From Highlanders to hipsters, tartan--or, in a lot of cases outside of Scotland, plaid and check--has been one of fashion's favorite textiles for centuries.
"It's a cloth of duality," said Dr. Jonathan Faiers, author of Tartan: Textiles that Changed the World. "Its history is in the establishment--in clansmanship, the aristocracy and military forces, but because it's become the uniform of rugged masculinity it's also revisited in an ironic way--by subcultures such as grunge, punk and gay clones."
In that sociological sense, tartan is modern and traditional--a staple of Scottish clans and international fashion runways alike. From a color and pattern standpoint--important factors distinguishing one tartan from the next--it's a bold, eye-catching textile with the ability to declare one's family history as immediately as it can one's personal sense of style. It's certainly a favorite with pattern makers here at COLOURlovers.
Today, we're taking a look at how all of tartan's aspects come together.
I'm only slightly stepping out of my art/design role with this fashion-related blog post. Enter Forage, a new line of mid-century inspired bow ties. Brains behind this classy-quirky line are Shauna & Steven who run a delightful Etsy shop, somethingshidinghere. Forage draws heavy inspiration from industry greats like Louis Kahn, Charles Eames, and Le Corbusier, people whose work has definitely made an impression on my tastes too. I mean look at all these awesome patterns and colors...Beautiful, right? Forage didn't skip out on any of the other details either, the packaging, photography & styling and the craftsmanship are all obviously top-notch too. I'm wishing I was A) a dude or B) able rock one of these in some way. These ties are debuting for purchase at the Curiousity Shoppe.
As suggested by ycc2106, Highwireart & elibby, in the comments of our last fine set of new seamless patterns, and liddle_r in the forum post August 2010: Fabulous pattern discoveries, here are (only) some of the great recent patterns coming out of Seamless.
For some more original patterns follow along and post your own in the forum thread Original Pattern Designs! started by ManiacPlz or follow the real-time fun by browsing the most recent patterns to watch for those new designs popping up periodically amongst the always dazzling color variations of the already created patterns.
We recently came across the inspiring work of Megan Geckler, and ycc2106's Seamless interpretation of I can tell you how this ends, 2007, it's fantastic, and what's even more fantastic is the group Interpretation Fun focused on that very exercise of interpreting inspiring photos into new patterns.
Original Pattern By: ycc2106
I know we mentioned Megan's recent installation "Every step you take, every move you make” (on display through October 31, 2010 at PMCA) not too long ago, but I'm pretty taken back by her site inspired flagging tape color freak outs. It may be a condition that could be cured by experiencing first hand one of these, what I presume to be, nearly overwhelming (in the best kind of way) installations, but until that day comes for me I encourage all of you to check her work out. So here's a little dose of color inspiration from her portfolio and some pattern's from the library that can help you cope with any tension developed by not being able to witness the work of Megan Geckler.
Megan Geckler's (@dummytown) site-specific architectural installations are assembled from thousands of strands of flagging tape, a colorful plastic ribbon utilized by surveyors to demarcate space on construction sites. This anonymous material is located on the periphery of our everyday life,
If something art-related has gone viral, then it would be these geometric patterns. Such a simple colorful idea can be translated into a kaleidoscope of ways, it's no wonder it's contagious. Painting, illustration, collage, branding, and even traditional Nesting Dolls get a modern spin. And yes, there's a bounty of geometric COLOURlovers patterns for drooling over too.
It has only been 2 months since we launched Seamless Studio and already we're overwhelmed by all the great new patterns that have been created by all of you. Here we're highlighting 25 new patterns where you can see the original pattern followed by a few colored by other members. Keep creating and spreading the color love!
Have you noticed or created a new pattern that you think is the tops? Recommend it to the rest of us by posting an example in the comments.
Feeling inspired and want to get coloring? Click on any of these patterns then "Create Pattern" to get started. You can also select from all of the patterns or browse the pattern library for more inspiration.
If you have any eye for the radically strange side of fashion, you've surely already heard of the brightly colored trends from Tokyo's Harajuku district (not to mention, we've posted about them in the past!). Of course, it was inevitable that someone would document such a memorable phenomenon, and while several books have come out on the topic, one in particular is a true standout.
Called Fruits, this series of books by Shoichi Aoki has captured the look of the kids that frequent Harajuku, but it's also gone a step further to find out a bit more about them in the form of easily readable stats on the bottom of each page. For this reader, it's even more interesting to find out tidbits of information about the kids that spend three hours dying their hair turquoise and making their own costumes than it is to see what they're wearing. What kind of music do they listen to? Who are their fashion idols?
The key to Fruits-inspired fashion is color, and a lot of it. The young men and women who embody the true spirit of the fashion movement purposely mismatch prints and colors and wear many layers of clothing. The inspiration of the look gave musicia Gwen Stefani the idea to create her own fashion line, Harajuku Lovers, which promotes a more wearable version of the look with thin tees, oversized tops and bright knits.
Check out a few more of the vivid styles of Harajuku's proud residents below. You can also buy the books here.
This weeks inspirational colours and patterns started with a vintage styled wedding I was perusing on www.stylemepretty.com. It brought back wonderful childhood memories of my grandma's closet and my retro fad in high school. Do you remember your mom or grandma with that citrus print apron, dress or Pyrex collection? This couple took their day straight back to the 50's full fledge basing their look and feel off the memory of vintage oranges.
We have more than 600k seamless background patterns and more than 1 million color palettes... Why aren't more sites using our API to give their users beautiful options for their profiles? Sounds like a no-brainer right? Well, I met Evan Williams (@ev) from twitter a few weekends ago and I presented this idea to him. He was open to it, but Twitter was super busy working on other features... BUT if we built it he'd definitely check it out. Well, Ev... Here she is!
Introducing... Themeleon for Twitter. Custom Themes by COLOURlovers
Ok... So he likes it... He really likes it!
@ev "Holy crap, this is rad: @COLOURlovers built a Twitter theme designer: http://colourlovers.com/themeleon/twitter"
So does Twitter!
@Twitter "Can't get enough of the @COLOURlovers app! A slick customization tool for your Twitter background. #appwednesday"
A Beautiful Twitter Profile in 3 Simple Steps:
1.) Login to Twitter
2.) Choose your background (pattern or photo) and your colors
3.) Save your settings. & Share your work
Browse Your COLOURlovers Creations & Faves
Want to create your theme using your own palettes and patterns from COLOURlovers?
Login and browse your New & Top patterns or palettes as well as your Favorite New & Top.
Use the Tools Luke!
-Apply. Although the wording is a bit cumbersome. You can apply the colors you have in your pattern to your color settings below & you can also apply colors you have in your settings below to a pattern template. *Click each of the buttons, it'll be obvious what they do... and then help us improve the wording on them :)*
-Shuffle. Click the button to give you some inspiration by mixing up the order of the colors in your settings area.
-Undo. Oops. Didn't mean to click there? Not sure what you were thinking with that last color choice? No worries, just click the undo button. (You can click it more than once to correct a spree of mis-clicking.)
-Drag & Drop. Click and drag any of the 5 color squares in your pattern preview or down in your color settings to change their order.
*New* DHTML Color Picker
While building themeleon we decided it was time to give our DHTML color picker a refresh. We not only updated the aesthetic we made it a bit bigger so the (S) Saturation and (V) Brightness sliders can fully display all 255 steps. We'll soon be releasing the code for this picker under the same terms as our previous picker to be freely used in any of your projects. (We did remove CMYK from this version for now as the conversions weren't working perfectly. It will find its way back in when we have it locked down.)
Use Themeleon on Your Site
Have a site that lets users customize their profile or create themes? Want to plug into the COLOURlovers API and use themeleon on your site? Let's talk! Hit me up @dariusmonsef or us @COLOURlovers... or just use our contact form ;)
Theme Leon? What does that mean?
No, no... Thee-mee-lee-uhn. Like Chameleon. Get it? As in a chameleon can change its colors... and you can change your theme colors... We're so proud of ourselves on this one. We didn't even go with our old trusty and take the first few lettes to make up a name... COlor PAlette SOftware (COPASO) & PHoto COlor PAlettes (PHOTOCOPA).