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…
December 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
December 22, 2015
Recently, I had the great pleasure of visiting my colleague and former student, Rami Kim, in Seoul, Korea. She owns and runs an academy of color where she teaches classes on many aspects of color (visit rcgcolor.com). Her multi-age school offers programs for young children all the way through adulthood, and caters to color professionals and non-pros alike.
She truly has a passion for color and feels, just as I do, that color education never stops. It is ever-evolving and even though some color tenets can remain the same, such a the classic color wheel, Rami agrees that there is now a lot more space for new ideas emerging about color from various cultures and that is one of the reasons for her coming to my classes in the U.S. She also agrees that staying on top of the emotional color cues, as well as the newest trends in color, is more important than ever.
Rami’s background is quite amazing. She had a serious automobile accident while still a student and was hospitalized for three months. During that time and at a young age, she decided to pursue her passion for color and developed the concept of what eventually became her color academy.
Starting with just two students, she eventually built her school into a thriving and respected business. While in Seoul I visited her school and met with four members of her staff. It was a special day for all of us!!
September 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
September 24, 2015
Kartell is an Italian company that makes and sells plastic contemporary furniture. Headquartered in Milan, they began manufacturing automobile accessories in 1949 and expanded into contract and home furnishings in 1963.
They have now forged an interesting partnership with one of the most imaginative fashion designers with a long-standing reputation in the use of unique color and pattern combinations. Christian LaCroix became the darling of the fashion runways in the 80s, but the 90s and early 2000s saw a decline in both business and attention. However, in recent years, we have seen his name on the ascendancy again, this time combining with “Kartell à la Mode,” as it is being called, in creating and producing a new handbag line.
Available in two sizes, a tote and a clutch bag, the fabrication is injection-molded plastic, a material that Kartell is referring to as “rich and sensual,” certainly not the usual connotation and impression of plastic. The shapes are geometric in design and both styles will be available in five colors, although those five colors have not been named yet.
Kartell has a recent history of producing some other intriguing, industrial–inspired molded plastic in inventive fashion forward looks and, very recently, they partnered with No.21, a Milanese shoe manufacturer. Called “The Knot,” the provocative and intricate styling on the sandal is quite unique, one that takes special skills to make. It is available in five colors: black, powder pink, mustard yellow, khaki green, and burgundy.
The look of the shoes fits very well into the influences we saw recently in Paris. Stilettos have given way to much lower heels, with sneakers being the “shoe du jour” in every imaginable color, pattern and, most often, with sparkle.
Question: What do you think of the color range of the Knot? Would you wear this kind of shoe?
September 15, 2015 § 3 Comments
September 15, 2015
If you didn’t know already, I travel…a LOT! My most recent trip was to Maison & Objet, a lifestyle uber tradeshow featuring all things “design.” It takes place at an exhibition center outside of Paris and covers 246,000 square meters or about 61 acres.
My traveling companion, assistant, and color/design associate, Melissa Bolt, walked every inch of the show with me, photographing our foray into the stadium-size halls.
We became immediately aware of the presence of design trends we have noted in recent seasons:
Eyeglasses as wall art and part of home décor accessories,…
…Owls peering from their perches,…
…Butterflies still flying high,…
…Shoes as wearable art,…
… crowns that are not exclusively for royalty,
…and concentric circles, as seen in these South African wire bowls
to name just a few.
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 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
July 9, 2015
Just like many of you, I am constantly online working, either reading and responding to email or doing research, and I am blessed that my work is FUN!. Recently I received a message from a fellow color lover, Piali Dasgupta, a Fashion Editor for Amazon India/Style Diaries, with a special request to discuss the color yellow, and not just any yellow but Pantone’s Minion Yellow.
Please click the link below to read the full interview.
July 2, 2015 § 4 Comments
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.
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.