes to her grids, colors that were said to “shimmer in the changing light.”  This characterized much of her work until the end of her life in 2004.
I was asked by the commissioning editor at the Tate Modern Museum in London to contribute an article to their website to coincide with a showing of Agnes Martin’s work, especially her use of pale pastel hues and the psychology behind the choices. 
Although I might normally hesitate to “think” for the artist, especially if I never had the chance to meet with them, fortunately there was some excellent information written about her by some of the people who knew her very well and, most notably, some videotapes where the artist herself was interviewed.
The following of her works are among my favorites.
Gratitude 2001

Gratitude 2001

Untitled #13 1980

Untitled #13 1980

The Wave 1963

The Wave 1963

Untitled 1967

Untitled 1967

Our Field Trip To Patricia Nugent Textiles

August 27, 2015 § 4 Comments

August 27, 2015

My good friend and colleague, Patricia Nugent, curator of a surprisingly vast textile collection, opened her nearby Seattle showroom to us so that my Color/Design Associate, Melissa Bolt, and I could hunt for special fabrics from Pat’s collection for our latest book, coming out early next year. Not only is a visit to Pat’s studio a walk down memory lane in terms of all the vintage fabrics in her collection, but it is also a study in the kind of quality and artistry that attracts top designers from around the globe for inspiration. Thank you, Pat!

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 4.44.37 PM.png

Okay, if you must know, the book takes a look at interiors via the Color Clock™ system I developed for my book More Alive With Color.

Can you determine what Colortime® and/or what decade each of these vintage fabrics illustrates?

Sunlight 1

Sunset 1

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 7.01.32 AM

Vincent van Gogh: A Study In Contrast

August 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

August 17, 2015


The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been showing four of van Gogh’s paintings— those he did just before leaving the asylum he was in for two years. In the link you will see the comment that caught my eye: ” Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) brought his work in Provence to a close with exuberant bouquets of spring flowers—two of irises and two of roses, in contrasting formats and color schemes—in which he sought to impart a “calm, unremitting ardor” to his “last touch of the brush.”  

(There is also a video to watch. See link at the bottom.) 

For art lovers out there the images on the Met site and the video give some interesting insights into the colors that he used to impart that feeling.

Take a moment to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. 

What are your favorite Van Gogh works?


Vera Neumann: An Artist And Entrepreneur With An Eye For Color

August 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

August 12, 2015


I was surfing the web last week when I found an article on Vera Neumann published by Elle.com in Mexico. If you’re not familiar with Vera logo , you are in for a real treat. 


In 2010 Susan Seid wrote a very beautiful book called Vera The Art and Life of an Icon. It is filled with wonderful and colorful photographs of Vera’s history. In it Susan states:

“Vera Neumann was an unlikely revolutionary–her tiny five-foot-tall frame typically dressed in mod tunics and a bold scarf, armed with a quick wit but a shy demeanor. But Vera—the innovator of cross-licensing and one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of her time–had a radical philosophy: fine art should be accessible to everyone, not just a select few. She believed that artwork should not be relegated to walls. Rather, people should surround themselves with art–wear it, eat off it, and sleep under it. And why not? Great art endures. It lifts your sprit and makes you feel better. Vera’s art certainly does. It is bright, happy, and inspirational.”


A year after Susan Seid’s book came out, I made note of Vera Neumann in my book Pantone: The 20th Century in Color.  The chapter is aptly named “Colors and Coordinates,” where I said, “Designer and artist Vera Neumann didn’t seem to need any help understanding color interactions, or the way color creates a mood.”


Seid has quoted Vera as saying to the Washington Post in 1978, “Color is the language I speak best,” and, “Color is such a marvelous way of expressing emotion. We have so many problems in the world, color brings just a little bit of joy into our lives.”

I agree wholeheartedly.

If you are not familiar with Vera, a quick Google search will bring you into the colorful wonder of Vera Neumann.

Vera’s designs are still being licensed now, more than ten years after her death. Their longevity is her longevity. And for those of us who were around when she first came on the scene, it is a welcome reminder of a colorfully artistic era to see her famous logo still used today.

Catching Up With A Young Color Lover

August 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

August 6, 2015

It has been just about one month since I wrapped up my summer color/design course. It is a busy few weeks after the class. We are putting stuff away, getting prepared for the next class and chatting about all of the wonderful people we’ve just met and the ones who have taken the course previously. It was in that discussion where we remembered one student in particular, whose experience in class had such a colorful impact on her daughter that she gave her young daughter an impromptu color/class in the days that followed. We did a blog post about their experience because it was too adorable and it showed us all (I am sure her mother knew) that a child’s love of color is insightful and shows no bounds. Color is an important factor in childhood development and one day could ultimately lead to a career that involves color, including consulting.


Click here for the original story.

We caught up with Amy Anderson and her daughter Sofia to find out how Sofia is using her color skills today. We thought it would be fun to do a Q&A and, as a budding color professional, Sofia nailed it. She has a true gift for color and her choices are just as on-trend today as they were then.

Below are their responses:

Are you enjoying your summer so far?

Yes, it’s awesome!

What have you been working on since your color class?

In my art class at school, I made an orange cheetah mask with papier-mâché and my self-portrait. At home, I’ve been working on my own logo for “Sofia’s Colors.” I love color and art!


Are you pleased to see that your magic yogurt maker color palette is all over the fashion scene?

Yes, I love neon because it’s very bright and I like bright colors. They make me feel happy and energized.


Are you wearing neon? If so, what is your favorite piece?

Yes! My neon pink cardigan sweater is my favorite. It goes with everything.

What is your next project?

I’m really excited about metallic colors. I really like my metallic silver Birkenstocks! I’m working on a palette for a new product I want to create like the magic yogurt maker. Last week I went to the Paint Lab and picked out metallic color swatches: fire opal metallic, amethyst, sapphire, tourmaline, topaz, ballroom gold, aluminum and emerald.




Hickies® Revisited: The Arc Of The Colorful Lace Alternative

July 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

July 23, 2015
Here is an update on fashion upstart, Hickies®, one of our former clients. You can read the original blog post here.

Not familiar with HICKIES®? In their own words:

“HICKIES® is an elastic lacing system that replaces traditional shoelaces and lets you easily slip in and out of your shoes while keeping them snug and secure. Never tie or untie your shoes again! Get rid of the bows and customize your footwear.”

11 creative-brains w logo

It wasn’t that long ago when I was visiting a popular site called The Grommet, when I saw HICKIES® prominently positioned on their front page. I was instantly reminded of what I knew back then: that this concept is stellar and they have certainly found their following.

I couldn’t be more pleased!

It’s phenomenal to see what can come of your dreams when they are supported by your peers and a grassroots network with Kickstarter. I remember the excitement and energy of this company and I couldn’t be more pleased with their continued success.

Cheers to you, HICKIES®! We look forward to your continued success.

Yellow Gorgeous! The Minions And I Embrace The Radiant Hue, Will You?

July 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

July 9, 2015


Just like many of you, I am constantly online working, either reading and responding to email or doing research, and I am blessed that my work is FUN!.  Recently I received a message from a fellow color lover,  Piali Dasgupta, a Fashion Editor for Amazon India/Style Diaries, with a special request to discuss the color yellow, and not just any yellow but Pantone’s Minion Yellow.

My best Minion impression.

My best Minion impression.

Please click the link below to read the full interview.

[Minion] Yellow Fever – Style Diaries.

Mood Inspired By Pantone’s Marsala

July 2, 2015 § 4 Comments

July 2, 2015

I love this beautiful Marsala, Pantone Color of the Year collage, that my friend and colleague, Bridget Frizzie, created for Kehoe Designs.

Pantone Color of the Year 2015BOND with LOGO

Thank you for sharing this wonderful Marsala compilation with us.

What are some of your favorite Marsala moments?


%d bloggers like this: