HUE CLUE — The Psychology of Color – Part II

24 Jan

“There is no model, there is only color.”
— Paul Cezanne

Our response to color is as unique as it is universal, as relevant to our cultural heritage as it is to our own very personal experiences.  Because it creates a mood, color can have a chameleonic effect to the viewer.  A man in a blue sweater tends to come across as easygoing and personable.  Change that color to red and that same individual will be viewed as more challenging, less friendly, even arrogant.  Yet we associate that same red with passion and sensuality.  A woman at a party in a black cocktail dress is seen as chic, urbane and slightly mysterious.  That same woman in a red dress is, to the same observer, perceived as more powerful, sensual and sexually desirable.

The most complex response we have to color, however, comes from our own personal experiences.  Since external stimuli have tremendous impact on our senses, this has nothing to do with what is sent down the runway.  Because color is so evocative to our psyche, we tend to relate specific tones or combinations of tones to an event or period in our past.  This, above all else, seems to irrevocably affect how we relate to certain colors, positively or negatively, for the rest of our lives.

I truly loathe the combination of black and light pink – and I know the reason why.

Before I began working in the fashion industry I was a theater and dance major and attended college to study both.  As a freshman I was required to study the fundamentals of ballet.  The classes were occupied by a number of young women – quite serious in their studies – who were always dressed the same way: black leotard with pale pink tights, or pale pink leotard with black tights, plus matching leg warmers and pink satin toe shoes.

These classes were also ridiculously overcrowded and lacked the proper supervision – consequently by the end of my first semester I had injured myself to the point that I had to withdraw from school entirely in order to recuperate.  To this day, any time I come upon black and light pink, I actually feel physical pain – a purely psychosomatic response, but one that will forever affect my perception of those colors.

I would love to know what colors you, the reader, are fond of or, conversely, which hues you find hideous – and more importantly, why??  (The fascinating thing is that, almost always, the combination of the two tones – the one you love and the one you hate, work off of each other beautifully.  Interesting, no?)

“I’m not that interested in fashion… When someone says that lime-green is the new black for this season, you just want to tell them to get a life.”
Bruce Oldfield

I’m actually very fond of these bright, pure tones for Spring/Summer 2011.  They have a clarity that transmits a certain vitality and energy, a hopefulness, that is much needed right now.  At the same time there is an audacity to these colors that, while appealing on the page, is likely to be difficult for many women to be comfortable interpreting.

In a volatile economy where consumers are especially cautious about purchases and consider every new garment an ‘investment piece’, it’s difficult to imagine a nearly-neon pink trouser or lemon yellow ankle-length halter jumpsuit a viable purchase.

These are pieces that can be frustratingly limited in their lifespan – recognizable garments that, because of their tonality, are particularly memorable the first time worn and are consequently difficult to integrate with one’s existing wardrobe or reinterpret to seem fresh and new.  This poses a problem to any individuals with a limited budget who, frankly, are the overwhelming majority of consumers.

This isn’t to say that you should keep it dark and somber all summer – it’s simply a question of what to invest in.  It’s important to remember that runway and reality are two very different things.  With this in mind, there are three basic factors to remember when investing in color for Spring/Summer: Quality, Shade, and Placement.

Quality is of utmost importance when working with bold hues – inexpensive synthetics and inferior workmanship are far more obvious in a bright color, where every stitch and seam is easier to see than in a dark or neutral.  Additionally, quality fabrics dye more richly than their substandard counterparts.  Wools and silks, particularly in gabardine or crepe, not only take color deeply but move beautifully on the body.

Shade is equally important.  Color can have a number of different values – in other words, it can be lighter or darker by adding either white or black.  For example, adding white to a pure yellow creates a pastel tint while adding black to that same yellow conjures a mustard shade.

In addition, most colors have subtle undertones to them that are either red, blue or yellow.  Hues with blue undertones will almost always be easier to wear than those with red or yellow in them.  This two-tone ensemble from Lanvin is a perfect example of two different shades of the same color.  The darker beet red of the skirt actually has more ‘blue’ in it than the brighter persimmon of the one-shoulder top, which has more ‘yellow’ in it.

It seems odd that red can also be blue or yellow, but in the study of color theory it’s actually very rare for a color seen in any visual medium – fashion, art, interior design – to be completely pure.

If you want to get an even better idea of this concept, pick up any paint company’s options for the color white – there are dozens of different ‘whites’ – some have blue undertones, some pink, some green.  These undertones are so very subtle when applied to a surface that they’re almost impossible to distinguish.  Yet, pure unadulterated white on a wall is surprisingly cold and uninviting – hence these options that soften this chilly color to something that is, almost subconsciously, far more appealing.

Placement, where on the body or in your ensemble you choose to employ bright color, is crucial.  Vibrant tones usually work best on the upper body — blouses, blazers, pullovers and knits instead of bright skirts and trousers.  Because when we stride the majority of our movement is from the waist down, a bright color in a bottom seems more blatant, less balanced, than that same color in the upper part of an ensemble.

This look from the Gucci runway is a wonderful example – together the blazer, top and pant are a bit overwhelming.  By replacing the teal green trouser with a black pant, the look immediately becomes more anchored, less gimmicky.  The warm citrus orange of the jacket is a fantastic way to update a wardrobe – there are so many ways to interpret it.  Imagine the blazer over a white tank and casual khaki trousers or a tailored camel skirt, or pair it with an simple espresso brown shirtdress.

For those who aren’t as committed to color for the coming season, employ shots of these wonderful hues in smaller ways that are both economically feasible and easier to incorporate into an existing wardrobe.  Small pops of bright in accessories – scarves, belts, shoes and bags – can update a look without breaking the bank, and have fantastic mix and match possibilities while still blending beautifully with the blacks, whites and neutrals that are already in most women’s closets.  Leather goods like bags, belts and shoes are particularly smart investments – if and when you tire of the color you can always have them dyed to a dark neutral.

This classic Dior bag, reinterpreted in color-blocking is a witty way to pull in this season’s craze for the colorful.  The specificity of the bag, however, means that after a season it may feel a bit ‘done’.  Any leather specialist that works with shoe repair can easily dye it navy or black — in essence giving its owner a new, utterly classic accessory for the following fall.

When working with powerful tones less is often more.  Anchoring a bright with a neutral lends elegance to what could otherwise be overwhelming.  Neutral and dark shades will always look more sophisticated, and bold tones from head-to-toe are something that few can pull off well.

Vibrant hues do require a certain amount of confidence, but working with them is hardly rocket science.  While it’s paramount to wear what feels comfortable to you, the challenge of trying something new often brings out aspects of your personal style and, perhaps the person underneath, that may otherwise not be discovered.

That, after all, is what style is all about…

Be well, all, and thanks for reading…

Chris

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HUE CLUE — The Psychology of Color — Part I

10 Jan

“When in doubt, wear red…

– Bill Blass


There is certainly no lack of color for Spring/Summer 2011.  What is interesting, however, is that unlike past seasons, only clear intense tones were presented – nothing soft and understated, demure or subtle.  These colors possess a vigor that seem to be intent on provoking a particular response from the consumer – powerful tones that energize and strengthen, imbue a sense of positivity and hope that is much needed at the moment.

The psychology behind this energetic use of color is fascinating.  Physiologically human beings respond to color in both visual display and fashion faster and more strongly than any other aspect of design – line, shape, scale, texture or symmetry.

Yet the effect color has on us is as much genetic (red tends to excite more neuron activity in the brain, blue or green less so) as it is cultural (tonality plays a huge part in various religious and spiritual practices throughout the world – one society often views the same hue as having a completely different significance than their cultural counterpart).  For the most part, however, the human response to different colors is universal, and in turn generates the same unconscious reactions.

—–

In art and design, color is divided into three basic families:  Warm, Cool and Neutral.  Warm colors include reds, yellows and oranges.  Cool colors are comprised of blues, greens and violet/purples.  Neutrals are a sort of ‘non-color’ color family – clean, understated tones like white, black, beige, grey and brown.

Warm colors are energizing and engaging – they tend to make one feel lighter, happier, more expansive; reminding us of warmth, sunshine and the fire of passion.  Shades of red, orange and yellow do other, more unexpected things – they make us work harder, move faster and increase the appetite.

Walk into any major fast-food chain and look around – warm, bright color schemes abound.  This isn’t done so that you feel all happy and fuzzy when you enter.  It’s done to make your eyes bigger than your stomach and get you in and out as quickly as possible.  It’s difficult to sit in a noisy, brightly-lit space with red and yellow furnishings and have a relaxing meal.  But then, you aren’t supposed to – these colors are chosen not only to increase your appetite once you step in the door, they’re chosen to make you wolf your food down and get out of there as quickly as possible so that you clear a table for the next unsuspecting ‘Super-Sizer’ to sit down.

This is also why stop signs, traffic lights and fire trucks are red – they’re designed to catch your attention and evoke an immediate and impulsive reaction.  Imagine a stop sign in a pale blue or a fire engine the color of an Easter egg – not very evocative, is it?

Cool colors have the opposite effect – they tend to mellow and calm, evoking images of blue skies, green grass, calm seas and spring-like days.  It’s not surprising that the overwhelming majority of people questioned state blue as their favorite color – its soothing, meditative properties tend to make both situations and individuals more approachable and less threatening.  Blue is often used in clinical, therapeutic and medical settings as it has the benefit of calming patients subconsciously.  Stylistically it’s often a choice made to engender oneself to others.

One must be cautions with blues, though – the wrong shade of blue can easily feel cold, moody and aloof.  Remember — no one has ever claimed to have ‘the pinks’, but an entire musical genre is dedicated to singing ‘the blues’.

Neutral colors can also be tricky to work with, and depending on the tonality, can be anything from rich and sophisticated to chilly and antiseptic.  A crisp white shirt is a symbol of classic style, whereas in design settings it can be quite sterile.  Hospitals are predominantly white for this very reason – it’s not just to make it easier to wash the blood off the walls (kidding) –  it’s to give you, the visitor or patient, the unconscious impression that everything is as clean and safe as possible.

We gravitate towards black in our wardrobe so consistently not simply for the fact that it’s classic and flattering, but because in many ways it’s the sartorial equivalent of armor – black is not only easy to mix with and difficult to get dirty, it transmits the impression that the wearer is confident, bold and sophisticated.  This in turn makes the viewer see the wearer as someone who is both formidable and desirable.

Interestingly, it was not until 1926 when Chanel introduced her first ‘little black dress’ for evening that black ceased to be a color worn only for mourning the dead, but an acceptable shade to be donned by the fashionable mainstream for any time or occasion.

Greys, beiges and browns can be murky and uninviting but when done correctly, are utterly stunning.  Worn together, beige and black is a timeless mainstay of many wardrobes.  Dark greys and browns are the perfect foil for otherwise too-bright tones — some of the most striking tonal combinations are espresso brown with bright fuchsia or emerald green; steel grey with scarlet or cobalt blue.

—–

As universal as our response to color is, there are two other diverse aspects of tonal psychology that must be taken into consideration – the breadth of world culture and the uniqueness of individual experience.  In essence, it is a question of nature versus nurture.

Culturally, how we perceive certain colors is dependent on our location geographically.  White in western cultures is seen as something pure, untarnished, virginal.  Because this allusion to the chasteness of white is so powerful it has, since the 1820s, been the only acceptable color for a bride to wear for her wedding ceremony.

In many Asian cultures, however, white is symbolic of death and the color of mourning.  It would be unheard of for a bride in many Eastern religions to wear white for her wedding – where instead she dons scarlet red – a color that is felt to bring luck, fortune and fertility.  (Imagine the reaction in the United States if a bride glided down the aisle in a bright red taffeta dress and veil.)

In Eastern religions orange is a color that represents a healing calm and enlightenment – hence the garb of Buddhist monks.  As evidenced earlier, western culture hardly finds this color relaxing.

In ancient Rome purple was a symbol of the hierarchy of the senate.  Any individual who was not a member of the senate was prohibited to wear the color upon penalty of death.

This propensity for purple later found its way into many Christian religions, where garments in that hue are reserved for only the highest of holy holidays.

——

In Part II next week I’ll cover the more personal aspects color on the subconscious, and delve into how to wear these new and powerful colors for Spring/Summer 2011

Be well, all – and thank you for reading

Chris


Resolutions…

1 Jan

This is about as esoteric and off the subject of fashion as I will ever get on this site, and I promise next week we’ll be back on target.  However, I keep coming across all of these media stories about New Year’s resolutions and how to keep them, and it’s both fascinating and disturbing.

The psychology behind a New Year’s resolution is puzzling.  We initially make this resolution with steadfastness and often-grim determination because, let’s face it, it’s usually a promise about something we really don’t want to do in the first place, or is challenging for us to keep up for a long period of time.  If it weren’t so difficult, we’d already be doing it, no?

So, of course, two or three months into the new year you’ve lost a fair amount of enthusiasm about this new, very trying resolution, and before the year is halfway through you’ve given up on it, and you’re frustrated and disappointed in yourself because of it.  It all seems very self-destructive — rather like cutting off your foot right before a marathon – you’ve set yourself up to fail (or at least be in a lot of pain).

Why not establish a ‘life resolution’?  Something basic that you desire to do that will improve yourself or humanity?  Something that you consistently strive to accomplish every day in your life, and re-address every year?  There’s no expiration date, no frustrating time constraint, no deadline that you’re almost guaranteed to miss.

My life resolutions are pretty much the same every year:

Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Remember that what goes around comes around.

Be open to new possibilities and ways of thinking.

Be as true to yourself and what you believe in as you possibly can.

Care for yourself – if you don’t you’re no good to anyone else.

Have faith in the innate goodness of humankind.

Know that everything happens for a reason.


So, when I start getting wrapped up in artificiality and unrealistic expectations — when the world tries to convince me that it’s imperative to keep up with the Kardashians, or make sure my toothpaste is sexy enough, or attempts to frighten me with commercials that spend 30 seconds of their one minute explaining the potentially fatal side effects of their amazing new drug, I remind myself of the above.

And, to clarify – just because I use these as my life resolutions doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days where I forget one or all of them, that I walk through life with unwavering confidence or, for that matter, that I only watch PBS.

I have plenty of lousy days where I’d just as soon stay in bed, question myself constantly, and without apology watch “Wipeout” and “Dancing with the Stars” every week.  I just thought I’d share this with you in the hopes that you get something out of it that makes your 2011 just that much better.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE

A Tighter Season With a Looser Look – S/S 2011

14 Dec

“Fashion is born by small facts, trends or even politics – never by trying to make little pleats and furbelows, by trinkets, by clothes easy to copy, or by the shortening or lengthening of a skirt.”

— Elsa Schiaparelli


I recently attended the FGI (Fashion Group International) Spring/Summer 2011 trend forecast at the MFA.  It was, as always, a wonderful presentation by a wonderful organization.  A major topic of discussion afterwards was that the collections for next season are cleaner and more tightly edited than ever.  There are, as always, a myriad of looks and silhouettes, but the general feel of the season is decidedly simpler.

There seems to be a new sobriety in fashion – not that everything is dark and dreary, there’s still plenty of color and print – but that designers on the whole showed less eclectic, more focused groupings.  One trend that swept the shows is of particular interest – volume.  Slouchy jackets, fluid trousers, loose tunics, skirts long enough to be deemed ‘shoe toppers’ – in all, much more coverage for the body.  And, surprisingly, it’s been heralded by viewers and critics alike as a refreshing change.

There has been a gradual build towards looser, less structured shapes for a few seasons now, but this is the first time fullness has been such a hallmark throughout the collections since the early 1990s.  But why volume?  Why such an increase in proportion? And why now?  Is it a reflection of our times?

Unquestionably.

A frenetic economy, a socio-political climate fraught with international conflict, internal security leaks and rampant distrust don’t lend themselves to a particularly optimistic worldview.  And as always, fashion follows society’s lead.

Historically during times of crisis fashions are always more somber, less conspicuous.  One need only examine the Edwardian period in dress during the turn of the 20th century, overshadowed by WWI and the suffragette struggle, to individual style a mere ten years later.  The end of a world war, the beginning of the industrial revolution, a burgeoning economy and bright outlook ushered in an era of jazz and nightclubs, hope and prosperity that was reflected in fashion – makeup became de rigueur and bobbed hairstyles commonplace.  Hemlines rose above the knee for the first time in human history.

Though the rise in both hemlines and economy were fairly short-lived, they are prime examples of the intense connection that society and fashion share.  When businesses thrive hemlines rise, when conflict is at a minimum skin exposure is at its maximum. So, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing this major shift in a more understated direction.

It’s evident in other ways as well – there was hardly a miniskirt to be found in any of the Spring/Summer presentations, and when designers did show legs, they featured high-cut shorts instead.  Though the same amount of skin was shown, there was something less forward and sexually aggressive about a mini-short.  (Frankly, with the micro-minis that have been shown in recent collections, one wrong move and the world is your gynecologist.  Micro-shorts, on the other hand, give a more reserved impression that is in step with this new era of modesty).

There are certainly other notable trends for Spring/Summer:  A strong 1970s groove involving every aspect of that decade from disco to punk, nods towards classic staples like crisp white shirting and khaki trench coats, and a consistent nod towards one of the great masters of the 20th century – Yves Saint Laurent, recently the subject of a major museum retrospective.

But to me, this new play on proportion and demure sensuality is the most fascinating.  It is not something that will fade away soon, and has interesting ramifications for the future.

So one must beg the question — Is this concept of softer silhouettes and longer lengths, greater space between body and cloth essentially the couture equivalent of Teflon?  Does it bestow a sense of protection, safety, reassurance?  Perhaps we see this as armor against our tumultuous socio-political surroundings – a security blanket for the soul.

And even more importantly — What will these new proportions do to the zeitgeist of fashion going forward?  Will it affect the unrealistic ideals of body image we currently hold?  Will we begin to see a move towards more womanly curves, and away from the unrealistically whippet-thin models dominating the runway?

Because this new volume does not require the boyish, fat-free proportions of previous trends, might it begin to reverse the disturbing epidemic of eating disorders that currently plague our society?  Will young women finally be allowed to perceive themselves in a more healthy, realistic and positive light?

Time, and fashion, will tell…

Fashion or Style ?

2 Dec

“Fashion fades, style is eternal.”

– Yves Saint Laurent

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.”

– Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel

 

It’s easy to be fashionable.

Open the latest issue of any fashion magazine, buy what you see, and wear it. Just rock that head-to-toe look that you see in any editorial layout, designer ad, or store window and, voila, you’re fashionable.

But what about wearing something with a sense of style ?  What’s the difference ?  Exactly what is personal style ?

The answer is really in the question – it’s personal.  It depends on the individual.

Fashion is about following trends, blindly meandering down whatever paths the hippest magazines and hottest celebrity red-carpet-commentaries send you.  (My god, it’s exhausting just thinking about it.)

Style, on the other hand, is about adding your own twist — tweaking your look to match your personality, mixing it up, not taking it all too seriously and most importantly, making what you’re wearing your own.

When Isaac Mizrahi returned to design in 2003 with a vibrant collection for Target while simultaneously creating a small, elegant couture grouping, he introduced the concept of ‘high-low’ dressing – taking something of great value and pairing it with a simple, inexpensive find.  Mizrahi has always been one of the greatest proponents of this idea.  He often mixed his inexpensive Target creations with his couture pieces in editorials and was quoted as saying “I love it when a woman takes a $10,000 hand-embroidered evening skirt and pairs it with a $5 Hanes t-shirt.”

In other words, making it yours and wearing it with style.

French women do this with impeccable taste, courage and panache.  They are fearless in their approach to style.  A French woman will take a pair of oversized men’s trousers, cinch them at the waist with an elegant little belt, pair it with a tight little top and her favorite black heels, and just go.  They don’t necessarily care whether this is the sexiest ensemble.  If it appeals to them they wear it, and somehow they’re sexier because of it!

(Search for images of Charlotte Rampling, Jane Birkin, Catherine Deneuve — you’ll see what I mean…)

Americans have their own style icons, of course.  When Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw (styled by the utterly unique Patricia Field) first skirted grimy New York City puddles wearing olive cotton cargo pants and impeccable silver Manolos, or rushed for cabs in unexpectedly mixed Marni prints, we were given an introduction into not just a fairy-tale world of fashion labels and “gotta have it” handbags, but into the frenzied, frenetic, fabulous world of style.

One of the things I loved so much about growing up in the 1980s was that dressing was more about personal style than fashion.  Trends and ideas were coming from every corner, every culture.  Suddenly it was not only acceptable, but encouraged, to borrow from a hundred different sources and create a bouillabaisse of garments to mix and match however you wanted.

Though it had been percolating for a while, (and when we begin to discuss fashion history, we’ll delve into this more deeply) designers were suddenly taking inspiration from the streets, and the concept of high fashion was, quite literally, turned upside down.

Punk and hip-hop influenced luxury design and haute couture – take Karl Lagerfeld’s first collection for Chanel or Stephen Sprouse’s designs as an example – and couture details began to trickle down more rapidly than ever to everyday ready-to-wear.  My love of fashion and design was cemented during that era of unbridled creativity, something that we have not seen since, sadly.

—–

Personally, having style is wearing something with wit and a certain amount of irreverence.

It is being possessive of an attitude that can take a garment perceived as ‘precious’ and bring it into the everyday.

It is being able to wear a black tweed Chanel blazer, piles of pearls, a simple cotton tank and your favorite, most comfortable jeans.

It is wearing an exquisitely draped Lanvin evening gown in scarlet silk jersey with flat menswear-inspired shoes instead of stilettos.

It is pairing the simplest black cashmere sweater with an outrageously voluminous, asymmetric plaid Comme des Garcons skirt and black Converse sneakers.

It is about mixing unexpected colors, melding unusual textures, blending the old with the new, and playing with volume and proportion even if it is not considered “sexy” enough.

And it is, above all, about confidence, attitude and individuality.

After all, fashion is supposed to be about fun, no?

—–

So what about you, dear readers?

How do you define your own personal style?  What have you worn lately that you gave your own twist to?

I look forward to your input…

It begins…

1 Dec

“Society is founded upon cloth.”

— Thomas Carlyle

I’ve always loved fashion.

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that, more than any other creative field, fashion has always existed as a social barometer, giving any outsider a view of what was going on culturally, economically and socio-politically at any given era simply by examining what people are wearing.

Take, for example, the events of the 1920s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.  Factor in the precursors and repercussions of those periods and view what people were garbed in over these decades and you begin to see a pattern of action and reaction, influence and confluence.

When really analyzed, one cannot help but realize that fashion is powerful, relevant and surprisingly cyclic.  What goes around comes around, yet as the world gets smaller and more accessible via technology, these cycles get shorter and faster.

(We’ll discuss much more of all of this in future blog entries…)

Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I’ve worked in almost every aspect of the fashion industry for the past 22 years.  I’ve been a retailer, a buyer, a manager, a pattern cutter, a designer, a displayer, a merchandiser, an accountant, an advertiser, a writer, a consultant and a teacher.

This blog has been a while in coming.  The idea of publishing something online that (with hope) people would read and respond to regularly is both exciting and frightening.

I kept worrying about whether it would be interesting enough, relevant enough, exciting enough.

Finally I realized that I needed to stop worrying and just write — write from my head as well as my heart, write not just from my personal experiences but from fact and history, and write for the pure joy of sharing what I think and what I know.

This will not be a blog touting the merits of the latest Gucci bag or the must-have quotient of this season’s Prada pump.  There are a million of those out there already, and they’re all great.

However I’m not really an it-bag, of-the-moment fashionisto kind of guy.

I think the idea of totally reworking one’s wardrobe on a seasonal basis to satisfy the whims of designers and editors is not only economically unfeasible, it’s just silly.  I believe in wearing what inspires you and makes you feel like a million bucks.  And not just because a magazine tells you so, but because when you look in the mirror, you can tell yourself that same thing.

And I honestly don’t give a crap about what the must-have clutch or shoe of the season is, what celebrity is wearing what designer, or what’s hot and what you shouldn’t be caught dead in.  If everyone had that much time and money to spend on their lives and their wardrobes, we’d all be very happy creatures.

Though, to be fair and honest,  even I have my moments — sometimes a creation is written up that I do truly fall in love with and inspires me tremendously.  On the opposite end of that spectrum, however, if I see another pair of UGGS with jeggings going down the street I can’t be held responsible for what I may do to the wearer.

I know this makes me in some ways the antithesis of all that is sacred in the world of fashion, but hey – that’s always been who I am.  It’s how I dress, it’s what friends, family and clients have admired about me forever, and it’s never going to change.

What’s always done it for me about fashion is the beauty of it, the architecture, the complexity, the integrity and depth of history that pervades every aspect of this industry.

What makes someone not just fashionable but stylish ??  What are your favorite pieces of clothing and, more importantly, why ??  Why is one pair of jeans or a cashmere sweater $60 and the other one $600 ??  What are the influences that are behind trends that we see and sometimes just blindly follow ??  Why do we buy what we buy, shop how we shop, look how we look ??  And just what exactly is sexy anyway ??

These are the things that fascinate me: the history of fashion, the psychology of why we buy what we buy and the immense changes in the whole of the industry in just the past few decades.

Hopefully they’ll fascinate you as well…

Oh, and one last thing: I want feedback.

I want your questions, your opinions, your observations.  I’d love for this to be as interactive as possible. If something I write about intrigues you or you can relate to it, tell me about it !!  If something I write rubs you the wrong way or you disagree, tell me about that too !!

This is no fun without your input.  More on FASHION VS. STYLE in my next entry.

Be well, everyone….

x

Chris