Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Color for Flappers: 1928 Color Harmony

1928.Color & Design, Pintuckstyle photo ColorDesignpinkdress_zps1ef8862f.jpg


How was color theory, or harmony used in vintage fashion? During the flapper era in 1928, this charming booklet was published to show women how to select personal colors based on their hair and skin tones. This booklet has several wonderful color illustrations to show exactly what fashion colors a girl should choose to look her best.

1928.Color Wheel.Pintuckstyle photo ColorDictionary1928_zps6676b4ab.jpg

This color wheel is the reverse side of that page shown above. By turning the color wheel, various dress colors appear in that illustration. Here on the back side, basic color theory is shown.

1928.color for fashion.pintuckstyle photo 1928personalcolorswarm_zpsf7b2140d.jpg
This page is part of a series of color groups that are based on skin tone and hair color grouped into "warm", "cool" and "intermediate" skin tones. Clearly, this publication is based on the hair and color of middle class women from European heritage and lacks the diversity we are familiar with today. However it does give us insight into a new type of color theory that would grow in popularity during the century, with the publication of such personal color theory books as "Color Me Beautiful".

1928.color for fashion.pintuckstyle photo 1928personalcolorsintermediate_zps65525212.jpg
1928. Color for fashion.pintuckstyle photo 1928personalcolorscool_zpsed4f313a.jpg


The final illustration shown here comes with the following description:
This page suggests ways in which the principles explained in the Color Dictionary herewith may be applied in planning color schemes for dress.

1928, Color chart.pintuckstyle photo 1928colorchart_zps7457b697.jpg


If your inner Flapper is wondering what to wear next, you can take a cue from this to know that color in fashion was bright, rich and varied by the late 1920's, and women had begun to realize what specific colors for them looked the best!

4 comments:

Second Hand Rose said...

This is so interesting, I never even knew it existed then! Flappers always seemed to look so amazing and put together, now we know why! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

Lynn Mally said...

I've seen those color charts going back into the late nineteenth century. What interests me is how consistent the color advice is over the decades. Of course the palette of available colors changes, but the advice about warm/cool etc is quite similar.

Jen O said...

Rose: It is amazing how 'modern' that generation was when it came to style and design.

Lynn: I hope that sometime you will share what you find on color, that would be so interesting to see!

Lizzie said...

That color wheel is ingenious.

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