How to design your wearable art collection
1. Embrace Your Body
Listen to friends and Mother Nature
2. Take a stand
You know who you are.
Experience has been your teacher.
Wear a statement piece of wearable art.
3. Tell your own story
Walk your talk.
You are no longer living what you know,
you are authoring your life in advance of living it.
4. Define your principles
Repeat what you like
Hold to a constant standard
Live the rhythm of your own drum
Keep it simple with basic essentials
Determine your bottom line.
5. Know your elements
color, value, texture, line, shape
What colors do you like?
Define your palette
What’s your season?
Manifest contrast, strong values,
soft and bold, light and dark
What do you feel?
silky and coarse
Shape your message
What’s your line?
What’s my story?
Walking in the woods yesterday, I saw the brown color I am shibori dyeing for a mother of the bride statement kimono and dress. It was in the leaves left over from last fall; deep, rich, rusty, copper, with a touch of dark, forest green.
Even though the leaves were from last fall, now aged into late spring, they held their vibrancy. Who would think that the colors of spring would include the age of fall? Clearly, every color can be found any season. And you can wear any color, given all the shades, tones, lights and brights to choose. How did I get on my color path, my artful path, my path of self expression?
I let go.
One day when I was on my lunch hour from my first office job, I stepped inside a store that sold a more expensive line of clothing than I was inclined to buy. I was 20. I was a Sears’ girl. I decided that I would try on pants and blouses that were bright and brilliant. The pants were orange and fuchsia. They were each paired with a floral blouse. They were not the bright and brilliant colors of summer. They were subtly toned, as the leaves are when they slowly change. Not my usual choice.
It was a risky step.
I gazed in the mirror and said to myself, “I hate this. This is not me.” I have strong opinions. I bought it, anyway. I was tired of buying the same styles and colors. I wanted to feel what it was like to wear something different.
A relatively safe risk.
My dad loved it! I never thought of him as a stylish person in his USAF uniform or week-end overalls. In hindsight, as I peer into his old black and white photographs, I discover he had a very strong sense of composition. His was not the only compliment I received. This began my journey, not only of exploring colors, also in taking risks with self-expression.
All colors are part of nature.
Find yourself in the rainbow. It is very large, full and forgiving, as you are.
You can wear any color. It’s not about what looks good on you, it’s about what makes you feel wonderful. You are part of nature. In order to determine your place in the rainbow, remember your favorite season. Find it by listening to your body. To what season are you most drawn? Listen to your friends and their compliments. Write it all down.
Are you spring where the colors are soft, or summer, where the colors are bright, bold, and brilliant? Are you sometimes a little of both? Getting to know your self through color is the exciting journey you are now poised to embark upon.
Are you most present in the toned leaves of fall and their bright counterpart, jewels against the sky? Are you in your element in the deep rich and luscious shades of winter, the depth of spruce, and burgundy?
All these seasons come and go, as you do.
You know what you like, what feels good.
Begin with your favorite season, where memories have lived the fullest. Coffee, chocolate, semi sweet, bitter or milky? It’s the season you are drawn to that will determine your palette.
How do you choose your palette?
Ask, “What do I like?”
Today I start with brown. Deep dark, aged, fall leaf, brown. Browns emerge from all colors. The brown I am seeking emerges from yellow and purple, her compliment. They create copper and rust. As the exploration continues, many colors appear. And as you explore, they become your colors, ready to mix and match and enjoy. They will tell your story.
You can wear any color. It’s easy. Nature has already begun to cleanse your canvas when she added grey to your hair. If you, too, choose to add color, are you more drawn to yellow or blue based colors? If you have highlights, are they gold or ash?
Let’s collaborate? Tell me what you feel. This is how you will tell me who you are. What do you like? How tall are you? How full are your hips? What are the colors of your skin, your eyes, your hair, (is it dyed or natural)? The answer to these questions are the beginning of our designing your personal statement piece of wearable art.