|me in black with brights and the Prada 2012 Cruise Collection pastels (blogged here)|
COLORS! I'm for 'em. Aren't we all?!
Seeking to mistake-proof my sewing, I have studied the subject on the internet. (If you have more knowledge, please share /set me straight in the comments). Here is a nifty little color test if you are curious about your own color sensitivity.
Color theory is worthy of several semesters of college-level classes, but here are some basics. There is hue, which is the red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet description. Then there is chroma, or how saturated and rich the color is, as opposed to muted. And finally, value describes how close the color is to black or to white. There are infinite shades of gray between black and white and all of these grays travel through colors. That is how you can buy gray paint that looks green on your walls, or purple or blue or beige on your walls. There are a lot of grays.
Back in the 1980's, seasonal color analysis became very popular as a way of choosing flattering makeup and clothing colors. Here is a quick synopsis of the 4 seasons: Winter and Summer are cool, Spring and Autumn are warm. Winter is higher contrast with more saturated colors whereas Summer colors are cool, muted and lower contrast. Autumn colors are warm, darker and muted, compared to Spring's warm, lighter and richer colors.
In more recent years, Kathryn Kalisz and others expanded the theory to 12 categories. In this way of thinking, each primary season has two siblings that are a little closer to neutral than the "true" season. Having 8 additional palettes has made this useful to all the people who did not fit neatly into the original 4 seasons.
The main issue I have with color analysis is applying the knowledge. It is still up to me to find fabrics that fit my requirements. Unless I want to wear nothing but solid colors, I need to evaluate prints somehow. So often, prints have some of "my colors" but also include a few colors that I hate. My last fabric shopping trip was my most successful ever. I actually walked through fabric stores, waving around a color fan (procured here). I let the color fan draw me to prints, sometimes surprising prints. Almost every fabric I bought was purchased with some trepidation, but I really like all of the garments sewn from this last batch of fabrics. The main colors new to me are yellow and green. It is so nice to expand my palette!
What about you? Do you buy into the whole color analysis thing? Ever had it done? Think it helps or overly confuses? Do you have a good gut instinct about color?