April 2, 2017 § Leave a comment
The International Home and Housewares show is one of our favorite destinations every March. This show is not just about potato peelers, that is for sure. There are some fabulous new products presented every year, from kitchen appliances (including glamorous espresso makers), to tabletop, (both elegant and casual), to wellness products, and hundreds of other items.
It is held at McCormick Place in Chicago, one of my favorite venues for its beautifully staged ballroom decorated with plants or floral arrangements and special lighting to reflect the Pantone color of the year. This year it was decorated with plants, most appropriate to “Greenery.” There were many of my color friends in the audience, some of whom have not missed a show since I first started to speak there 19 years ago!
Bridget Frizee of Kehoe Design in Chicago, Lee Eiseman, Melissa Bolt
Melissa Bolt, my associate, went with me. I am forever grateful for the design and imagery she puts together, including the arrangement of the colors that show the origin and direction of the eight color palettes for home that I presented for 2018. Large boards showing the forecasted palettes are also mounted in the Lakeside area of McCormick, each one complete with coordinating products in display cases.
We enjoy looking at some of the displays for new products that are also mounted at the show. This year one of the winners was Nicole Norris, a college student who designed a new ironing board. We certainly do see that as a winning idea!
On the first day for my keynote, I was introduced by Perry Reynolds, Vice President of Marketing and Trade Development, my good buddy, who is retiring and his cheery personality will be sorely missed. On the second day, I was introduced by Vicky Matranga, another delightful friend, who is Design Programs Coordinator for IHA where she manages the Student Design Competition and the Housewares Design Awards, coordinates displays, and organizes the DesignTheater and design-related events for the annual show. Vicky is also a collector of housewares items with an attic full of the products that grandma would have thought very high tech in her day (such as waffle irons and steam irons and Waring Blendors (yes, it is spelled with an “o”— a bit of a branding technique in those days.)
Many of you asked where my necklace came from. I recently discovered a local (Seattle) jewelry artist named Melanie Brauner for Verso www.versojewelry.com. What a talent!
January 12, 2017 § Leave a comment
This is the second installment in reporting on my recent trip to Asia. The first stop was in Seoul, South Korea, and from there I went to Shanghai, China. It was my second visit to this vast city of more than 14 million people. The view from my 25th floor hotel room revealed many tall buildings,
but interestingly on this visit I noticed that “pocket parks” were popping up—a good thing for adding some oxygen to an environment where the smog reminded me of my early days in Los Angeles (now largely contained.)
Everyone told me that, with my interest in design, the Peace Hotel was a worthy place to visit, and it really was. It is filled with art deco references from the 20s–on the ceilings,
in the bas-reliefs on the walls,
and in every place the eye landed. There was a reminder of the time period when ladies always dressed glamorously, often changing three times in one day!
The hotel remains a perfect place for shooting films of that period and the lobby contains some of the original posters, including for Empire of the Sun and Shanghai Triad.
It was also a nightspot for dancing, dinner, and an evening of jazz.
As I looked around, I did recognize some of the architectural features I have seen of those period films. There was a more recent picture taken on the hotel stairway for Elle Magazine of a very svelte Amanda Seyfried in a gorgeous red gown, very appropriate to the setting.
I did have the opportunity to go to a street market that was filled with tiny boutique-like shops. It is always great fun to shop for treasures in these far-way places. But I have to say what I enjoyed most was seeing the displays of clothes for kids as they were fashionable, grown-up, and colorful. Special occasion clothing for kids is very important in Asia.
I did another trend presentation in Shanghai and it was another enjoyable experience. It is always fun for me to meet so many “creatives” from other parts of the world and representing a vast variety of color-related industries. The press is always well-represented, and in this audience, among many other press people, there was a team from the Chinese edition of Elle Décor. They were an enthusiastic group and very interested in the use of color.
Food is an ongoing feast in Asia and for me, a “pescatarian,” always something to look forward to as there are lots of delectable and healthy choices. More about that in my next installment….
December 4, 2016 § Leave a comment
Ever since attending his first museum collection in New York, I have always been a big fan of Yves St. Laurent. I have found his work to be incredibly imaginative, skillfully designed and colorful. When my associate, Melissa Bolt, told me that a collection of his work was being shown at the Seattle Art Museum, we decided it was a “must-see” and it was!
The newsletter published by SAM, as the museum is affectionately called, said that the St. Laurent collection “filled the gallery with elegance.” The collection is called: The Perfection of Style and described as following “the revolutionary concepts of this fashion icon whose designs shifted perceptions of gender and class.”
On display were his paper dolls modeling his early fashion designs. These morphed into his sketches shown with original fabric samples of the110 garments, featured along with accessories, each of them so contemporary looking (and in such good condition) that they could be worn on the fashion runways today.
After we saw the collection, I was inspired to look for a book called simply “Yves St. Laurent” that I had purchased at the Met in NY and found it in my collection. Some of the clothing that was in the book was featured in the show, so we had the chance to revisit them.
Diana Vreeland, the flamboyant lover of red who was the special consultant to the Costume Institute at the Met, wrote an introduction to the book, stating that St. Laurent was “followed across the oceans of the world by women who look young, live young and are young, no matter what their age. That works for me!!
The collection will be at SAM until January 17. 2017.
October 9, 2016 § 2 Comments
My associate and fellow color enthusiast, Melissa Bolt, and I had the pleasure of attending the fabulous home furnishing show, Maison&Objet, in Paris last month.
That city with all its design influences hosts a show that is a feast for the eyes.
There are eight stadium-sized halls, all inter-connected and filled with everything from housewares, textiles, furniture, and tabletop, to lighting, carpeting, giftware, and home accessories.
There is an area we especially look forward to visiting called Atelier that offers the most original and colorful wares, including wearable art and jewelry. Another area that we love is a special section devoted to young artists and artisans, many of whom are just starting in business. It is more than trés jolie.
Of course, being in Paris also means eating great food, visiting interesting areas of the city, conversing with the people, and we manage to squeeze in a bit of shopping!
We decided to share some of the two thousand images that Melissa takes during the show and on the streets of this amazing city that ultimately can influence the forecasts that we develop for Pantone. There are many other factors and trade shows that can influence trend forecasts, however, what we see in Paris is a major and treasured source of information and inspiration
June 18, 2016 § 2 Comments
There are still spots available in Leatrice Eiseman’s next Color/Design course (or what we refer to as “Summer Camp for Color Lovers).
Join us for a 3 1/2–day course taught by the “international color guru, ” color expert Leatrice Eiseman, July 28-31, 2016* on beautiful Bainbridge Island in Washington (a ferry ride from Seattle). You will learn about color trend forecasting, color psychology, and marketing yourself as a color specialist along with people from around the globe engaged in color. Establish yourself as a color aficionado in your workplace or industry and learn how to expand your expertise into many facets of color work.
Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an information packet.
May 23, 2016 § Leave a comment
Every April, my associate Melissa Bolt, and I have the pleasure of visiting one of our favorite cities—Milan. We attend the Salone del Mobile for the purpose of seeing the latest trends and innovations in the world of furniture, although this enormous gathering of fabulous goods gives us much insight into other areas of design as well. This is Italy, after all, where every facet of home furnishings is explored and relished.
We stay with our good friend, Grazia Billio, a gifted colorist who also happens to be the VP and one of the founders of Color Coloris,
an organization that brings together color experts from many industries, and presents a day-long color experience every year in November (http://www.colorcoloris.com/en_index.htm). I met Grazia through another dear friend, colleague, and multi-talented designer, Vittorio Giomo. Vittorio is the very colorful President of Color Coloris.
Grazia’s charming home is in the heart of the Brera district, the design center of Milan. Every year, the Brera bursts with activity and creative output as designers from all over the world who attend the Salone also find their way to the Brera. Grazia guides us through the hordes of people all anxious to see what’s new in design.
(Of course, along the way are the foods and flavors that Italy is known for.) It always amazes us that so many people have the energy to trudge the fair and then party into the wee hours, but everyone is exhilarated by the intimate connection to both design and color.
We also visited La Triennale di Milano, a design museum in Milan where Melissa could photograph even more images that would enable us to remember all that we see while visiting the area.
Just to give you a flavor of the Salone, the Brera, and the Triannale, we are sharing a few of the 1,800 photos with you. May be this will whet your appetite for your own visit to Milan…
May 2, 2016 § Leave a comment
What a fabulous whirlwind of a trip! The first stop was the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao,
where I spoke on the Shadows collection and 150 Marilyns work done by the pop artist, Andy Warhol. Although it took much time and research to delve into Warhol’s use of color, especially the influences in his life that led to his color choices, we truly enjoyed the process.
My associate, Melissa, and I spent three fabulous days there, staying in a hotel that was just across the avenue from the museum. We girded ourselves with ample breakfasts while looking out at that magnificent Gehry-designed building that literally sparkled in the sunlight.
The architecture and design of the Guggenheim has gathered worldwide attention and it is easy to see why people are so fascinated by the structure.
The collections that we saw were very well curated and it was especially meaningful to see “in person” the works that I was speaking about, having only seen photos prior to our visit. The color usage was phenomenal in the Shadows collection, employing deeper tones such as black, along with orange, peach, yellow, electric blue, lavender, warm reds, hot pink, aubergine, deep green, and vibrant chartreuse. The 150 Marilyns used some of the same vibrant tones against black.
We allowed enough time to explore the nearby beach town of San Sebastian,
as well as the old town section of Bilbao that was filled with charming, historically significant architecture—quite a contrast to the contemporary Guggenheim.
Naturally, we left some time for shopping (colorful shoes are magnets to us!)
and sampling the delicious food. Melissa took some wonderful shots of the green rolling hills (complete with sheep!) surrounding this vibrant city.
Next time, we will share on the blog some of our experiences and images taken while in Milan where we attended Salone de Mobile, the annual furniture fair.
October 7, 2015 § 2 Comments
October 7, 2015
As some of you may know, my husband, Herb, is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His career in film and music has certainly helped me to be more aware of the importance of film in formulating public notions about color and design. We subscribe to many periodicals and view many of the films nominated for Academy Awards, and I am constantly researching film archives as well as present-day films to better inform my work in forecasting.
I was recently watching the trailer for the film Suffragette and was instantly captured by the story about the fight for the women’s right to vote. It is hard to deny the value of the movement and the importance of this period of time considering that we as a nation benefit from this movement.
I have read many books and seen some notable film, television, and stage shows about the early Suffrage efforts, so I wanted to highlight one compelling point of this particular movie that is almost a supporting character: the color used to convey the mood of this film.
In my talks this past year, I have been discussing the use of “umbered undertones” in current and future films. That expression comes from the somewhat murky tones that are being seen in both children’s films, where so many color stories come from, as well as films for grown-ups. Those more somber tones often reflect the nature, theme, mood, or historic setting of a particular film.
Suffragette reflects a historic time period when there were no Technicolor films, and the theme of the film is a rather sobering subject—women’s struggles in the pre-1920’s to get enacted their legal right to vote, and the indignities and abuse they suffered—hardly the stuff of bright Technicolor effects! Interestingly, the American suffragette colors of violet, white, and gold were very similar to the green, white, and violet carried by their British counterparts. It is believed that the British Suffragettes chose those shades because they represented the first letters of each color and translated into: “Give (green) Women (white) Votes (violet.)
We can expect these “umbered” tones to have a long shelf-life because of films like Mockingjay Part One, which was part of the popular Hunger Games series. Part Two will come this Fall, and the stage show will appear in 2016. Some TV shows are also showing these same effects. Super Girl of 2015 is wearing more somber colored garb than sported by Linda Carter in the Wonder Woman series of the 1970s.
If you were choosing colors to represent the cause of the suffragettes, what colors would you choose and why?
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!
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?
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.”
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.