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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
December 12, 2014 § 2 Comments
December 12, 2014
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-tocolor 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?
June 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
June 9, 2014
Are you still watching AMC’s Mad Men? “Waterloo,” marked the mid-season finale of season seven, and it was a good one.
For those of you who watch and follow the show, this episode was Peggy Olson’s beautiful transformation from meek employee to masterful messenger of change, in more ways than one.
About 17 minutes into the show there is a moment between Peggy and her young neighbor, Julio, that illuminates a common question that women have been asking themselves for decades.
No, it isn’t “Does my bottom look big in these pants?”
What do I wear?
She didn’t exactly ask this question but her query was about which outfit she should wear. Her options were a lovely charcoal gray suit dress that is “more manly” as she puts it, or another look, which is more colorful, stylish (for the time), and decidedly more comfortable (she won’t “sweat in it”).
It was at this moment in the show that I was inspired to write this blog post. You see, this season/episode takes place in 1969 and this was a decade before personal color theories were adapted and applied to wardrobe and cosmetic choice.
It occurs to me that this moment (late 60s) is one that could have been a pivotal point in the need for a personal coloring system, and I will tell you why.
The 1960s were a time when women were making their way in the workforce and it is this male-dominated workforce where we, as women, had to learn how to compete.
Whether we were the secretary (often the case) or the executive (not so often), as the woman in the office, our struggle was not just for equal pay, or the great job, but also how to be taken seriously, as a woman and not a sex object. The question then becomes how to project power without losing our personality or color?
I digress on that and go back to Peggy.
When Peggy was asking the question of which outfit to wear it wasn’t just about the clothes but it was also about making an impression, FINALLY having the shot at the spotlight, and feeling comfortable and confident enough to stand in front of a room full of men. Vindication at last!
How do we project confidence in a room full of men and not be objectified but still project femininity and be true to who we are? One word, COLOR.
I won’t spoil the show for you but I can say that her colorful choice was well embraced and I look forward to 2015, when the show comes back for its final season, to see how Peggy’s choices affect her future at SCD& P.
Move over Don, make way for women!
May 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
May 1, 2014
Here is a little color tidbit from the Smithsonian.
“In the animal world as in fashion. bright color makes a bold statement. The vivid hues of the strawberry poison dart frog declare, ‘If you eat me, it could be the last thing you ever do!’ And that is no bluff.”
Click the link below for the full story on the colorful and often poisonous amphibians of Central and South America.