Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Your own coloring is part of your color palette. Eyes, too.

Best-selling book Color Me Beautiful states that most winters have blue or brown eyes. Yet brown is not in the winter palette.  I think if brown is in your eyes, then it is in your palette.

Stylist Brenda Kinsel agrees, writing that she has core wardrobe pieces relating to her hair and eye colors.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chevreul and the color fringe effect

Michel Eugene Chevreul's scientific work covered a wide range. Besides being a snappy dresser himself, He wrote The Laws of Contrast of Colour.  He noted that colours influence each other when side-by-side.

If you stare at colored disks for a while, you will start to notice a fringe or halo in another color surrounding the disk. That halo is not actually there; your mind is producing it.  It has to do with the eye manufacturing missing wavelengths or "seeking white balance."

The reason this has implication in clothing is that the shirt you are wearing has an "anti colour" which is influencing the way your skin looks. If your shirt color is throwing off a flattering halo, you will look good. If it is throwing off an unflattering halo, your dark circles and blemishes will actually be enhanced!

When I worked at Dairy Queen in the 70's, I had to wear an orange-colored uniform. The supervisor wouldn't stop going on and on about how sick I looked. I think she might have had other problems than acute observation! Conversely, in my closet I have a favourite blue shirt that I wear and I invariably get compliments on, even if I'm not wearing any makeup.  There is definitely something to the colours we wear and how we are perceived.

[I love how many fields such as philosophy, science, and business are being given the graphic novel treatment. So I did a preliminary sketch of a panel illustrating this topic.]

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Years ago when I first started my Certificate in Visual Design program, the Colour Theory program ignited a passion for the topic of ideal clothing colours for the individual. I had noticed how wonderful Cameron Diaz looked in the movie There's Something About Mary. Also how stunning Julie Andrews looked in her golden yellow suit near the end of The Sound of Music.  How I got compliments on how great I looked when wearing a certain shade of blue, even when I was sick as a dog. Conversely how my manager at Dairy Queen kept on about how sick I looked when I was wearing the orange uniform of that era.

When I was deciding on my colour theory topic I initially thought about the fashion side of colour. My initial lizard-brain said that it was a dumb and frivolous idea. I chose to ignore the inner critic and went ahead with it. I decided to ask the question: what makes certain colours ideal for the individual?  That was the focus of my research, and I earned an A+ for my paper, and an endorsement from the prof that she expected to see me on the Fortune 500 list someday!

Life circumstances motivated me to get my research to a certain point and then shelve it, to revisit it again someday. I think now might be the time.

Update: while I think what my teacher said above was very encouraging, my main goal with this blog is to share my thoughts on this topic and work towards her optimistic view of me.