Updated: Jan 20, 2022
I recently came across the most beautiful image of a Japanese plum tree in full bloom during winter. Delicate pink petals with yellow stamens covered the branches, and all was dusted with a thin layer of snow. They glistened in the morning light, an ethereal trick of nature.
Photo credit: BotanyBoy
While the ume tree produces its fruit during warmer weather this magnificent tree somehow manages to sustain tiny but hardy flowers in late winter — oftentimes when there’s still snow and ice on the ground.
As usual, it got me to thinking about fashion. Fashion, textile color, and seasonal wear respectively.
In the fashion industry, some form of floral print and pastel hue is pretty standard for the spring season, as are darker colors for the winter. "While this is not a strict fashion rule, it is certainly fairly adhered to. I highly object to this rule.
No one loves a rich jewel-toned winter palette more than me. Deep blues, emeralds, and purples paired up with a silvery gray makes me blush with pleasure! And there’s a sound logic to avoiding lighter toned fabrics during the wettest, muddiest of days with your outerwear. But what about pairing the softest of pinks and light green for your autumn trench coat? A busy floral pattern will hide the errant speck of debris picked up whilst strolling the boulevard on dry days and is definitely more cheerful than the standard fare most stores present us with. Perhaps a stormy day calls for a laminated textile that is bright and jolly…and winter wool can be dyed any color we wish.
Reject the norm.
Remember the lesson of the ume tree…
Photo credit: Gurumustuk Singh, Flickr 2009.
It cares not that the calendar still says February. Rather, the blooms stand in direct contrast to it, a lovely complement to the taupe, gray, and white tones of winter. The blooms delight our senses, causing us to brave the cold and take a long walk through the park just to witness their beauty.
The flowers reflect an impermanence, as does fashion. Fibers wear down, textiles lose their luster. Styles come and go, even if you’re not locked into what’s immediately trending. It’s all a fleeting experience.
Taking a cue from nature is one of my favorite things to do when considering my wardrobe, though I must admit that when it comes to design aesthetics, anything goes. I find random inspiration anywhere from the shimmery paint on a new car to the vivid train of feathers on a peacock.
Where do you get your wardrobe inspiration from?
What’s your color palette for the upcoming months? Should it matter if you live in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere weather-wise for your textile color focus? Will you base your palette around a single piece of costume jewelry found at a vintage market in town or on an online photo from your favorite fashion magazine?
Every year I look forward to picking out a particular color scheme for the season (not that I’m strict about staying within its boundaries). There was the summer of ivory, rose, and mint…the winter of emerald…the year of every shade of brown, cocoa to mahogany, that I could find. It’s all play. It’s all pleasure. It’s all an expression of self regardless of what’s en vogue.
There’s much to discuss in the way of color — from the psychology of what to wear to a job interview to how a plush robe in the right hue may just enhance your level of cozy comfort while wearing it. In the coming months I may ramble on about this. Actually, it’s a promise that I will.
For now, I hope your imagination runs amok with the possibilities for your next look.
Until next time…
*Vivie V. is a fashion enthusiast from Chicago with a penchant for handmade and vintage pieces. She holds a B.A. from Columbia College, where her passion for the creative arts was heavily cultivated. When she’s not blogging for Tailor Village she’s concocting DIY fragrances, sewing her own clothes, and running her consultancy, Vivie V.’s Adorn Yourself.