Sunday, September 25, 2011

Color Your Mood

There is indeed a psychology of color. Color can impact the way we feel and primes our responses to other stimuli. Don't believe me? Have you ever been to a spa with hot pink walls? Have you been to a nursery painted black? Didn't think so! What is true for our surroundings is true for what we surround ourselves with. Colorful clothing can change our mood as well as set the mood for others. As our clothing sends a message about us to those around us, our color choices can change the message.

Valentino Red
The color of love, hearts, roses, Valentine's day. This is also the color of power, danger and aggression...think stop signs, red lights, blood, and the Red Carpet.  This strong color will increase appetite, heart rate, breathing, and the attention of others. When used in clothing, red often connotes strength, femininity, and sexuality. The sexual association is linked to the red light district, where the color of the light indicated the presence of brothels. Valentino has long loved red and because of his famous dresses in this color has earned his own shade known as "Valentino red." Red is the most popular color for this fall and winter's fashion season.

The beauty of saffron
The color is halfway between red and yellow, but is more soothing than the two. Orange makes us feel warmth, health, and change.  It is often associated with our fall holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the harvest during those times. It is also named after a fruit of its color that is as bright and tangy in flavor as it is in hue. As orange is the contrasting color of blue and is therefore used for safety clothing and equipment, which stands out against the surrounding sky.

Yellow on the Red
A bright happy color that jolts the senses, and in large quantities can overwhelm. Yellow mimics the color of the sun, our brightest star. In addition to increasing concentration, yellow can push us overboard and increase agitation. In fashion, yellow is often used in small doses as it can be harsh on the skin.

From army to kelly, it is easy being green
This color carpets our world with grass, bushes, and trees. The color of nature makes us relaxed and feel refreshed. Additionally, green is the color of that which produces think money, fertility, and green traffic lights! Green has been particularly popular on the runway for Fall 2011. Marc Jacobs featured it in a day dress and Ralph Lauren used it for a formal gown.

Runway blues
One of the most commonly occurring colors in our planet. From the ocean to the sky, the color blue cradles us in its calming hue. It can also indicate sadness, we have all heard the expression "feeling blue." As for fashion, the denim on denim trend from the Spring '11 collections is not going anywhere. Our planet won't be the only thing saturated with this color, your wardrobe will also have the blues this season.

Purple reigns
The color of pomp, circumstance, and royalty. Purple oozes sophistication and glamour. This color is often used during the fall and winter months. Who can forget Prince's Purple Rain? If the color is good enough for him, it's good enough for us. Purple reigned supreme at the end of '09 and beginning of '10, but it is still as relevant now as it was then. To modernize the color, use with other brights when color blocking, think orange and purple silks a la Gucci, or brown tweeds with purple blouses.

Diddy does it
Purity and sterility. White is clean, clear, and goes with everything. We use this color in home decor, weddings, medical settings, and our wardrobes. When coloring our clothes, white indicated the height of status as keeping it clean required a life of leisure and the help to maintain its purity. White reflects all the colors of the chromatic spectrum, which is especially important during those summer months.

LBD is here to stay
Black has often been the color of doom, despair, and dark and evil forces. It also has a connotation of power as well as submission. Despite its negative associations, black is the most popular color in fashion for its classic appeal, slimming effect, and ability to work well with all other colors. LBD anyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spring Report

Although we are anticipating frosty months, our friends in the design world are forcing our
brains to reject all the sensory cues from our environment that winter lies ahead. In the midst of shorter days, the sound of crunching leaves, the smell of pumpkin spice, and the aching desire for cashmere, we are launched forward to Spring 2012 where the trends of this season are stomped into us as the runway heels that wear them. As you prepare your homes, cars, and self for the cold, why not warm yourself with notions of Spring...for your closet!

Have designers gone soft? For Spring 2012, they certainly have. This season is all about soft flowy fabrics.  Think light cottons and silks draped for movement. Even leathers are treated in such a way to create a liquid look. Designers also turn to sheer fabrics to construct a screen of modesty against bare skin. Short skirts are banded with sheer gauze to fake the maxi look. Sleeveless tops and dresses are covered in mesh jackets. For those who are body conscious, what stockings do for the legs, these coverings do for the rest of the body during a time of year that calls for more exposure.                            

If you were hoping for things to tone down, you are not going to get it this Spring. Although, the nudes, beiges, and camels still have their place, strong saturated colors are in full force. These colors are seen in monochromatic pieces, color blocking reminiscent of the swinging 60s Twiggy movement, and bright tropical florals. These saturated colors are made even more glamourous with the addition of shimmer and shine. Colored metallics are lighting up the Spring season.

Unlike many winter-to-spring transitions that cruelly require we shed our oversized sweaters for fitted silhouettes, this Spring we can have that extra glass of eggnog. As the warm weather approaches designers are draping soft fabrics in loose fitting cuts. As if the relaxed fit weren't enough to induce a collective sigh of relief, the hemlines are getting longer. For those who are excited to show off their feminine curves, the fit-and-flare style of 40s and 50s are also popular. Peplums and ballerina inspired cuts are designed to accentuate all that is woman.

Can't afford anything new this season? Not to worry, the designers this Spring have turned to the past. You can find the 40s and 50s styles in your grandmother's closet and the graphic 60s and glamourous 70s styles in your mother's wardrobe! Don't want to go back, move forward with the sport-inspired styles gracing the catwalks.

With so many wonderful options, we can only hope that Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow this year or Santa will kindly bring us a sunlamp.