A Perfect Palette – Nature’s Brilliant Colour Wheel

Designers often credit inspiration to the world around them. Some acknowledge architecture, some movies and books, and some nature.

While watching a documentary on the Galapagos Islands, I was mesmerised by the purity of natures colour palette.

This amazing group of islands is home to many unique species of feathered, finned and furred creatures.

One is the “blue footed booby”.

An interior designer or colour expert could not have put together a more harmonious choice of tones.

From the creamy taupe breast down, to the deeper shade of cappuccino in it’s wings, right down to the beautiful blue of it’s feet (from where it gets it’s name).

It was sublime. ‘

The blue was not dissimilar to the hue created when copper oxidises, another elegant combination.

The Rainbow Lorekeet is another source of inspiration.

Just think of iconic Australian designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson.  Their boutique “Flamingo Park” in Sydney, was a nod to the flora and fauna of the Antipodes.

Rich red ochres of the desert, blooming yellow of our national floral emblem, the wattle, and the brilliant blue ocean that surrounds us.

What better tribute to our wide, brown land.

Why, even arguably the king of fashion Karl Lagerfeld agreed and used Jenny Kees “opal print” in his 1982 debut for Chanel.

Design duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales of “Romance Was Born” are also influenced by their surrounds, and Jenny Kee.

Their spring/summer 2009 collection featured an underwater theme for MBFW. It could be said that the Great Barrier Reef was at the fore front of their imaginations.

Think vivid corals, nemo’s (clown fish), angel fish and even the grey of the greatest predator, the shark.

How about animal prints, more of natures wonder.

As many of you would by now know, I have a penchant for leopard print. In my eyes, nature gets it right every time! Check out FE The Jungle Book-How To Wear Leopard.

Our feathered friends are some of the most flamboyant.

The stunning male peacock and his royal blue plumage, pretty pink flamingoes, and handsome toucans with vibrant orange beaks, are all consummate examples of radiant colour and harmony in the avian world.

The chameleon is the ultimate fashionista, always adapting to its surrounds. The species comes in an array of colours, including pink, blue, red, turquoise, orange, yellow and green. Snakeskin is a highly fashionable print, and has featured in collections this season, think diamond python.

Earths creatures are not the only features of nature that inspire.

The emotive hues of dawn and dusk, fiery red sunsets and the night sky, wearing its navy blanket dusted with twinkling stars, like a sumptuous sequinned shawl.

It doesn’t get any more exquisite than that.

So I ask you when next on your travels, look a little closer to our world filled with brilliance.

Stop and smell the roses! It is for all of us to share and enjoy.

Just remember, we need to treasure it and not take a single piece for granted.

CiaoJo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle

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