Saturday, 31 August 2013

Bring on the yellows!

If there is one magical aspect of Summer, (aside from ice cream, sand in your toes and freckles you didn't know you had), it is the kaleidoscope of colour joyfully adorned in skirts, dresses and other summer attire and worn with a confidence that says 'it's Summer!' Only yesterday, this very subject came up with a friend and whether the onset of Autumn would mean a return to the 'safe' browns, navy and blacks that seem to spell Winter. I include myself in this category and used always to admire people with the confidence to wear a splash of strong pink or a vibrant red on a day when the sky is a flat grey. It seems true that it can lift the mood of both the wearer and the beholder. So, last year I decided it was time that my Winter wardrobe received an injection of colour and perhaps go some way to simulating the same sunny vibes of Summer.

In the last couple of years, I have found myself drawn to the fantastic array of yellows out there in 'fabric world'. Not so much acid yellows as the stronger, more earthy yellows of cumin, saffron yellow, the colour of courgette flowers and of that quintessentially English mustard. I managed to find a fabric last year with just the right splash of colour amongst the vintage yellows of Joel Dewberry's Winter 2011 collection that I wore consistently throughout the Summer and which then continued to sing the joys of yellow throughout the Winter, (teamed with thick grey tights and boots!)

For a colour with such uplifting qualities and happy associations, not least it's reminiscence of Summer and sunshine, it seems a shame it is not celebrated more. I developped a bit of passion for medieval clothes and colour when studying for my Masters (Medieval & Tudor) in Canterbury and how one still might understandably associate the Medieval era with earthy browns and darker tones. In fact, one could argue that there was a braver and more prolific use of colour then than now, with a host of colour dyed fabrics. Amongst these and one of the most popular was, (you guessed it), yellow. In fact, one of the most commercially utitilised dyes in Europe was 'Weld' (grown specifically as a dye plant) and which achieved a bright lemon yellow. Saffron (from the crocus flower) was used to achieve the more earthy, mustard yellows.

Yellow is a colour I would gladly see more of come the darker evenings and shorter days that everyone dreads. With that in mind, I have indulged another fabric crush in the shape of a gorgeous yellow with sycamore seed pod design. I have two dress patterns in mind, but either way, I will be flying the flag for some cheery yellow this Winter and if I come to need a navy or black dress day I may even bring out the mustard yellow tights (too much ?!) So look out for me, I'll be easy to spot!

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