I love colour.
My hair changes hue weekly, my wardrobe is arranged by rainbow, and even my bookshelves are in chromatic order. I own an art gallery. I think it’s safe to say that colour is very much a part of my life.
Last month I had a chance to go to the Colour Elements event at Kakao by K. Not only is this one of my favourite shops in the city, but I was intrigued by the premise. The idea behind Edinburgh-based Colour Elements is to “celebrate the individual features that make us unique and wonderful”, using colour in fashion to “empower customers to see themselves in a new and positive way”.
Now I’m not exactly the kind of person who likes to be told what to do or what to wear. My favourite piece of clothing is a pair of multicoloured Black Milk Tetris leggings, which I’ll wear with everything from an oversized jumper to an LBD. Someone once told me I wouldn’t suit green hair because of my colouring, so I just went out and found a shade that WOULD suit me just to prove them wrong. My go-to colour palette is mint and pink. I am a living watermelon. So I was curious to find out what colours my colour consultant, would suggest for me.
When I was a kid, my aunt owned a set of books about how to tell which colour palette would best suit their “season”. I took great pride in telling my mum, at the age of 8, that she was an autumn/winter. That her dark hair, brown eyes and warm-toned complexion meant she should stick to rusts, mustard yellows, forest greens, and tomato reds. She looked at me like I was nuts. When I told my dad he was clearly an autumn, he grumbled at me to leave his mint green Missoni chevron vest alone, thankyouverymuch. The man is a very dapper dresser. I’m also pretty sure that vest was pilfered from my mother’s side of the wardrobe, but he’s now been wearing it for 20 years and no one has the heart to take it away from him. These old school colour charts didn’t take a person’s features or personality into account, and the rigid formulas were just a bit too strict for most people. Colour Elements is a different approach, and a huge improvement on the concept.
I have a lot of clothes. I love fashion, and I even used to work in the industry when I first left uni. I will never be minimalist in my sartorial choices or the sheer heaving size of my wardrobe(s), and I have no intention of changing. Every possible style, era and colour is represented in there. What I found interesting about the concept behind Colour Elements is that they encourage the consumer to work with what they already have, because let’s face it, I probably already have it. The idea is that we should incorporate colour into our everyday fashion choices, in a way that the colours accentuate rather than overpower the overall look. Your Colour Elements consultant looks at skin tone, hair colour and overall appearance, and advises on what colour group you fall into: Earth, Water, or Air. Most people will be primarily one or other of these.
When we turned up to Kakao by K, we were handed G&Ts from the lovely people at Mother’s Gin Bar, and we had a chance to browse before a wee presentation on how colour can dramatically change an outfit. We then each had a one-to-one with the company founder/leader Karen, where she assessed which element best suited us and advised which colours would work to accentuate our best self. Apologies in advance for the slightly fuzzy photos, but SERIOUSLY, check out all the gorgeous stuff in this shop! Can I have it all please?
Karen was lovely, and as soon as we started chatting she told me that I not only had the colour thing nailed already (I was wearing a mint green skirt and a neutral top, with a black and white striped cardigan and pink velvet brogues), but also that I didn’t fall under one category. My eye colour, features and skin tone screamed “Earth”, but the surprisingly complementary mint green hair pushed me towards “Air”. Karen had me sussed out from the beginning, and I think she knew I was not exactly squeamish when it comes to wearing colour, or even mixing it.
The idea is that once you have been assessed for your Colour ID, you can the download the Colour Elements app on your phone, from which you can create handy colour cards. It’s such simple idea, and very effective, Rather than trying to remember if the red in that jacket you have an eye on is the right tone or warmth, you have the colour cards on hand to help when creating a fabulous outfit.
Afterwards we all walked down to Mother’s Gin Bar, where we were given a bite to eat and more to drink. I do love gin, so this place is pretty much my dream bar. The selection of gins behind the bar is actually dizzying. Definitely somewhere to go for a wee cocktail, and the atmosphere is so chilled out.
So is it time for more gin yet? 😉