Japan Part Three

February 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

This is the third and final installment on my trip to Asia. The first two stops were in Seoul and then to Shanghai, and the following images were taken on my last stop in Tokyo.


When my presentation was finished in Tokyo, my friend and colleague, Maryann Wong from Hong Kong, and I made our way over a bridge to the Shinjuku area to visit Takashimaya, as it had always been one of my favorite stores when they had branches in Los Angeles and New York.


Interestingly, the area around the square in Tokyo was called Times Square—a very different Times Square than the New York location!


Pictures of flower arrangements on display in front of a department store.

The colors and designs of various flower displays caught my eye immediately as they were so artfully done.


When we went into the store, we saw some equally colorful displays. I am always drawn to the housewares department. (As you may know, I speak at the International Housewares Show every year.) These tea cozies caught my eye–they certainly could fit into a palette inspired by Pantone’s color of the year—Greenery!


What truly interested me was the fabric department. It reminded me of the time when there were fabric departments in our stores. Japanese women still enjoy sewing, and these images of traditional kimonos were part of the inspirational display. All of the fabrics were available for sale.


Displays also showed the usage of fabric on handbags and zoris, the traditional sandal. Color coordination is very important in Japanese design.


The furniture department displayed a chair that I could have happily purchased, but the shipping costs are a bit high (and it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase!) Interestingly, the fabric on this chair is right on-trend, not only in its fabulous color story and combination, but in the use of the triangles in the patterning, as well.

The final evening in Tokyo, our hosts took us to yet another fantastic restaurant, one that specializes in blowfish, so that every part of the meal, including appetizer, salad, soup, and main course (although not dessert), featured some sort of blowfish prepared in a different way.

As you might know, blowfish is a delicacy, but certain parts of the fish can be toxic, so they must be handled with care. Obviously, the restaurants are very cautious and they employ specially trained people who know what part to eat (or not). They certainly don’t want to lose their clientele!

As weird as it might sound to eat one specific food prepared in different ways—it was absolutely fabulous. All the prep was done at the table, fascinating to watch and then finally, to eat. It was a fitting end to a truly memorable trip.


Africa By Way Of Dubai

August 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

August 22, 2012

I arrived safe and sound in South Africa after spending an overnight layover in Dubai where it was 106 when I landed and 111 the next morning!

It was a mass of humanity in Dubai, with everyone celebrating the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. It seemed that every person in Dubai was out that night. I was told to go to the Dubai mall to see the dancing waters and because it has the best air conditioning. I also saw the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa) that is located in Dubai. Personally, I think the waters at the Bellagio in Las Vegas are more spectacular, but the Burj Khalifa building was astounding.

Please note that these are not my pictures. My pictures did not do these beauties justice.

Next time I will have to bring Herb as he is the resident photographer.

Image via

They are very big on shopping there. At the Dubai Mall, they have all of the big designer names in a specific wing, but just like everywhere else, the western-ized shops and restaurants are a big deal. A Pottery Barn and Sephora were the first things I noticed, and directly across from the Burj Khalifa building is a California Pizza Kitchen, P.F Changs, and a place selling bagels!! That was unexpected, to be sure.

In traditional restaurants, the food was excellent – very middle-eastern in feeling with lots of different kinds of hummus, tabouleh and stuffed grape leaves and many veggie options – my kind of thing.

Once I landed in Durban I had drinks with my friend, Anne Roselt, Design Director for Plascon Paints and a former student of my Burbank Color/Design class. You can see more of her fabulous color trends on my Facebook page or you can check them out HERE.

I had a room with a small balcony that faced the ocean – amazing. I took a quick walk along the beach in the morning to get ready for the day. We then went to rehearsal and did some other media interviews before my presentation on Tuesday. Then we were off to Joberg and Cape Town. 

It was so wonderful to be back in South Africa. My hosts were incredibly gracious and thoughtful.


Taiwan Colored Glasses and Bikes

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

April 12, 2012

We recently returned from Taiwan where I did a color training program for Giant Bikes. They were marvelous hosts and their design teams outstanding in the presentations they did in their workshops. The design director is Edward Chiang and when I had first met him I told him that I thought he had a very famous family name, as in the name of Chiang Kai-Shek, Taiwan’s venerated former political leader. Edward informed me that this was his great-grandfather and that his great grandmother was the famous Madame Chiang Kai-shek.


Many of you will know the Giant brand. They build sturdy and handsome bikes that are sold internationally, so they were most interested in international trends and the psychology of lifestyle in making color decisions. Another specific interest involved their Liv line for women and it too is a quality product.

 Liv/giant Avail Inspire – News | Giant Bicycles | United States.

They are very thoughtful and conscientious about their color choices and it was a real delight to work with them. While in Taichung, we also got to see James Soames of Subkarma, co-owner of a fabulous branding company we have worked with in the past. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to connect with his alter-ego and partner, brother Tony Soames, but I had just seen them at the International Housewares Show in Chicago where I do a keynote every year and had asked them to join me on the podium the next day to discuss cultural differences (or similarities) between Asian markets and U.S. 



As always, we were gifted with some wonderful goodies (that is such a lovely Asian tradition) including a beautiful glass piece from an amazing glass artist name Loretta H. Yang.  

Click the image for a link to her spectacular work that truly glows with color.

What Is Pink And White And Smells Amazing?

March 30, 2012 § 1 Comment

March 30, 2012

In the last six months, I have had four “border crossings” to speak at events in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. In keeping with the Canadian theme I wanted to share another wonder from the north.

Every year out friends in Vancouver British Columbia celebrate the Spring season with Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Blossoms are expected to be at their peak for this years festival launch.

As our friend and executive director of festival, Linda Poole, tells us…“The sixth annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) is planning quite the party to bring much joy to the city April 5-28. Exuberant festivities at Cherry Jam Downtown inside Burrard SkyTrain Station on April 5 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will launch a city-wide, month-long celebration to welcome Spring to the city.”

If you are going to be traveling to Canada or are already in the area stop by and enjoy all the amazing pink and white cherry blossoms. I can almost smell them from here.

Korea: A Whirlwind Story

September 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

September 9, 2011

I recently returned from a whirlwind trip to South Korea where I delivered an in-house seminar to one of the leading paint companies on the psychology of color from an international perspective. I gave another presentation on future color trends at a building expo with an audience made up primarily of residential and contract designers, architects, builders, marketing people and educators.


I was interviewed by Vogue Magazine on fashion color trends and by Design magazine, a publication for people in the arts and business.

It was a fascinating glimpse of another culture, as I had never been there before. The food was fabulous – so interestingly prepared and presented. They were perfect hosts and I definitely want to do a return engagement.

I had little time to sightsee as I am leaving for Paris soon (poor moi) for more work (but also a little fun). What did strike me was that so many of the professional women were dressed in the latest but very classic fashion. Their everyday attire is more conservative in neutrals, blacks and whites with touches of color in scarves and such. Yet their background speaks of a very colorful tradition, particularly for wedding ceremonies as well as the embellished costumes of the former kings.



Please note the styles and colors that are shown here. The tendency in modern times is to wear a more westernized dress for the wedding.

Reclusive Toad Makes A Long Awaited Appearance

July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

July 18, 2011

Want to see something that hasn’t been seen for 87 years? The rainbow toad was recently spotted in the mountains of Borneo by scientists. The exact location of this discovery will remain a secret for “fear of illegal poaching due to strong demand for bright-hued amphibians.” This story was originally reported by Sean Yoong for the Associated Press.

Borneo Rainbow Toad, Or Sambas Stream Toad, Spotted In Malaysias Eastern Sarawak State.

Black, White and Blue

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

July 8, 2011

Sometimes things aren’t  just black and white. Take this Blue penguin for example. No, really, don’t you just want to take him? 

“Recently the color of Little Blue Penguins was found to be generated by a new type of structural color.”

“Bird feathers have pigments like melanins and carotenoids – we even have evidence for color in the fossil penguin Inkayacu from fossilized melanin-bearing structures. Color can also be produced by physical interactions between light and biological nanostructures. These colors are called structural colors.”

Please click the link at the bottom for the full story.

Structural Color in the Little Blue Penguin « March of the Fossil Penguins.

More Alive With Color Monday

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

December 13, 2010

On a sight seeing stroll through Taiwan we spotted the Taiwanese version of More Alive With Color. It really is a beautifully done book. We couldn’t be more pleased with the book and being embraced by the Taiwanese.

Thank you!!

I’m thinking of calling this More Alive With Color Monday. If you are not familiar with More Alive With Color (MAWC) for short I will give you a brief synopsis of the concept.

Based on the colors of your eyes, hair and skin (and on your personality). Lee has come up with three Colortimes:

Sunrise, with the sparkling jewel tones of dawn and dew

Sunlight, with the soft pastels and delicious fruit shades of noon

Sunset, with the fiery hues that mellow into dusk.

With that said, do you know what YOUR Colortime is? Stay tuned for when I talk about the Crossover colors….

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