The World of Colors

Love the colors of Earth … before wearing them

It is from the 17th century that we started to understand the link between light and colors. And at the end of the 19th century that we started to know how to produce industrial colorings and dyes. This deeply impacted the graphical arts in general, and fashion in particular.

Light and colors are intimately linked, and even inseparable. And the colors, finally, we discover them with the rainbow … to which we add the black and the white. This is our starting point, our first way of seeing, our frame of reference … even the basis of our vision.

This set of colors is bright, luminous, airy, vibrant, pure, clean. Somehow, these are the colors of the sky.

And then is Earth.

There 2 things that differentiate the colors of the earth, and the colors of the sky.

Firstly, the earth is mainly brown … with this huge palette between the light colored ockers and the almost black coal, including all the colors of wood. And none of the brown is in the rainbow (I will come back to it in another post, later).

Secondly, they are neither as pure, as light, or as clean. On the opposite, they are more complex, more dense, more textured, more subtle … and finally more real, more living, more natural, more authentic.

In order to well perceive it, we may compare with a “rainbow” made with the natural colors of earth. The idea here is not to teach you the different pigments from mother Nature, but rather to make you feel the difference between a color of “sky” and a color of “earth”, with a minimum of explanation.

Violet = Caput Mortuum

Litt. skeleton head, a Roman expression to name the residues.

Green = earth from Brentonico

From a city near  près de Verona. It’s different from the Veronese green, which comes from copper.

Orange = Orange Ocker from Puisaye

Originally from Burgundy, but there are many equivalents in French Vaucluse (Lubéron), or elsewhere in the world

Bluu = Ultra-marine

From Lapis-lazuli, especially from Afghanistan.

Yellow = Icles Ocker

This ocker comes from another iron oxide.

Red = Venitian Red

As well, from Venetia

It is striking to see how these colors fit well together, harmoniously, as if there was an invisible link between them.

They also fit very well with many colors of the skin.

And here is a first paradox: it is rare to cross people wearing green or brown … though, we are plenty to be rapt when a landscape like the one above (indeed, it is in Corsica, Saint Florent).

The 2nd paradox is that the most universal garment has precisely an imperfect color: that’s the Jeans; their blue is not steady, a bit greyish, a bit “dirty”. Is that what makes them more authentic, more true?

To finish, few of my creations, well rooted in the vegetable and ground worlds.

Obi Belt / Waist belt, in cotton and linen, associating a Japanese fabric with a floral pattern of camellias, featured in olive green, burnt orange and ochre / ecru.
Infinity scarf combining a floral cotton in navy, taupe, orange and beige, with a camel cashmere silk

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