Knowing Colours Is Key To Being Fashion Conscious..the Hue For You

September 29th, 2003

Naming colours is key to fashion, experts say
Pink isnt just pink, its phlox or blush. Beige isnt beige when it can be sand or champagne. And brown certainly would never be brown when it could be cinnamon, tobacco or stone.
Designers unveiling their latest looks at the semi-annual New York fashion week say they spend untold effort not only choosing colours but naming those hues, drawing inspiration from old movies, summer resorts, Victorian lingerie and even childhood memories.
At the Anne Klein show on Tuesday, the colour brown was coined bark, white was cloud, black was pitch and pink was the phlox flower. At bill Blass, brown was stone, grey was pearl, beige was champagne, off-white was candlelight, gold was cognac, green was seafoam, pink was blush and brown was cinnamon and butterscotch and creme brulee.
Colour names derived from food, flowers and nature have the most appeal, colour psychologist Leatrice Eisemaa said.
Who can resist? Said Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone colour Instiitute, considered by many to be a definitive source on colour in fashion, textile and interior design.
It evokes a picture and it evokes a scent, She said. You get as many senses going as possible.
Take the word dew, she said. While it is neither tangible nor any particular colour, its something wonderful. By comparison, Shrek green, based on the childrens movie, would not be a particularly good name in fashion.

At the show by the Chaiken design house, dark blue was dusk, brown was nut, orange was sunset and green was sea. At Oscar de la Renta, green was absinthe and beige was sand. At Luca Luca, blue was water; at Nicole Miller, brown was tea; at Ellen Tracy, orange was tigerlily; at Peter Som, Green was lawn and at Douglas Hannant, yellow was sunflower and orange was poppy.
I was inspired by and barefoot walk through the garden, Hannant said in a Pantone report on colour use by designers released this week in conjunction with the hundreds of fashion shows going on in New York.
I chose all the shades of the sun, said Anne Klein designer Michael Smaldone in the same report.
Colour trends emerge from such sources as a popular food or a traveling art exhibit, Eiseman said.
Chocolate and coffee colours such as espresso, latte and mocha, for example, grew out of the popularity of coffee bars in the 1990s, she said.
Each new fashion season does not necessarily produce new colours as much as subtle changes or unusual combinations such as Carolina Herreras use of typically fall colours such as black, white, citron (Thats yellow), Burnt sienna (dark orange-brown) and cayenne (peppery pink) to produce one of the most memorable lines for net spring so far.
Herrera said she got her inspiration form her vision of carefree days on the French Riviera in the 1930s
This article is by ELLEN WULFHORST
New York, Reuters  

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