July 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Follow the link for more.
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 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 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
September 10, 2013
As many of you may already know, I wear many hats as a color expert. I am the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, owner/director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training and I am the author of eight books on color (soon to be nine, stay tuned).
As part of my work with Pantone I spearhead their Pantone View Home + Interior color forecast. In addition, twice a year, I am part of a team that creates the Pantone View Colour Planner, which is a color forecast that spans many fields, such as fashion, textile and industrial design. Both forecasts are a result of trends that are developing on all fronts from media, socio-economics, entertainment, the impact of the environment, travel influences and any other worthy subject or direction for all creative design fields. I then compile this information into imagery with color as the guide. I let color tell the story of the times.
These forecasts are coveted among designers and industry professionals as they plan each season’s new creations. They are filled with color palettes designed with a “mood”, a rationale and an inspirational direction. Whether used out of context or within the theme we set in the palettes, they are great tools and hold key design principles with texture and balance.
Forecasts are such an integral part of the color consulting world and intrinsic to the knowledge of color in the future. That is why this subject is included in the Color/Design programs that I teach twice yearly.
Could a forecast help you in your work with color? Does this sound like an interesting part of the color world and were you familiar with forecasts? Please take a moment to share.
August 19, 2013 § 7 Comments
August 19, 2013
How many times have you heard that “gray is the new black“, or “brown is the new black” or even “red is the new black”? I can tell you that in my professional career I have heard this said season after season. The truth is black is a constant, staple, mainstay, and essential to every wardrobe.
I just roll my eyes when I hear comments like these because black is part of the color foundation of material society.
Black is here and never went anywhere and won’t be going any time soon.
However, earlier this week I was going through my archives and found that I, at one time, had indeed written: “Black is Back!” for the first edition of a newsletter that I edited as the newly-appointed executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. But it was at a time (1986) when black had truly had been diminished for a short time, at least, interior and fashion-wise and was coming back in full force. The following is an excerpt that includes comments from some of the designers (fashion and interior) that I spoke with who shared their thoughts about black.
“Black has become the greatest neutral, it brings an accent point into a space. To me, black is a very exciting and lively hue. I believe it is also powerful and authoritative.”-Vicente Wolf of Patino-Wolf Associates.
Donna Karan believes black provides the perfect foundation upon which to assemble a wardrobe or single outfit. Black defines the silhouette and goes with everything. Like a painter’s canvas, it is the essential backdrop on which to build.
Designer Halston comments: “Black is the most classic and eternal-it is all colors. Black cannot be penetrated. It is the ultimate color in high fashion.” He states he could use it all the time. There is no replacement. The most important and interesting piece in his collection is always black. He likes to work while wearing black because it does not compete with other colors. As long as he has been in the industry, black has always been his number one seller.
The dichotomy of black is also shown through historical happenings. The Reagans, Princess Di and Prince Charles have helped to make black-tie formality fashionable again. At the opposite end of the social scale, young people, from beatniks to rockers to punks, have adopted black as a symbol of the negation of a society.
Whether the ultimate in chic, or in the expression of adolescent defiance, black wields a powerful psychological force in the current world of design and color.
These sentiments about black are just as true today as they were more than 25 years ago!!
What role does black play in your wardrobe? Do you use black in your decor?
July 24, 2013 § 2 Comments
July 24, 2013
Prior to the 1940s and Alex Steinweiss, a graphic designer and art director known for inventing album cover art, records were sold in plain brown wrappers.
In the 60s, album covers and concert posters frequently emulated the LSD experience with frenetic collages, undulating type, and hallucinogenic color.
But even before that, somewhere in between the bold graphic Steinweiss style or the trippy visuals of Wes Wilson or Peter Max, there was something else brewing in the minds of the average American musician who was looking to put out an album.
The August issue of Print, a bimonthly magazine about visual culture and design, highlights the unsung heros of these albums.
The book Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992 by Sinecure Books is a compilation of the best (worst ?) in album art. Editor Johan Kugelberg says this about the book “Enjoy the Experience explores a slice of American culture with tales from well-known musicians to more obscure artists, such as pizza parlor organists. Some of these record covers are really laugh-out-loud funny, and some of the music and people are too…”
Which of these genres speaks to your visual sensibilities? Do you have any albums that you have just for their cover art?
May 31, 2013 § 6 Comments
May 31, 2013
You may remember when I took the opportunity to highlight one of the artists featured in my newest book Pantone The 20th Century in Color.
If not, click [HERE] and refresh your memory.
Since that post in June there has been some fun and interesting Turrell moments transpiring.
First was last weeks announcement of James Turrell taking over the Guggenheim to turn it into one of his eponymous “skyspaces.” This exhibit will begin June 21, 2013 which just happens to kick off the Summer solstice.
Follow the link at the bottom to read the full article.
In current happenings a little closer to home (my former home) the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is currently hosting a James Turrell retrospective. The retrospective will take you through fifty years of Turrell’s works including the Roden Crater project.
Second, there is more fun James Turrell news to be found in the May issue of The Hollywood Reporter. James was commissioned to design a home theater for a former CEO of E!, called the Picture Plane. This piece of work isn’t available for everyone to experience. For “those in the know”, a coveted invitation to a movie screening in the Picture Plane is almost as magical as the pre-movie screening of the sunset as manufactured through the Picture Plane.
Please take the opportunity to attend either or both of these shows to experience light and color through the eyes of this California native. I hope to have an opportunity to see either of these exhibits.
The color in the imagery is just breathtaking, no?!