Garden Path - Introduction - Part II
Color selection for me is a very important process. The colors of the garment set the mood and are a big part of the overall look and message that the garment is trying to convey. Take for example, in Bluebird of Happiness the beige, gold and blue convey elegance; Midnight Garden's blues and silvers convey images of leaves and flowers under the moonlight; Forget Me Knot's lavender portrays youth and innocence.
Usually when I have an idea for a garment, I see a fuzzy view of the whole thing - generally the overall shape and main colors and some embellishments. I don't always see all the fine details of the artwork or beading; those come when I sit down with a pencil, at the sewing machine or with beads and needle. For Garden Path, I saw a light yellow back ground to showcase flowers in clear, bright colors. This garment was conceived in the dead of winter, so there's no surprise that I dreamed up something with a bursts of brilliant flowers! I was craving color and this is what I came up. You can see some of the initial silk selections below - not all of these made the final cut.
For the background color, I wanted something soft that would contrast with the flowers. I chose yellow because it is a happy color and it reminds me of sunshine. I chose the paler shade to contrast with the flowers, not compete with them. This color also needs to be a bit calmer than the flower colors so that the eye has a place to rest, to find a bit of peacefulness among everything else that is going on in the garment. That of course, is about artistic balance - you find it in paintings and music, wearable art is no different in that respect, it is just a different medium of expression.
The flowers themselves are bright, clear colors as are the leaves. Bright pinks and purples and white will be show cased, along with various clear greens. I did have three green silks already in my collection, but when I looked at them with the other colors I had chosen, they didn't work. They were too muddy, too olive, too something. They are lovely greens, just not right for this project - one of them was used for Waiting for Spring and one was used for BOH - great for those projects, not for this one.
Here is another shot of color selection, after we went synthetics shopping. I'll need synthetics for this project, too, so we took the swatches and went shopping at Martin's. Here you can see all the fabrics from my collection and the ones we bought with the final selections taking place of both fabrics. Needless to say, this process took several days. I had to wait for sunshine because it really is hard to match colors under artificial lighting and I wanted to see what the colors looked like in real sunlight.
Another thing I take into consideration when selecting colors is how the colors will look when viewed from a distance and under various lighting conditions. Much of my artwork will be view from behind ropes or on a runway from a distance or in a big exposition hall. I always have to ask, is there enough contrast between elements? How would I react to these colors if I was seeing them for the first time?
Finally, after all these considerations, I also chose the color I love. Reality is, I don't want to spend the next four to six months of my life working with a color I don't love. I think that in a way, that emotion would be carried into the making of the garment and I wouldn't do my best work. There is no point in making something you don't love.
My silks are ordered and should be here next week. Today after my lecture I'll buy thread and show you that next week, along with any pictures I take today at the show.
Parting Shot: Vintage Beaded Sweater. I finally bought a vintage beaded sweater! I found one at my local antique gallery for a really, really good price. This sweater is in excellent condition; it looks like it has barely been worn. There are no loose beads, it has all the buttons, the lining is intact and not shredding anywhere. There is a little staining under the arms on the lining, but that is to be expected if it was worn a few times. The peachy/pink, I do have to admit, is not quite my color, but I didn't want a cream or black beaded sweater as there are plenty of those to be found. I'm hoping to find a red one in my size one of these days. I suppose I'll have to hunting for a sweater clip, too some time.