Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is over. In the U.S., Labor Day has passed, school has started, the sun is setting sooner and we're getting ready to tuck away our white clothes and shoes until spring--well, at least that's what we've been told to do.
A suggested ban on white clothing and shoes after Labor Day, the first Monday of September, has been a rule of etiquette since the early 20th century. But is it really all that important by today's standards? Fashion--and even an etiquette expert or two--doesn't think so. In recent seasons, white has become an all-year hue. And a few other formerly fatal color combinations--brown and black, black and navy--have moved from fashion don't to fashion can-do territory, too.
"For centuries, wearing white in the summer was simply a way to stay cool--like changing your dinner menu or putting slipcovers on the furniture," wrote TIME's Laura Fitzpatrick. In the early 1900s, clothing covered a lot more of the body than it does now, so summer whites, with their reflective qualities, made sense. But beyond practicality, white had a following in high society that may have led to the no-white rule.
"In the early 20th century, white was the uniform of choice for Americans well-to-do enough to decamp from their city digs to warmer climes for months at a time: light summer clothing provided a pleasing contrast to drabber urban life," Fitzpatrick wrote." Labor Day, celebrated in the U.S. on the first Monday of September, marked the traditional end of summer; the well-heeled vacationers would stow their summer duds and dust off their heavier, darker-colored fall clothing."
Of course, this theory is hotly contested by some--Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, told Fitzpatrick not every rule of etiquette has to be attributed to "snobbery." But whether the rule was meant to be snobby or not, the fashion world hasn't been ruled by it. And perhaps that's why etiquette queen Emily Post says it's OK to throw this rule out with the last of the summer barbecue leftovers.
After being considered a faux pas for so long, the black-and-brown combination--which has been given the go-ahead--is actually a fresh one. According to the Ralph Lauren Style Guide: "When properly executed, the combination of black and brown is a very modern and sophisticated look that’s instantly elegant. Start by adding touches of brown via accessories: the hint of a leather belt beneath a black cardigan or suede boots under slim-fitting pants."
For women, Ladies' Home Journal says, "Pair rich brown wool trousers with a black turtleneck, or wear black shoes and hose with your brown skirt. For evening, try a brown cocktail dress instead of a black one." And a great tip for mixing-and-matching your shoes and handbags?" Try a deep red, hunter green or soft tan bag, or go for shoes in similar shades, all of which will work with your brown and black staples."
Navy and black make for another recently edgy combination--good news for navy lovers who may have had trouble matching shades of blue, or black lovers who have the same trouble matching blacks. This combination works a lot like black and brown in execution--try pairing a navy dress with black tights and shoes or skinny black pants with a navy blazer for a runway-worthy look.
Black shoes are also a good choice with a navy suit, though some advise a deep brown pair--GQ Style Guy Glenn O'Brien says to pick a pair at least as dark as your suit. But he also said, "Not long ago, I read a little manifesto in the catalog of the talented potter Jonathan Adler that stated, among other things: 'We believe colors can't clash.' I am coming to this view more and more."
Looks like others are, too.
Fearless color combinations from the library:
I graduated from college, well, a while ago, but I still love back-to-school season. The air gets crisp, the scarves come out and I can purchase packages of fine-point Sharpies at a super-sale price. I'm also a sucker for the season's big, roomy totes and backpacks. And whether, like me, you carry your biggest bags to the grocery and for travel or you fill them up with fresh folders and notebooks for class, you don't have to feel badly about popping for a new one these days--the market is well-stocked with sustainable, eco-friendly options.
Green clothing, as a whole, encompasses both organic and sustainable fabrics. The difference? Sustainable fabrics are produced with an emphasis on reusing and recycling manufactured products. Often, companies incorporate sustainable practices in general--environmentally friendly packaging, efficient energy use, and reduced waste and pollution. And, when you look at the bags we've got lined up today, you'll see style is taken just as seriously as sustainability.
Here at COLOURlovers, it's easy to be spoiled by the millions of colors we have available at our fingertips. We can create colors, palettes and patterns to fit our every mood, meet every whim--you know where I'm going with this.
A well-stocked closet can further that creativity in everyday life. When you have bold colors and prints at the ready you can layer them up, mixing patterns, piling hues or opting for a single bright piece against a monochromatic look. But the basics aren't to be discounted in any scenario; a white shirt, black pants, a little black dress, a good brown belt, well-fitting denim and a pair of trim chinos are staples that form the foundation--and in some cases, the entirety--of any good wardrobe.
But members here probably already know that, which explains why COLOURlovers' top colors are all strong, solid basics. Putting them into play here are members of Flickr's wardrobe_remix street fashion community.
ninjascience's classic black is CL's most-loved and most-followed color. It's a crisp essential the fashion world loves, too, and the reasons are many: It's stark and striking at the same time, it creates a strong line, it's a clean backdrop for accessories and detail, and, you know, it's slimming.
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.
In biography after biography of designer Betsey Johnson, a single word is oft-repeated: exuberant. And truly, one would be hard-pressed to find a designer more exuberant in style--or even life--philosophy than Johnson, who turned 68 last week.
With a continued focus on youth and femininity, playfulness and a lot of pink, Johnson can be counted on to liven up a runway. Today, we're taking a look into her colorful life, career and Fall 2010 collection.
Born in 1942, Johnson grew up in Wethersfield, Conn. She started dancing at an early age, and it led her to fashion: She fell in love with, and eventually started making, costumes. After graduating from Syracuse University in New York, Johnson served as a guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine in 1964; through the position she landed a job with Paraphernalia, a Manhattan boutique that brought the 1960s' mod London look--made famous by Mary Quant and Twiggy, among others--to the U.S.
Once a month, we'll be taking a look at fashion in film--characters, colors and costume design. Working together to create a believable persona, in the movies, the clothes often quite literally make the man. In the case of today's characters, they make the man (or girl) who's almost who (or where) he (or she) wants to be.
In 1939, 12-year-old Kansan Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) ran away from home to protect her beloved little dog, Toto, from certain death at the hands of Almira Gulch, a neighbor Toto had bitten. In her time away from home, Dorothy encounters a fortune teller who advises her to return home--and she attempts to do so, but is swept up, along with Toto and her family's farmhouse, in a tornado. She lands in a colorful world of bizarre characters, each with a want--courage, intelligence, heart, revenge. Dorothy's own want is simple: to get back home.
Fragrance is one of the fashion world's most complex components, and for obvious reasons. Each concoction's boldness and subtlety can make or break it--a scent has a fairly even chance of becoming an instant success or ending up in the bargain bin.
What makes a fragrance a hit hinges most on the creativity and singularity of the scent itself, but a number of other elements come into play--how a wearer's body chemistry affects the scent, how the scent mellows on its own over time, what images and moods the notes of the scent conjure in a wearer's mind.
And, according to Leffingwell & Associates, an information and service provider to flavor and fragrance industries, color can say a lot about a perfume wearer's preferences before she even spritzes it on. It makes sense, really, considering a number of fragrance families conjure colors all on their own, whether with the actual color of perfume or the colors associated with major notes.
"Color psychologists have long known that our favorite colors tell a lot about us. They’re a manifestation of our emotions and moods. Perfumers have found that the colors we prefer also allow conclusions to be drawn about our fragrance preferences," Leffingwell reports. "A woman who picks the color combination of yellow, orange, red and pale green, for example, is not only extroverted, active, optimistic and positive--she’ll also tend to prefer fresh-floral fragrance notes."
Through this month, designer Kenneth Cole is making the Gulf Coast oil spill cleanup effort a little more colorful.
During July, you can log into Cole's custom T-shirt store on Facebook to design your own Gulf Coast cleanup T-shirt for $34.95; all proceeds will go to the Kenneth Cole Foundation's AWEARNESS fund, a nonprofit entity that supports, encourages and empowers acts of service, volunteerism and social change.
Cole offers a range of AWEARNESS products promoting specific causes and general social and political awareness, the sale of which contributes to the fund or particular programs. The initiative's Web site also directs visitors to a volunteer match system, highlights activists and provides information on AWEARNESS' philanthropic events.
The Facebook store lets shoppers customize men's and women's T-shirts with Gulf- or other cause-related text and graphics; they can choose the color of the T-shirt and the color of the words and images, too.
Though its exact origins are debatable, the manicure isn't by any means a recent development--it actually dates to ancient Babylonia and Egypt. Natural substances such as sheep fat, flower petals, jewels, egg whites, beeswax and vegetable dyes all went into those age-old nail customs of the East. It's true, however, the Western world was slow to pick up the practice--until the mid-20th century, clean, bare, well-trimmed nails were the preferred look.
Today, on the other hand, the totally natural nail is arguably boring. Colorful polishes, adhesive embellishments, acrylic nails and tips, extensions, stenciling, airbrushing, sculpting and even piercing transform fingertips into tiny works of eye-catching art, celebrating both manicurists' creativity and clients' personalities.
Among more complex nail treatments on the market are Minx's nail decals, a sort of all-in-one solution for those looking for sometimes elaborate nail art in a manageable amount of time. Previously available only to salon professionals or via a salon carrying the brand, Minx decals, thanks to Sephora and OPI, are now available to anyone wanting to test out the trend.
In the sports world, fashion has to serve practical purposes-- its fabric has to be comfortable and moisture-wicking, its shapes have to be well-fitting and easy to move in, it has to meet regulations and it all has to work around or over or under protective gear.
That's not to say, however, athletic uniforms are totally devoid of style. On the contrary, they often involve the history of a team's country or region--maybe even of the team itself--in emblems or designs, along with a usually bold color scheme. Take, for example, the jerseys on the field at this year's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
While the games are well underway, we're taking a look at six colorful home jerseys and their style stories.
South Africa, the home of the 2010 World Cup, is a country with an oft-turbulent history, and it's represented, in part, in the colors and symbols of the South African jersey. During apartheid, the springbok antelope was a national symbol of South Africa, as well as a mascot for many athletic teams. After apartheid ended, however, only the country's rugby team kept its springbok mascot (after intervention from then-president Nelson Mandela); now, teams are known as "Proteas," and that regional (and sometimes-controversial) flower is shown on this year's South African jersey.