Lily Absinthe’s Spring Color Palette, 2016

As a follow-up to our previous post, we thought that we’d delve a little more into the inspiration for our chartreuse design for Spring 2016…

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Chartreuse has been a major inspiration for us this Spring and just for fun, we thought we’d include a little more about it- you could call it our electronic mood board, if you will. This color has really struck a chord with us this year, perhaps because of Chartreuse’s association with the Aesthetic Movement which was in full bloom during the 1880s. With its focus on art for art’s sake, the Aesthetic Movement was a reaction to industrialization and the growth of commercial culture (i.e. “the marketplace”) and it sought to re-introduce elements of pre-industrial society back into society. Originally focused in Great Britain, the movement gained adherents both in the United States and Western Europe. On a more basic level, adherents of the Aesthetic Movement believed that art should be only governed by aesthetics rather than practical or moral considerations- it was to only exist for itself, not to serve a greater social need. Although starting with painting, the Aesthetic Movement also encompassed all the arts and ultimately found its way into fashion, primarily through color and textiles in the form of design motifs. Finally, the Aesthetic Movement also drew inspiration from the Middle and Far East and especially with Japonisme.

William Morris Forest Tapestry

Detail of Forest Tapestry by William Morris

Color was especially influenced by the Aesthetic Movement in that the emphasis was placed on colors that closely matched those found in the natural world and various shades of green were an integral part of this. For us, chartreuse was a natural choice and it reflected in the various trims that we are incorporating in one of our spring designs:


Trim for a new dress under construction.

Based on the above picture, we were able to generate a rough color palette:

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Now, we grant that color interpretation, especially with computers, can be a somewhat subjective thing so we’ve supplemented it with a more traditional color palette for chartreuse and related color shades:

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A computer-generated color palette is one thing, nature is another. Let’s take a look at some natural inspiration:

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And now for a little more inspiration other sources, starting with the House of Worth:


Evening Dress, House of Worth, c. 1899; Metropolitan Museum of Art (35.134.16a, b)


Wedding Dress, 1874; Chicago History Museum (1946.31a-d). Worn by Harriet Newell Dewey when she married Robert S. Elder.

And a few paintings…


“Veronica Veronese” (1872) by Dante Rossetti (1828 – 1882)


“The Mirror” (1889) by Gunnar Berndtson (1854- 1895).


“Dawn” (1907) by Edmund Hodgson Smart (1873 – 1942)

And finally, just for fun since the color also plays off of Lily Absinthe’s signature color… 🙂


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This is just one of several designs were developing and we’ll have more to show in later posts. We hope you have enjoyed this little journey though the process of inspiration. 🙂


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