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!
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.
April 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
April 10, 2014
March 30th was the final day of the Emerald City Comicon. Comic books and pop culture were center stage for three full days. This event may not be for everyone but this show sells out year after year for all three days. The lure of actors, animation, art, gaming and color is something that spans many generations.
When it comes to studying trends there are at times clear and obvious areas to look to find trends. It is not always the obvious where a trend direction is found. The entertainment industry is a big contributor to driving trends. Movies are full of inspiration ranging from fashion, décor (set design) and even color trends. Sometimes the characters/actors themselves can be the object of desire. Ultimately, when all the components come together it makes movie magic. It is in all of those components where the inspiration, trend and the fan are found.
Mainstream acceptance of what was once considered “nerd culture” is bringing this vibrant palette into the limelight. For example, shows like the Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead are great directional indicators for trends. The reach of comics goes beyond the obvious to aspirational, with shows like Project Runway’s, Under The Gunn with Tim Gunn, where designers are tasked with a Marvel challenge. The reach of this genre is vast.
Fashionweekdaily.com reports that “This July, a fashion show will be coming to San Diego’s Comic-Con for the first time. Officially called “The Her Universe Fashion Show” all submissions entered for consideration must be “Geek Couture” fashion, not a costume, and can be based on anything that is celebrated at Comic-Con.” One look at the Her Universe site and it is plain to see that this isn’t a concept, style, ideal or trend that will be disappearing any time soon.
Have you embraced you inner “geek” or “nerd” and joined in on the fun?
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.
December 13, 2012 § 2 Comments
December 13, 2012
Lorraine DePasque is a Style/Trends editor for instoremag.com. She has interviewed me many times before and we are often on the same “wavelength” when it comes to spotting trends. This was especially evident when it came to Emerald. I often tell people at my presentations to look to high end jewelry for future influence.
You can say that Lorraine had her (Emerald clad?) finger on the pulse of this one considering that she posted this blog back in April. Click the link below to read Lorraine’s rationale of Emerald in terms of jewelry.
August 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
August 29, 2012
According to Wikipedia “January is on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere.”
As a resident of the Northern Hemisphere, I like to take respite from the cold (and rain) and head south for four days to hold my semi-annual Color/Design master class. Next year’s class is going to be held January 24-27th in Burbank, California. California is the perfect sunny locale for a mid-winter getaway.
This hands-on class will give you the tools and education to take your career in color to the next level. The class will include the psychology and emotion of color, consumer color preferences, the formation of trends (where do they come from and where are they going), a workshop and time for in-depth Q&A.
Come and join me in sunny California to explore the wonderful world of color. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
June 18, 2012
Cartoons come to life in this effervescent palette, The Comics. Funny paper hues pop off the page in whimsical ways that bring a smile and create the need to take some time to play. Ominous Phantom Black provides the backdrop for sulphuric yellow and fiery red. A flash of green provokes a strong blue while an inky cyan plays up to honeysuckle and primrose. It’s quirky joy and spontaneity.
“Forever 21 will roll out a small assortment of’Simpsons’ T-shirts for men and women, while Fox’s long-term global partner H&M is currently selling new ‘Simpsons’-themed boys’ wear. The Swedish retailer will also make ‘Ice Age’ Ts to coincide with the summer sequel ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift,’ as will midtier retailer C&A.”
It is always fun to watch a forecast become part of the mainstream in home and now in fashion. Jeremy Scott is the perfect match for this whimsical palette.
Are you seeing The Comic influence?
February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
February 23, 2012
I found this article and thought that with all of the great buzz surrounding Tangerine Tango that it would be fun to look back at when it all started. I excerpted a paragraph from the article for your viewing pleasure and included a link to the full article at the bottom.
“Sephora is about to bring out a limited-edition spring cosmetics line with orange eye makeup—including orange false eyelashes made from feathers. The renaissance of orange extends to many facets of design: The Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah, recently installed a luxury ski lift called the Bubble Express—with heated chairs in eye-popping orange.
This renaissance for orange has been a long time coming. The color was popular in the 1920s, and again in the 1960s, with a lesser renaissance in the ’80s.”
Are you hearing the buzz about the Pantone x Sephora collaboration? Will you be rushing out to pick up some of these limited-edition goodies?
October 18, 2011 § 6 Comments
Koeppel observes: ”Evolutionary biologists believe that human lighting preferences are the result of our trichromatic vision—rare in non-primates—which makes us particularly suited to daylight and perception of primary colors. There’s an anthropological component as well; for 4,000 years, humankind has been banishing darkness with fire. And Edison’s bulb, at its core, is a burning filament that casts a glow of flame. Abandoning incandescent bulbs means abandoning fire as our primary light source for the first time in human history.”
I never thought about it that way, but it certainly makes sense and answers the resistance that is being shown to accepting the newer look in light bulbs. Actually, from a design standpoint, some of the squiggly shapes of the newer energy saving bulbs are really quite interesting. The challenge is balancing a lampshade on some of them. However, there are some manufacturers that are using the odd shapes as a design component.
A chart explains the meaning of color temperature very simply. It states: “Expressed in degrees Kelvin, this is how we measure things like soft white or daylight. A pleasant soft white will have a color temperature of 3000K. White light ranges from 4100K to 6000K, roughly equal to noonday sun. Higher numbers get increasingly bluer”.