I’ve always been attracted to the combination of black and yellow. I think it started because my high school’s colors were black and gold. It felt good to put on one of our uniforms because the black and gold colors together looked so striking and powerful. Currently black and yellow seems to be having quite the fashion moment, but this particular color combination also has quite the history as well as a couple of interesting and famous fans.
I, of course, am not the only one to notice the striking effect yielded by a black and yellow color combination. Famous typographer Jan Tschichold noted in his book The Principles of the New Typography that, in typography and graphic design, pure yellow is one of only a few colors that should be used with black because of the “intensity” that the colors create together. (Tschichold, p. 120) Of course, the notion of only using a few colors in combination with black is pretty extreme, but, if you’ve read anything from or about Tschichold you’ll realize that a lot of his ideas were pretty extreme. Still, his thought that yellow and black together create one of the most intense color combinations does apply here.
Musician Jack White also enjoys a good yellow and black color combo. Formerly of the White Stripes and currently of the Dead Weather, White owns his own record label called Third Man Records. The colors of the label are yellow and black. Although I can’t find the source now (of course), I read somewhere that it’s because White believes that yellow and black, as well as red, are the most powerful colors in existence. …maybe he’s been reading a little Tschichold.
While the black and yellow color combination could be described as bold, striking, powerful, and intense, it can also have a soft side when the yellow is more muted. See the two outfits below.
So, which black and yellow is your style? Bold and striking? Or muted and sophisticated? Will you be participating in this fashion moment?
…While I do love a pop of yellow every once in a while, the muted yellow is more my everyday style. Right now, I’m wishing both of the above outfits were hanging in my closet. I would wear the leather vest number for casual weekend days and the pinstriped pants outfit for work. It would be killer! Maybe I’ll let these outfits be my inspiration for my next shopping adventure.
My parents designed and built the house we lived in when I was younger. I had big aspirations for the house while they were designing it. One of which was a purple polka-dotted front door. You know, normal things. One of my more ordinary hopes for the house was a window seat for my room. I envisioned sitting, staring out the window, and daydreaming for hours. The window seat never happened, but I still love the idea of window seats in general. This photograph caught my eye for two reasons: one, because its subject is a window seat and two, because of the lovely juxtaposition between the neon-ish “technicolor” sign and the natural, tree-filled outdoors.
After initially falling in love with this dreamy window seat photograph, I found so many images on Pinterest that had a similar feel and colors. You can find some of my favorites below. Click the images to navigate to the original sources. …sorry, some of them are just links to the photo on Pinterest.
Here’s a nice little outfit inspired by the window seat photo. It’s comfy and relaxed enough for daydreaming, but sophisticated enough for big aspirations. I love how the orange script on that Marc Jacobs sweatshirt echos the orange type of the “technicolor” sign. The green necklace is reminiscent of the greenery of the wooded outdoors. The wedges and shorts echo the mid-century modern feel of the window seat image. (I can’t help it, whenever I see that burnt orange color combined with natural wood, I think mid-century modern.)
This mirror is amazing! It would be amazing on its own, straight out of the box. But, the juxtaposition it creates with its environment is what makes it truly special and memorable. This juxtaposition is definitely a nice little moment.
The classic architectural elements of the room in which this modern mirror is hanging could be described as elegant and formal with its rounded moulding and decorative carving. It could even be considered somewhat soft when compared with the harsh, sharp angular forms of the mirror. While these differing qualities make for a stark contrast, the room and the mirror still coexist wonderfully well. To go all type nerd on you, the classic interior is to the modern mirror what an old style serif typeface is to a modern sans-serif typeface; the perfect complement.
Here is what I would wear if I were kickin’ it in this room:
The inspiration photo for this edition of Just Plain Pretty reminds me of the inspiration photo used in the last of edition of Just Plain Pretty (see it here). They are both images of vintage, imperfect, and grungy grid-based design. While the former had a beautiful pastel color palette that was reminiscent of the new spring season and called out for a flirty outfit made up of springy colors, the starker palette of this grungy grid calls for a rougher outfit aesthetic. Ironically, the black and white also reflects the rough and stormy weather we’ve been having here in the midwest.
Anyway, here is my attempt at recreating the rough aesthetic of the inspiration photo in an outfit set:
How about the design of those Rag & Bone jeans? The black-and-white color palette and the angular design of the insets reflects the look and feel of the inspiration photo perfectly! To highlight the awesomeness of the jeans, I kept the rest of the outfit simple with a gray tank and a black, crocheted vest. The black Elizabeth & James ankle boots are clean and sleek calling to mind the inspiration photo’s grid-based layout. They are oh-so-beautiful, but understated enough to allow the jeans to shine.
So, check out that necklace! It’s part of The Awesome Project; a collaboration between illustrator Madalina Andronic and designer Claudiu Stefan. All the pieces are made of porcelain and are handpainted in a style influenced by Romanian folklore. I just love the folk art look! It reminds me of German fraktur and scherenschnitte and, therefore, it makes me happy :). …If you’re interested, I’ve written about my love of German Fraktur here.
By the way, while I’m only showcasing the necklaces from the project here, they also make bracelets, rings, vases, and more.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have an obsession with boots. I have quite a few pairs ranging from tan, western-inspired ankle boots to sleek, black, heeled boots. It all started with a pair of $40 tall, flat, moto boots that I bought at Target about 7 years ago. At the time, I agonized over the decision to purchase them because they would have been my first pair of tall boots (coming to just under my kneecap) and I didn’t know if they would look good on me or not… Despite not knowing if I would every actually wear the boots, I gave into the temptation and bought them. I’m so glad I did because now I wear them almost every day.
That is, I wear them almost every day during the colder months. Sadly, their is no way to fulfill my boot obsession during the summer. …or, at least that’s what I thought until I stumbled upon these Steve Madden ankle boots in the e-newsletter they send me (much too often for the health of my checkbook). The cutouts and the short, ankle height makes them the perfect warm weather boot! I’m also loving the heel height; it adds just enough lift to give the boot an elegant shape while remaining low enough that they could be worn every day. …needless to say, I’m seriously contemplating these babies.