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Your colourful self – Mix & Match

July is coming (where did this year go?) and in case you didn’t know it – July is Disability Pride Month! A time to celebrate the people across the world with a disability and raise awareness of the discrimination and stigmatisation that still exists. It was first organised in the US in 1990 to mark the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed. If you wish to get involved in conversations around disability, the best is to do it with the ones that know about it first-hand. Check out the newly launched Chronic Creative newsletter, by Ananya Rao-Middleton. We met her at the Conscious Being magazine launch and immediately fell in love with her colourful art (and also the fact she recently moved to my beautiful sun-kissed Lisbon)! And on the topic of colour, we bring you Part II of last week’s blog: Your colourful self – Mix & Match!

The Colour Wheel

Let’s delve a bit deeper on this. The Colour wheel is the visual representation of the colour spectrum, visually representing the relationship between the colours. Sir Isaac Newton originally created an asymmetrical colour wheel with seven colours in his 1704 book Optiks: red, yellow, blue, orange, green, violet and indigo. It later evolved into a six-colour symmetrical wheel in 1810 at the hands of Johann Wolfgang, who dropped the indigo. The latter is the closest to the one used these days. Artists and designers use the colour wheel to create different colour schemes and harmonies to achieve the most varied artistic effects. And so can you to reflect your colourful self to the world!

Let’s break it down

The colour wheel comprises three main colour categories:

A colour wheel displaying primary, secondary and tertiary colours. The primary colours are highlighted with black line around them.

  • Primary colours: red, yellow and blue. You can’t mix any colours to achieve these, but the remaining colours derive from them.

A colour wheel displaying primary, secondary and tertiary colours with the secondary colours highlighted within black lines.

  • Secondary colours: these derive from a direct combination of the primary colours. Combinations:
    • Red and yellow for orange.
    • Red and blue for purple.
    • Blue and yellow for green.

A colour wheel displaying primary, secondary and tertiary colours, with the tertiary colours highlighted within black lines.

  • Tertiary colours: these result from a combination of primary and secondary colours and are normally acquire very exquisite names: aqua, coral, turquoise, mint, peach. You get the gist!

 

So, now that we understand the colours within the Colour Wheel, let’s move onto the principals of “match making”:

Complementary Colours

These are contrasting colours that sit directly opposite each other in the colour wheel. They’re very strong shades in their own right! A combination of these will achieve a striking effect due to their contrast. This is what the combinations look like side-by-side:

Visual display of the complementary colour combinations: red and green, red orange and blue-green, orange and blue, yellow-orange and blue-violet, yellow and violet, yellow-green and red-violet.

For anyone just immersing themselves into the mix and match of complementary colours, start slow by testing different combinations until you achieve a perfect balance. It may seem bold at first, but most Summer collections are made from complementary colour combinations. An alternative is to simply add small accents of a complementary colour in an accessory or even a lipstick.

A white woman with dark hair tied in pigtails posing. She's wearing a white t-shirt underneath a red jacket and a green skirt.

Analogous Colours

A colour wheel displaying primary, secondary and tertiary colours with blue-violet, blue and blue-green highlighted within black lines.

Analogous colours are continuous shades in the colour wheel from the same family colour. When combining two or three of these colours you can achieve a striking yet harmonious effect. If a style looks flat, try different combinations of analogous colours until you get the right balance.

A white woman posing sideways. She has dark hair tied at the back in a ponytail. She's wearing a pleated blue skirt and a blue-violet fur coat.

Triadic Colours

These are equally equidistant in the colour wheel.

A colour wheel showing primary, secondary and tertiary colours with red-orange, yellow-green and blue-violet highlighted within black lines.

These look amazing together, but if they feel too much you can “tweak” the combinations with muted or subdued shades of these colours like. Pastels can be helpful here.

A black woman posing beside a red car. She's wearing a knee-length vibrant yellow dress with puff sleeves. She's also wearing strap red sandals and a beige hat. She's holding a handbag. Her hair is dyed in a dark blue shade, which makes a contrasting effect with the outfit.

Monochromatic Colours

This is the easier to figure out (one single colour), but one of the most difficult to pull off due to a lack of contrast to “spice it up”. Monochrome has however become more popular recently and you can go for classic neutrals like whites and greys, or if you’re feeling adventurous start off with pastel shades for your monochromatic look.

A white woman sitting on a bench at an outdorr photo set. Behind her there's a neutral beige photo backdrop hanging from stands. She has blond hair and is wearing a white jumpsuit. She's not wearing shoes and white nail polish can be seen on her toenails.

 

If everything seems overwhelming you can always go for the classic options: white or black can be matched with almost everything. They always look clean and stylish, so take advantage of the safe options available. The key thing to remember is using colour to reflect your colourful self. If the combinations you go for are a display of your unique style even the clothes will feel comfortable, so let your creativity flow. Enjoy your week! x

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