Color Theory #1

New blog series gets Style Counselors talking color trends

By Laura Cassidy July 26, 2010

Slideshow: Avocado and Aqua, because "neighboring hues are good partners"

Color Theory #1 asks local menswear designer Michael Cepress to tell us what shades and hues he’s currently obsessed with. And, as is often the case here, it’s all about the slideshow. To hear from more Seattle Met Style Counsel subjects, stay tuned.

Michael Cepress: While any number of things inspire me and the work I create, one of the most critical and essential components is indeed color. In our lives today a host of elements can collide in an aesthetic experience – cultural references, patterns, textures, histories, traditions…and this is very much the case in my work as a designer. Every garment I design comes to reference a heap of different times and places (in my own mind as designer, at least!) and in the end it is COLOR that ties the entire experience together. While attitudes and styling and combinations change, it is often color that we rely on to help make an entire look "make sense."

One particular color experience I have been obsessing over lately is the pairing of turquoise and olive…or as the interior design trend forecasters of the 1960s called it: "Aqua and Avocado". In smarty-pants art school lingo we’d label this an analagous color scheme, as the chosen colors sit beside one another on the color wheel. True colorists would use an even more complex description, but I won’t go there! Upon chatting up my artist friend Emily Pothast about this subject, I came to learn that she has not only been featured on this style blog….but was also wearing the very color scheme I’m focusing on today! Serendipity!

This particular pairing is a good one, and one that has been on my mind for years. I remembered – and revisited – a copy of a 1960 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Ideas (see the slideshow for more) that featured a host of glorious interiors from the period that favored this very scheme. In my personal life I live with this scheme by way of our bathroom towels (a gift from my dear friend and Seattle composer Byron Au Yong) as well as a wonderful set of Mikasa brand dishes in which I prepare my morning coffee.

I’ve gathered these little moments of inspiration and poured them into one particular fabric that continues to inspire me and is featured in some of my newest spring designs. The plaid fabric I speak of blends the handsome aqua and avocado scheme into a range of blacks and greys that make the fabric even more suited to the wardrobe of most any man. We all know guys have closets full of blue, black, and grey, so why not bring in an exciting accent?

A new series of vests made of the fabric are now on the racks at Velouria here on Capitol Hill, the hub for MC ready to wear. And these particular vests offer some "two-for-one" appeal as they are entirely reversible. One side features the plaid I love so much; the other side showcases a solid color in your choice of olive, navy or black, backed with a very fun and sophisticated black and grey stripe. These price at $118 and they’re available right now!


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