Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Century of Hairstyles for Women

Hairstylist Appreciation Day is April 30th. Here is a look back at popular styles and fads throughout the decades.

1890’s: Hair never cut; curls meant sweet temperament; young wore braids or tied in ribbons; womanhood symbolized by hair on top of head, considered rite of passage; Marcel wave named after man who developed it; gray and white hair attractive because it looked soft and young.

1900’s: Opulent coiffures; swept-up long hair; large waves; huge hats; Gibson Girl look; top-heavy hair could include hairpiece; hair washed more often due to larger bathrooms; gray and white hair still popular.

1910’s: Hair became short, controversial, and followed lines of simple clothing; short hair seen as expression of grief and later, emancipation after WWI; popular for practical reasons; center parts, jeweled or feathered headbands; henna used; women with long “Madonna” hair seen as saintly and vulnerable.

1920’s: “Eton crop” most popular style; Anita Loos’ little boy cut; bangs (also called fringe); shingle cut layered toward neck; hair was playful and more exciting; hairpieces for versatility (abundance of real hair due to mass cutting); turbans and cloches popular.

1930’s: Sensual clothing meant softer hair, relief from short, severe styles; slightly longer, curled, waved, grooved; pageboy, Marcel wave again popular; foreheads reappeared; dyes, especially platinum blonde; Marlene Dietrich look sought.

1940’s: Veronica Lake and Lauren Bacall styles; long waves, grown-out pageboy; topknots (doughnuts); rolled hair with service uniforms; Hollywood a big influence on how women wanted to look; Ingrid Bergman’s “Joan of Arc” short cut; individual choice, practicality, and femininity of war years; set own hair in pin curls; hats worn all the time.

1950’s: Constant change throughout decade---dyed, teased, razor cut, upswept, pulled back, short, bobbed, pin curls, bubble cut; bangs like Audrey Hepburn’s “gamin” look or Shirley Jones’ “butch” cut; large rollers, hairspray, at-home dye kits; harsh, artificial color; Elizabeth Taylor black or Gene Tierney red; earrings popular; hats disappear.

1960’s: Long, straight hair; the natural look; Twiggy’s short, urchin cut; Vidal Sassoon’s geometric shapes from London; false hair (called falls); Revlon’s Flex, the first protein shampoo; long hair appears on boys and brave men; for the first time, models, celebrities, and singers look like ordinary young women; unisex fashions and long hair create the sometimes humorous/sometimes mean-spirited question, “Are you a boy or a girl?”

1970’s: Innovative and varied; perms, Afros, tiny braids, crimping (ethnic looking); low maintenance “wash and wear” styles scrunched with fingers; highlights more common; Jane Fonda’s short shag in Klute; Farrah Fawcett’s cut (layered with “wings” on the sides) became one of the most popular hairstyles ever.

1980’s: High-maintenance hair returns; expensive coifs for professional women; blonde bouffants for older women; Ivanna Trump; Joan Collins and Linda Evans from Dynasty; long and loose for young; gelled, spiky, sharp ‘dos, thanks to punk influence in Europe and New York City; all kinds of color including red, blue, purple, etc.

1990’s: Back to individuality; condition and sleekness more important than sculpted look; redheads popular; hair extensions for immediate length; shaved heads for women (Demi Moore in G. I. Jane); Meg Ryan’s tousled mop-top; Jennifer Anniston’s layered cut from Friends.

Information from Creative Forecasting, Inc., April 2003

In the 21st century, colorful hair crops up in various guises; for color lovers, it is a lark.

Happy Hairdressers' Day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bees love purple

Isn't it fun to learn that bees love purple? Scientists who discover such wonderful things make my heart happy. Our gardens can become oases for pollinators. The following article gives more details on how the bees' choose colors.

"A bee’s favorite color can help it to find more food from the flowers in their environment, according to new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

Dr Nigel Raine and Professor Lars Chittka from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences studied nine bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) colonies from southern Germany, and found that the colonies which favored purple blooms were more successful foragers.

Dr Raine explains: “In the area we studied, violet flowers produced the most nectar - far more than the next most rewarding flower color (blue). Inexperienced bees are known to have strong color preferences, so we investigated whether the bumblebee colonies with a stronger preference for violet flowers foraged more successfully in their local flora.”

Bumblebee visiting nectar-rich flowers (Vicia spp.)Photographer: Tom Ings

The team first observed the color preferences of naïve bees (those which had never before seen flowers) using violet (bee UV-blue) and blue (bee blue) artificial flowers in the laboratory. They then observed the rate at which bees from the same colonies collected nectar from real flowers in the wild.

The results showed that the colonies who preferred violet to blue flowers in the laboratory, harvested more nectar from real flowers under field conditions. In fact the colony with the strongest preference for violet (over blue) brought in 41 per cent more nectar than the colony with the least strong bias.

The team’s findings suggest that bumblebees have developed their favorite color over time, to coincide with the most profitable, nectar-rich flowers available.

It has been long accepted that animals show innate preferences when selecting a mate, but little research has been carried out on how such sensory biases affect foraging habits. The researchers believe their work could have implications for other species.

“A straw poll of friends always reveals many personal differences in 'favorite color'. Some human societies also have very different color preferences,” explains Raine. “In our work on bees we actually show there is some useful purpose to having such favorite colors. These innate sensory biases seem to play an important role in helping naïve animals to find food.”

Source: The Adaptive Significance of Sensory Bias in a Foraging Context: Floral Colour Preferences in the Bumblebee Bombus terrestris, Raine NE, Chittka L (2007)"

When I add new plants to our garden, they will be purple. When visiting the garden at Monticello once, huge Bumblebees were so busy collecting nectar they did not mind my observation. It was a thrill to witness their loading up on nectar or pollen. I admire their ambition to complete their work "while the sun shines."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Left-Handed Artists

In an earlier post, I mentioned three stellar artists of the Renaissance in Italy, Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and Raphel. Today, when I received the following post on left-handedness, curiosity got the better of me.

"Left has gotten a bad rap throughout history. Because of overwhelming majority of people are right-handed (most estimates are in the range of 85 to 90 percent), left-handedness has come to be associated with weakness — the word left itself is descended from an Old English word meaning “weak.”
Left-handedness was therefore until recently often seen as undesirable, and even well into the twentieth century, parents and teachers often forced left-handed children to use their right hand for writing, eating, and other basic activities. Even now, “a left-handed compliment” (also described as “a backhanded compliment”), refers to an ostensibly positive comment that is explicitly or implicitly an insult.
Idioms that employ left to describe an undesirable or unusual situation include “two left feet,” referring to a clumsy dancer, and “out of left field,” meaning an unexpected comment or idea. (The latter, however, is not necessarily derogatory.) We also use left to refer to something that remains behind as a result of deliberate action or accidental oversight. Another common idiom with a negative connotation, one using this sense of left, is “left a lot to be desired.”
The equivalents of left in other languages have similarly pejorative meanings. Gauche, the French word for left, also means “tactless, crude, socially inept” — in English as well as French. The opposite, droit, is the root word of maladroit, which means “incompetent, inept, unsuitable.” (English has adopted and adapted that term as adroit — literally, “to the right,” and meaning “appropriate” — as well as maladroit.)
Sinister, from the Latin word for “on the left,” came to be associated with inauspicious or unlucky events, and was borrowed by French and later English to mean “evil.” In heraldry, it refers to the right-hand side of a coat of arms (the left-hand side from the point of view of the bearer of a shield, from which the coat of arms derived), opposite the dexter, or right, side. From the Latin element dextr-, meaning “on the right,” borrowed into English as dexter, we also get the adjective dexterous, meaning “clever, skillful.”
Right itself means “good, correct,” and that’s the originally connotation when referring to the right hand — it’s the correct one to use. Among the many idioms suggesting the positive connotation are “right-hand man” and “the right stuff.” (The use of right and left to refer to political ideology, each often capitalized when referring to adherents as a collective, came from the revolutionary era in France: The conservative party in the National Assembly called itself the Droit, the “right” party. The liberal faction, in opposition, came to be referred to as the “left.”)"

As it turns out, those stellar Renaissance artists mentioned earlier were all "south-paws." I feel there are more, but the following list reveals several.

Left-Handed Visual Artists

Appel, Karel-Dutch Painter, Sculptor and Printmaker

Beaton, Sir Cecil-English Photographer and Stage Designer

Borovilovsky, Vladimir-Russian Painter

Borromini, Francesco-Italian Architect

Bouvrie, Jan des-Dutch Furniture Designer

Cambiaso, Luca-Genovese Painter

Dufy, Raoul-French Painter

Dürer, Albrecht-German Painter, Draftsman and Printmaker

Escher, M.C.-Dutch Printmaker

Fuseli, Henry-Swiss-born English Painter

Goyen, Jan van-Dutch Painter and Draftsman

Grandville, J. J.-French Caricaturist and Illustrator

Groening, Matt-American Cartoonist

Guisewite, Cathy-American Cartoonist

Holbein, the Younger, Hans-Bavarian-born English Painter

Hughes, Patrick-English sculptor and Painter

Jouvenet, Jean-French Painter

Kincade, Thomas-American Painter

Klee, Paul-Swiss Painter

Landseer, Sir Edwin-English Painter

Leonardo da Vinci-Florentine painter

Mauldin, Bill-American Cartoonist

Menzel, Adolph vonGerman Painter, Printmaker and Teacher

Michelangelo (ambidextrous)

Florentine Sculptor, Painter and Architect

(Note: On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel Adam, too, is left-handed)

Montelupo, Rafaello de-Florentine Sculptor and Architect

Munch, Edvard-Norwegian Painter and Printmaker

Nasmyth, Patrick-Scottish Painter

Neiman, LeRoy-American Printmaker, Painter and Sculptor

Oliphant, Pat-American Political Cartoonist

Papety, Dominique-French Painter

Raphael-Umbrian Painter and Architect

Regnault, Jean-Baptiste-French Painter

Rembrandt van Rijn-Dutch Painter and Engraver

Schäufelein, Hans-German Painter and Designer

Sebastiano del Piombo-Venetian Painter

Searle, Ronald-English Cartoonist

Shansby, Eric-American Cartoonist

Stanczak, Julian-Polish-born American Painter

Umar Aqta-Islamic Calligrapher under Sultan Timur

Witz, Conrad-German Painter

Yesari, Esad-Ottoman Calligrapher

I will be adding to this list as I discover more lefties. Paul Gaugain was one, and that is why some art historians believe that he lopped off part of Vincent van Gogh's right ear with his sword during a brawl. The two artists concocted a story about Vincent's self-mutilation to hide the truth from the police. Gaugain left Arles shortly after the incident; Vincent's dream of an artists' colony in southern France evaporated.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vermeer 's Blue Heightened by Restoration

AMSTERDAM.- During the meticulous restoration of Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (1663-64), one of the Rijksmuseum’s four Vermeer masterpieces, a number of surprising details were uncovered. Vermeer’s characteristically intense use of blue, for example, can now be viewed in all of its magnificent nuances for the first time in centuries. In addition, several pearls that were added in 1928 were removed, and other details that had disappeared were restored.

This masterpiece has undergone all kinds of treatments over the centuries that left their mark on the painting. Under the supervision of an international committee of experts, Rijksmuseum restorer Ige Verslype has restored the painting to its original condition wherever possible. Woman in Blue Reading a Letter will be on display in a special exhibition in the Rijksmuseum.

Ige Verslype: ‘The greatest surprise was when we discovered how Vermeer produced such an intense blue colour. We now know that he used a copper-green undercoat to give the colour extra depth. Once the yellowed glaze had been removed, this magnificent blue came back into view in all of its glorious nuances.’

The restoration
The different stages in the restoration process are presented as part of the exhibition of Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, and various examination techniques, such as infrared reflectography and X-ray fluorescence scanning, are also shown. In addition, the exhibition reveals striking details of the painting that had been painted over, such as the little nails in the upholstery on the side of the chair. The restoration process took more than a year to complete.

In the frame
During its 170 years as part of the Rijksmuseum’s collection, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter has had a total of four different frames. The four frames are on display in the exhibition, so visitors will be able to see the effect of each frame on the painting. The exhibition also shows how the choice of frame is very much affected by fashion at the time. The painting was placed in its current French gilded frame in 1925.

The exhibition
Once the restoration was complete, the painting was transported to Japan where it went on display in an exhibition entitled Visualizing human connection in the age of Vermeer in Kyoto, Sendai and Tokyo. The painting can be admired in the Rijksmuseum at this moment.

The Girl with the Pearl Earring, both the movie and the book, were authentic to the period of Vermeer's time. My favorite part of the book was the description of the paints being ground for his works. Now, we buy tubes of paint so easily. Reading about the price of paints in the 1700's, and their scarcity in some instances, makes me thank God for tube paints' easy access in our day.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bravery and Color, what do the experts say?

What color would you choose to represent bravery? The following article discusses the facets of various colors' connotations considered by brand-developers.

Color Code: What Color Is “Brave”?

On a recent branding project, a client asked if we knew of any scientific studies on the meaning or perception of color. Momentarily silenced by the brilliance of the question, and kicking myself that I hadn’t thought to ask this question myself, I said “No” and immediately began to search.
What I quickly learned is that the “science” of color theory, or color psychology, is an area that has much room left for exploration. Color is everywhere: fashion, advertising, food packaging, cars, décor, sports team colors, just to name a few. Understanding people’s perceptions of it is complex, confusing and quite challenging.
In the West people wear black for mourning, while in the East (China in particular), white is the color of mourning. In many informal surveys, the majority of people nameblue as their favorite color. It’s claimed that red and orange make you hungry because they are “warm” colors and thus stimulate the appetite (ever notice themain colors used by fast food restaurants?).
There is a study on how wearing red jerseys seemingly resulted in a sports team winning more than when they wore blue ones. You can read about it atDer Spiegel and National Geographic. In the sports jersey study, one theory suggests that red intimidates the opposing team because it’s a signal of strength (based on male strutting in the animal kingdom). Another suggests that is stimulates the winning team. But this doesn’t explain why the “donate” button on so many websites is red. We suspect that organizations have done some A/B testing and determined that red got better results than the competing color—perhaps because it captures attention.
But, is red really red? Scientists from Arizona State University published a study on thedifferences in how men and women see the color red in the American Journal of Human Genetics. The study shows that while men tend to see “just red,” women see a much wider range of colors, such as burgundy, tomato and crimson. There is a gene that lets us see the color red, and women happen to have two copies of it sitting on the X chromosome. Men have just one copy. So I have to wonder how the sports jersey would fare with female teams.
A man named Faber Birren appears to be the father of Color Psychology. Trained at the Chicago Art Institute, he first tried to become a landscape painter but realized he didn’t have a talent for it. Instead he became an industrial color consultant, keeping diligent records on color trends for items such as paints, furnishings, and plastics. He wrotenumerous articles and books on subjects such as how color can reduce fatigue, heal or even reveal information about personalities. And he had a large influence on the development of factory and other workplace environments.
The most scientific source I found regarding a comprehensive approach to understanding color perception wasa formal academic research project by a man named Joe Hallock, who is currently a user experience designer with Microsoft. His project consists of a detailed and properly controlled survey of 232 people across 22 different countries, and is full of pie charts and graphs that clearly show trends.
It identifies differences in how men and women perceive color (men tend to dislike purple), how our color preferences change as we age, how colors relate to certain concepts (such as bravery), and how color may relate to a person’s online activities (such as shopping, making a donation or sharing). He was unable to attract enough people to obtain meaningful information about cultural differences—though that had been a primary goal at the beginning. Nevertheless, what he did learn is fascinating, and incredibly useful to the practice of branding and marketing.
It’s important to understand that the perception of color may vary widely based on multiple factors: age, gender, cultural identity, time of day, type of lighting, scale, environment in which it is displayed, structure and function of the individual eyeball/brain connection and more.
For example, in Hallock’s study, he discovered that purple is one of men’s least favorite colors, but it’s also a color they associate with the concepts of bravery and courage. This is interesting in that it underscores the subjective nature of color perception. Here, it seems as if the generic idea of the color “purple” is not liked by most men, but the association of a Purple Heart medal with bravery and courage puts the color into a different context, and changes their response to it.
To successfully use any information about how people perceive color we must first have a strong understanding of the audience demographic, combined with knowledge of the specific goals of the client.
Armed with that information, we might then begin to have an idea of the best color choices for a logo for a nonprofit organization that supports war veterans, or for a for-profit organization that supports the human resources departments of multimillion-dollar companies. We might better know what color to make the “donate” button on a home page, or the general color scheme for a business card.

About the Author: In 2002, Marcy launched WireMedia to provide strategic communications to organizations that work to improve lives, communities, and environments. Marcy’s expertise is in communications strategies, creative concepts, and technical solutions. With a strong background in both design and technology, her deep set of skills includes online campaign strategy and concepts, website creative and technical planning, ad campaign strategy and concepts, and brand strategy and development. Over the past decade, work under her creative direction has won numerous Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants. And a logo design under her creative direction was selected to appear in the 2011 Typography Annual from Communications Arts magazine. Marcy designed the course syllabus and taught website design & technology courses for over seven years at Parsons School of Design and at the New School Online University. An active member of the National Association of Women Business Owners – Los Angeles, she currently serves on the communications and education committees. Marcy holds a Master of Fine Arts in design and technology from Parsons The New School for Design and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Los Angeles, CA and enjoys practicing taekwondo, painting, and wine tasting.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Raphael, Michaelangelo, and Leonardo, Princes of Painting

All Renaissance artists were inspired by the recognized "greats" of their times, Leonardo da Vinci, born on 15 April 1452, Michaelangelo, born 6 March 1475, and Raphael born April 6, 1483. These artistic Titans  definitely saw each other's worksm yet each remained true to his own style. Their impact on athe history of art cannot be properly estimated.

Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists pays tribute to  these masters perhaps better than anyone. He was a painter as well as a writer and a contemporary of these artists. He spent sixteen pages praising da Vinci as "a single person marvelously endowed by heaven with beauty, grace and talent in such abundance that he leaves other men far behind." He elaborates in forty pages on the painter and architect Raphael whom "nature sent into the world after it had been vanquished by Michaelangelo and was ready to be vanquished by Raphael's character as well." Florentine painter, sculptor, and architect Michaelangelo is described thus: "God chose to have Michaelangelo born a Florentine, so that one of her own citizens might bring to absolute perfection the achievements for which Florence was already justly renowned." Vasari devotes one hundred and seventeen pages to "the greatest artist, sculptor, and architect who ever lived," Michaelangelo.

Giorgio Vasari lived from 1511 to 1574. He is remembered for his biographies of artists from Cimabue and Giotto in the late 13th C. to the developments in Italian art down to the golden epoch of the greatest of the Renaissance in the 16th century. He includes his reflections on the state of contemporary Florentine art, its philosophies and its aims. The historical and critical value of his work is without parallel. Lives of the Artists has been tremendously popular since its first edition was published in 1550.

Raphael was born on Good Friday and departed life at age 37, also on Good Friday. His fantastic painting  The School of Athens shown above, pays tribute to Leonardo and Michaelangelo. He includes his handsome self as well. See a larger version on this at Wikipedia's site when you search under Raphael's name.

Leonardo lived 67 years, Michaelangelo persisted 89 years, and Raphael's candle was snuffed out when he was only 37.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April's Pink Moon

When I flipped over the calendar page for this month, the 6th listed The Pink Moon. Color-enthusiast that I am, I had to find out more.......

I doubt it will look this color tonight, unless a huge red dust storm, like some I saw while growing up in Sweetwater, Texas, occurs.

The names given by different cultures to April's full moon are fascinating:

  • Colonial American-Planter's Moon
  • Chinese-Peony Moon
  • Cherokee-Flower Moon
  • Choctaw-Wildcat Moon
  • Dakota Sioux-Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation
  • Celtic-Growing Moon
  • English Medieval-Seed Moon
If you know of more culture's name for this moon, and others, please let me know.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Personal Colors

 David Zyla's new book, The Color of Style about using your personal colors to advantage, has principles to employ in a color-conscious way. Ashley Strickland, in a special interview for CNN, talks to David in the article below:

 David Zyla, author

-- David Zyla remembers when he was 5 years old and his parents were getting ready for a dinner party. He spied his mother reaching for a necklace, and he recommended that she wear a different one.
Then he turned to his father and boldly suggested he wear a different tie with his shirt -- and not be afraid to mix patterns.
"That was the moment," Zyla said. "I think I was instinctively choosing things that suited them more. I've always felt there was an appropriateness for each person."
It is no surprise that Zyla followed his passion to New York University to study costume design, then pursued a career in fashion. For a new season of warm-weather fashion trends, the Emmy-winning stylist is sharing his "Style DNA" philosophy that has aided his celebrity clients.
In Zyla's eyes, not only is each person unique in their appearance, but they have "true colors" that are inherent, and indicative of their personality and style -- found in a person's eyes, hair and skin tones. The stylist also offers help in his book, "The Color of Style," which came out in paperback last year.
Zyla sat down with CNN for an interview last week to talk about spring and summer fashions, how to wear them in your own way and why everyone should embrace their true colors. The following is a transcript edited for length and clarity.
CNN: What is your style philosophy?
Zyla: If you think about it like this, you are the subject of a great painting and what you chose to fill in around you illuminates you, or it can make you recede. I feel there has been a lot of mystery around what looks good on people. My goal with all of this is I really believe that everyone has the right to look and feel fantastic. Everyone loves compliments, especially the compliment "You look great," as opposed to "Great fill-in-the-brand-name-skirt-here."

Color is not that much of a commodity -- it's attainable and the perfect way to express who we are.
Your clothes and color should be used as raw materials to illustrate you -- you are the focal point. Your skin tone is your skin tone, you can either embrace it and illuminate it, or you can distract from it.
Your skin, eyes and hair exist as givens, then you fill in the rest around it. It's very important to be who we are, we're all so unique, and I really want to triumph the individual.

CNN: What are those key looks for spring and summer?
Zyla: One of the things I would say is an important piece is the draped skirt. If you never have worn a pencil skirt, and you know it's not your best, don't do a draped pencil skirt. But if you always wear a-line and feel great in it, do a draped a-line skirt if you want to update. Take the trends and customize them for you.
Also, white is a huge thing right now, which every couple of years it comes back, and this year is a more diaphanous approach where you're layering and so on.
Individualize it by choosing your white. If you never wear stark white, and you look better in ivory, wear ivory. You don't have to follow the trends to the runway level, you should follow them to the customized version of you level. The way to find your white is you should match the white of your eyes.
Another big trend are baroque patterns -- big chains and medallion prints. These very large prints can be overpowering. A great rule of thumb is if the print repeat is bigger than your head, it's too large. If you are someone who feels much better in solids, do it in an accessory -- a scarf or handbag that has that print on it.
CNN: Were there any designers whose styles you were particularly excited to see in the spring or summer collection?
Zyla: There are several. Tracy Reese makes me excited every year. The fact that she creates the scale of the collection that she does every year and it has just enough theatricality to it to make the pieces stand out, yet they don't look like costumes. She really is a talented designer with the perfect mix -- the balance is fantastic.
I also love the dress designer Jay Godfrey. His dresses for spring are completely up-to-the-minute exciting, and a variety of silhouettes.
Nanette Lepore is very good, I'm loving what I'm seeing there. I really think it is a very exciting spring season. The reason I'm excited about the designers I'm mentioning is they aren't just connected to one thing, they are doing nice variety.
CNN: How do you embrace your style amidst the changing seasons?
Zyla: Dressing in layers is always a good idea and prepare for what you're going to do that way as well. Atlanta, San Francisco, there area a lot of cities like this where each particular day can be drastically different. Throw a sweater in your bag, dress with a layer that can come off and think ahead of time.
The best thing to do is think about the fabric of your clothing. As beautiful as linen is, it's not going to last until lunch -- it's going to be a wrinkled mess. Cotton is going to breathe. Natural fabrics that have a little weight to them are always going to be your friend because they will last through the day.
CNN: Because the styles are more open this season, are there any key pieces that a lot of people can wear?
Zyla: One of the trends is very bright, neon, what I call hyper-Popsicle colors -- very, very vivid, and I would say that if you want to have that, take one of the colors the looks great on you, and do it in an unexpected piece, like a skirt or coat.
A lot of times, we think of these vivid colors in accents or smaller things, I think this is the season to embrace the vividness. I'm not saying just because tangerine tango is the color of spring that everyone should wear it. If the brightest color on your palette is an American beauty rose pink, why don't you use that in an unexpected way? Wearing a color that doesn't suit you, you're not going to be comfortable.
CNN: What do you address in your book, "The Color of Style"?
Zyla: I address the idea that we all have an authentic style and true colors. In the first part of the book, I lead you to finding these true colors and what is your dramatic, romantic and energy color, and they all do very different things. Some make you feel very friendly and approachable, some make you feel sexy.
In the second part, I lead you to one of 24 archetypes -- I believe there are 24 archetypes of women.
With each archetype, I give you fragrance ideas, style ideas, fabrics, artists that represent your type, the must-haves, the must-avoids, the super power and the kryptonite. It's a read on the personality as well and really how to put a palette and a wardrobe together. In part three of the book, I teach you how to utilize all of these tools in shopping and cleaning out your closet. When you shop, do it with intention. And I also lead you to how to dress for every occasion.
I really want people to honor their true colors and honor who they are in their authentic style. Then, I want them to really love themselves and flourish with this material.

Obviously, I am interested to learn more about the subject of each of us having true colors. Joseph Itten, a Bauhaus professor,  suggested this many years ago. He concluded that we gravitate toward colors which are our most flattering.

If you have read earlier blogs, red is described as the ATTENTION GETTING COLOR!  The red words are my highlights in the interview above.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Robin Egg Blue

My husband found an egg in our front yard last year; we assumed it was from a nest of Robins. More green was in the blue than I assumed Robin Egg Blue to be prior to this discovery. Placed on different backgrounds, its color is enhanced by the black, grey and pebbly ones. However, it glows best when placed on its color complement, the red-orange mulch. Imagine this color worn by someone with red hair! This magic happens when colors opposite on the Color Wheel are used in decor, clothing, etc. One color should dominate, but an accent of the complementary color wakes up the potential of the other. I hope this gives you ideas for adding scarves or accessories to outfits, or pops of color in decor, perhaps from sofa pillows, art work, draperies, or throws. Let me know what you discover when you play with this amazing color magic!

If you study your skin tone and determine whether peach, a complement of blue, is your tone, wear something blue near your face to perk up your look. If you have pink tones overall in your skin, choose a lovely green. Some greens are more yellowish, so be careful to choose one that is cooler, it should compliment you beautifully. When you find your best colors to wear, it seems to light up your face and eyes. It is best to try these color experiments with natural light if possible. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April's List of Artists' Birthdays

April is full of famous artists' birthdays. I will be choosing several to spotlight in the next posts.

Peale Charles Wilson Peale
April 15, 1741
2Max Ernst, 1891
2Charles White, 1918
4Maurice de Vlaminck, 1876
5Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1732
6Raphael, 1483
6Gustave Moreau, 1826
9Eadweard Muybridge, 1830
9Charles Burchfield, 1893
9Victor Vasarely, 1906
10Shimomura Kanzan, 1873
10Kenneth Noland, 1924
12Robert Delaunay, 1885
13Thomas Jefferson, 1743
13Thomas Lawrence, 1769
13James Ensor, 1860
13John Biggers, 1924
14Edward Hicks, 1780
15Leonardo da Vinci, 1452
15Charles Willson Peale, 1741
15Théodore Rousseau, 1812
15Thomas Hart Benton, 1889
15Arshile Gorky, 1904
15Elizabeth Catlett, 1915
16Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, 1755
16John Chamberlain, 1927
18Max Weber, 1881
20Odilon Redon, 1840
20Joan Miró, 1893
22Ruth Arams, 1924
23J. M. W. Turner, 1775
24Willem De Kooning, 1904
24Bridget Riley, 1931
25Karel Appel, 1921
25Cy Twombly, 1928
26John James Audubon, 1785
26Ferdinand Delacroix, 1798
26I. M. Pei, 1917
27Samuel F. B. Morse, 1791
28Yves Klein, 1928