Cre8ing with Colette: Contrasting Balance
Integrating this principle of design into visual presentations has become second nature to me. Through a background in Fashion Merchandising, I was taught the two forms of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. The latter immediately intrigued me; the idea of using contrasting fabrics, such as linen vs. leather, to create a unified product made so much sense. To me, symmetry seemed banal, even easy. So why not create an asymmetrical visual presentation, using creativity to achieve the same sense of balance? Through the years, I have translated this concept from apparel to interiors: filling a pristine, rounded vase with colorful, vintage crayons is perfection to me. The contrast between the clear, structured glass and the childish crayons brings a sense of harmony. My concept of balance is less about the number of items used in a visual presentation, and more about the attributes of the items and how they will accentuate one another. This has become my approach to apparel design as well as displays within Station 8.
Within the concept of balance, there are six contributing elements; color, texture, size, shape, quantity and space. Simply listing these isn’t enough for me, however visualizing them creates imagery and something I can make tangible. Imagine a barn wood picture frame, with it’s perfectly worn wood, hanging on a wall over a piece of soft, warm, caramel colored suede. The contrasting of patina’d wood and supple leather, compliment and add intrigue to the display. This is my ideal example of asymmetrical balance using texture. It is less about the item’s similarities; more about the item’s contrast, which showcase their beautiful characteristics. When creating a vignette in The Shop, I must consider each of these factors and how they play-off the others. A deep lilac, crushed velvet couch as a centerpiece can be balanced by a mustard-yellow, mid-century coffee table. The two may have contrasting attributes but by using these complimentary colors, the display is tied together, creating visual harmony.
For me, the worlds of fashion and interior design are based upon the same principles. These six foundational elements that I use daily for my vignettes, are prominent in my wardrobe and apparel constructing. For work today, I paired a fitted, black chiffon blouse with torn, boyfriend jeans and a pair of Adidas tennis shoes. The dissimilarity of the fabrics and fit of these items creates a well balanced overall look. My apparel designs use the same principle of contrast, integrating vintage fashion with modern trends. Each item is hand altered, pairing contrasting fabrics, such as tweed and silk, to create my own unique balanced garments.
This concept of balance I have embodied transcends design and is incorporated into my daily life. I believe it is important to find beauty and contrasts in everything you do. Every mistake must be looked at as an opportunity for improvement and learning. A long day of work must be followed by an evening of play. Enjoy the contrasts in life; they are what ultimately create an overall sense of balance.
On Behalf of Team 8,
Elise Davis, Assistant Manager
The Shops at Station 8