Mia Katrin wrote an article in Mid-America Jewelry News entitled "The Impact of Color! What's Hot Now" in which she discusses her take on the trends. She introduces her article:
For instant impact, try color. Charged with emotion, color can electrify, command attention, create a mood.Although some psychologists would argue that the effects of color are exaggerated and that color carries different messages across cultures, the anecdotal messages and interpretations issued by fashion and merchandising markets indicate that people take color seriously to some extent. At the end of the day, the subjective and personal experience we have with certain colors must be meaningful enough if we continue to abide by certain rules in fashion and style that we set for ourselves.
The truth is...
Color is a deeply personal choice for everyone. Some people tend to gravitate to a color or set of colors that really express who they are as individuals. Some people report feeling comfortable wearing a certain shade or believe that certain palettes and designs are flattering to one's figure. Some people also associate certain colors with positive experiences in their lives -- like the cool crisp blue of the sea to help cope with intense summer heat, or shades of pink in our favorite Valentine's Day flowers and treats, or the preternatural green of trees first coming into bloom.
Whatever the link between color splashed out there in the real world and what we choose to wear, just knowing our thoughts and impressions about color is a useful piece of self-knowledge.
Pantone's Picks for Fall 2009
Pantone issued its top ten choices for women's fashion in 2009, a few of which Mia gave a prominent thumbs-up.
See all the top ten in the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2009.
Just because it looks good on a runway model...
Exactly. Despite the prettiest models and highly polished sketches, regardless how "hot" the trend, both mean relatively little if you don't feel comfortable with the choice.
Mia makes a couple of simple suggestions in her own work.
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your birth stone?
- What about _______ as something in that range of color?
Self-knowledge may vary!
To be fair, some customers can rattle off any and all of these answers in a moment's notice, but not everyone. Women stereotypically care and invest more in these attributes than men. Some people are just "into" fashion and style more so than their counterparts. Some know the trends; others don't, or they don't care. Some people feel more comfortable with stylists and experts leading them on that trip of self-knowledge; they entrust us with the decision making.
Don't just think color. Think scene. Redirect the question. Don't just ask about favorite colors (which could be plenty or depend on the day) or birthstones (may not know that either). Ask for a story.
Ask for some information that will get the customer talking and will reveal to you the turning imagination lying underneath.
- Where did you go on your last vacation?
- If money weren't an issue, where would you go?
- What are some hobbies that you enjoy doing in your spare time?
- What childhood memory stands out to you?
We here at Krikawa believe that in order to unlock the vision and imagination of what our customers need, we need to show just how much we care and how much we want to learn that information.
The questions above were past questions designed to help trigger that information. When we know the stories, we can suggest colors, images, and designs that appeal to the customer. But what if they're struggling with the memories a bit? Fair enough. This customer might prefer more of a present focus.
- Tell me the last time you couldn't stop laughing.
- Tell me a movie you've seen lately and would recommend to others.
- What really turns your head and makes you look twice?
Fearful of color?
A girl friend and I went shopping this past weekend. We were strolling through the mall, and as a pal, I patiently sat outside the dressing room while she tried on a number of tops. She shops like she eats -- hesistantly -- and it's fine. For the short time I have known her -- a new engagement, struggling to move to be with her man and to find a good job, resisting her curves instead of embracing what comes her age (far from fat, I say!) -- you see this really interesting match between her thoughts on fashion and body image and how she is coping with real life so far.
She hates wearing black as a rule, but likes wearing tops with some ruffle at the top to mask some of her cleavage. She stuck to the style (despite it being a dark color), and we found something similar in a strikingly delicious teal shade. "How did I miss this?" she gasped after trying, buying, and walking out of the store.
We may not reenvision a new palette or a bold character on day one, but maybe people take well to just a gentle nudge. In this case, we, again, stuck with something really familiar and comfortable and just kicked it up a notch. That way, the feeling of newness isn't so overwhelming.