|Cecil Beaton, "Unseen Vogue"|
Readers, today I want to talk color.
If there were one sewing-related skill I wish I could master overnight, it would be my color sense. I think mine is OK, sometimes even good. But occasionally I see someone walking down the street in an outfit that knocks my socks off, not because of the clothes themselves but because of the wearer's use of color, and I wonder how they do it.
There are no short cuts when it comes to developing one's color sense, imo. You can look at color wheels and Pantone color books and Color Me Beautiful till the cows come home, but it won't make you a colorist. You have to pay attention to the world around you.
I've always loved color (my living room walls used to be purple) but I never really felt confident about it, to be honest. Even when I shop for fabric, I rarely go looking for a particular color unless it's for something like Cathy's opera coat, where I already know what I need. I seldom go out of my way to color coordinate my own clothes, as anyone who's ever met me knows -- it's enough to keep myself showered and shaved.
|My living room about eight years ago.|
With Cathy's help, about three years ago I put together a color palette for myself and it helped tremendously. Remember this? Maybe it's time to do it again.
Lately, I've started paying more attention to master colorists. I've become familiar with the work of British cintematographer Jack Cardiff ("Black Narcissus"), fashion photographer John Rawlings (Forties and Fifites Vogue), costume designer Dorothy Jeakins ("The Sound of Music", "The Music Man"), and so many others whose work I'd seen for decades and enjoyed, but never connected with the artist behind it.
|From "Black Narcissus"|
I was at a rehearsal for a project Michael's working on the other day and I noticed these chairs...
...and my friend Stephanie.
These palettes look beautiful to me, but if I hadn't taken photographs, I might not have really noticed them. Sometimes when I'm walking down the street I have to remind myself to see, if that makes sense. Usually the colors in our environment just blend into the background and we don't take them in. That's when it's sometimes nice to carry a camera!
I generally don't look at Martha Stewart Living and magazines of that ilk, not that they aren't pretty. But I find there's a sameness to so much of what's in mainstream print media; I'd rather find my inspiration elsewhere. I love the saturated colors of 1940's technicolor movies, Kodachrome portraits, and fashion advertising. (You may have already seen my Pinterest board of same -- last Pinterest mention today, promise!)
In closing, if you have a sophisticated color sense, how did you develop your eye for color? Did it come naturally or did you work at it? Where do you find your inspiration?
Is there a fashion era whose colors you love most, or a film, or an artist that inspires you?
Do you like unusual color combinations or more classic ones (i.e., red, white, and blue)?
Color me curious!
(Fabulous MGM Technicolor from "Yolanda and the Thief")