Aside from cultural and personal interpretations of color, there are physiological associations, which often stem from nature.
For example, blue skies represent clarity and calm, red is the color of fire and blood and therefore associated with anger or danger, yellow is the sun and sand and represents happiness, brightness, but also calm.
Similarly the choice of color in fashion makes a statement. For obvious reasons grays represent stones, brown the earth and green, the color of grass and leaves and has been chosen to represent nature and “green choices. These “earth” tones are often used by designers to send a message not just about how they feel, but social and ethical choices they want to make.
On a more personal level a woman choosing between a navy blue dress and a scarlet one is making a strong statement about how she feels and how she wants to be seen.
Preference for color fluctuates with the economy and social forces push color forward to either represent the current mood or to urge change. Balancing color is an important job for a designer and understanding color and the color wheel is necessary to making considered color choices.
Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Colors
The three primary colors are red, yellow and blue.
The secondary colors are a combination of two primary colors and therefore fall between any two of the primaries, resulting in green orange and violet.
Tertiary colors are a combination of one primary color and one secondary color, there are six of these colors.
Analogous colors are those colors placed next to each other on the wheel.
Complementary colors are those that are exactly opposite on the wheel for example red and green. Combining complementary colors makes a very strong statement and opinion is clearly delineated about whether you like complementary colors placed together, or you feel they are too strong together.
Neutral colors are black, white and gray, but in fashion beige or off-white is considered a neutral too.
Take a look at the first row of wheels in Color Types.
Monochromatic colors are shades, tints and tones of one color. The large color wheel shows the pure hue of any color and the shade and tint of it.
Tint: The addition of white creates a tint, which is a lighters value of a color.
Shade: The addition of black creates a darker value of a color and is known as a shade.
Tone: A new tone is created by adding both black and white at the same time, for example red + white + black = dusky rose (tone).
The different shades and tints are known as values of a color and are created by adding more white or black to the color.
Color as we know is both social and personal, so the selection of a color story is literally a ‘story’ about the designers thoughts and feelings represented in color alone. A color story is created from any object that is forming the base of the inspiration for the collection. A color story is pure color, shades and tints that are selected to make a statement and capture the imagination.
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