Rose Brown Knitwear | Journal

Colour Palette - Mood & Influence

I’m going to spend this time talking a little bit about our colour palette, the inspiration behind it and how it has evolved over the past eight years since I launched the business.

Looking back at previous collections it seems obvious now that the colours I have pulled together are probably the most telling, personal part about the whole design process. The business has been labour of love for so long that it’s understandable that some sentiment comes through into our designs. But the most noticeable change of all can be pin pointed to when we moved out of London to the seaside town of Margate three years ago.

My experience living in London was like so many others. I spent weeks frantically moving between one task to another. Working part time in a Haberdashery called Ray Stitch and all other hours at the studio on Rose Brown. Cities are often described as vibrant, a word you would more commonly associate with colour, and looking back I would say that this translated into my designs.

I think I was inspired by the vibrancy of city life in both an emotional and a literal way, although I don’t think I was very aware of any literal inspiration, it was more subliminal than that. I could have taken colour references from the rich fabrics housed in the Haberdashery. Or from the posters, shop fronts, advertisements and graffiti which are everywhere you look. Emotionally speaking, I think the colours I chose were a reflection of the constant stimulation, activity and energy! 

The palette for the first five years was always based on a neutral ground of cool greys and very occasionally a warmer tone. But the array of colours that I worked into this palette were vivid, rich and vast. Looking back, I worked with so much colour no wonder the process used to leave me feeling a bit overwhelmed at times! But that’s how I used to do things, and it worked for me at the time.

Jumping forward to the new (unseen) collection, the palette is looking much warmer and more tonal, the designs bring together muted colours of ochre, tobacco, rust, fern, sea foam and pale beige. It has been a slow evolution from bright to soft tones. This was first impacted by our transition to a different pace of life living beside the sea, then a series of acupuncture sessions which did the unexpected job of grounding me and steadying my thoughts, then the exhaustion of the first trimester of pregnancy, the stillness of lockdown and eventually motherhood!

I am not however, ruling out that it has been emotions alone that have inspired this change in colour scheme. My environment has changed dramatically since we launched in 2013 and the blurry, softness of the coastal landscape has surely been quietly influencing me and the design process since the moment I stepped onto the shores.

Speak soon - Rosie

 

Photography | Alex Coppard

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