Palette: Make like a leaf and display an ever-changing symphony of rusts and golds

October 14th, 2011

I haven’t quite figured out the calculus of this, but sometimes colors that don’t “go” can be made to harmonize if surrounded by enough other colors. I wouldn’t normally pair a rust-colored tank with an orange cardigan, but here it works as part of an autumnal theme.

Brown tights: We Love Colors
Rust tank: Chicos, eBay
Orange cardigan: Max Mara Weekend, eBay
Brown skirt w/zippered gussets: Looks boutique
Denim jacket: Levi’s, Oona’s
Brass & crystal bracelet: eBay
Pearl & grosgrain necklace: Talbot’s

2 Responses to “Palette: Make like a leaf and display an ever-changing symphony of rusts and golds”

  1. Carolyn on October 16, 2011 7:57 am

    The simplest explanation, I’m guessing, is akin to the logic game Sets.
    Given a group of objects that vary regularly over a small number of dimensions (such as three shapes, three colors, empty/shaded/filled), sets are made by finding groups of three that, for any given dimension, are all the same or all different. A red circle and a blue circle would need a green circle to complete a set; a red circle and a blue triangle would need a green square.

    So what the green in your palette does to unify the rust and the orange is to say, ‘Yes, I mean to use three strikingly Different colors–see how they’re all the Same warmth and intensity?
    The zipper detail picks up the Fine-repetition dimension of the bracelet and necklace, but because they’re all Different colors, there’s no odd man out. It looks intentional, at a somewhat unconscious level.

    By the same token, two sopranos singing in unison can set up an unpleasant mutual resonance which is not present when three sing together. (This may be a physically measurable acoustic fact rather than one of perception, but the effect is similar.)


  2. Traveling Professor on October 17, 2011 7:11 pm

    Great stuff (the analogy to sets game)…. I wonder what the underlying perceptual/cognitive mechanism is…?

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