Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pastel shades

click photo to enlarge
I was interested (though not very) to read that this season's fashion colour - grey - has been a flop with the buying public. The fashion commentators (now there's a job whose passing no sensible person could regret) concluded that grey clothes looks great - even "sophisticated" - on fashion models, but not so good on normal folk like you and me. Now I'm no fan of fashion, but every now and again I notice when the clothes worn in the street and offered for sale in the stores change. This realisation usually dawns when I find it hard to buy the sludge coloured clothes that I favour.

Once upon a time I thought I didn't like pastel colours. It was probably because I associated them with certain fashions during my youth. At one point older women seemed to wear nothing but pastel shades, usually in some weird fabric like Crimplene. Then the men started to get in on the act and awful pastel coloured shirts, sometimes with white collars, did the rounds. It was probably at that point that I envied the dress sense of Anglican clergymen. Every morning they would get up and and think, "Mmmm, what colour shall I wear today - ah, I know, black and grey!" Now, however, I realise that there is nothing wrong with pastel colours as long as they are in the right place and not draped around my own or anyone else's body! After all what is a pastel shade but a strong colour watered down with a lot of white.

This row of Victorian workers' houses in Cockermouth, Cumbria, suits the pastel shades that their owners have dressed it in. No doubt they started life painted white or cream, or more likely the colour of the cement render. But the narrow, dark street in this damp corner of England is cheered by the juxtaposition of these light colours and the contrasting details around the windows and doors. Pastel undoubtedly works here. I took this shot with no help from the large van that parked in front of me as I used a long focal length to compress the houses and include a representative selection of colours!
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen