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Color Summary

( Originally Published 1924 )



After all is said and done, the whole matter may be boiled down to a few concrete rules. Color should enhance personality, and never supersede it. Temperament should be considered as well as the colors of skin; eyes, and hair. A costume should ring of melody; the blending of tone in a color chord, a smoothness in transition that leaves an impression of the beauty of the whole composition rather than any one note. The color of the costume more than the design or its texture decides its rhythm with environment. Color in jazz time would not harmonize with a symphony occasion.

Simultaneous contrast, or the principle of the assertion of a definite color complement and its effect upon other colors, should be considered as care-fully as the immediate reflection of the color employed. Hue is not the all-important thing in combining colors; value, intensity, and area distribution should be meticulously considered.

Pure and bright colors emphasize size, age, and imperfections of the skin. Light colors, such as pale blue, rose, apple-green, suggest gaiety and youth; the more somber and deeper tones represent dignity and maturity. Metallic effects are not kind. Sallow people should avoid all cold colors such as greens and blues.

Browns and tans are not good if the complexion is imperfect or inclined to sallowness, or if the eyes lack brilliancy. White should be of cream or pink tint rather than blue white, which is most trying for all except the one with a flawless skin. Prematurely gray women can wear two-tone effects produced by putting color over color or by choosing fabrics in which the brilliant color is the under-woven color. She who possesses a high color, should avoid bright shades, especially red. If one is blest with a clear complexion one can safely use any moderate color. Women with clear but color-less complexions can choose colors calling forth reddish tints—light blue, dark blue, violet, toward red, red browns, gray with a touch of color.

The distinction in dress which proclaims one as possessing a definite and attractive personality can be attained by first knowing oneself and then dressing to bring out one's known good qualities.

Color is magic, if some of the simple principles which control its scientific use are but mastered.



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