Seasonal Colours – Autumn

The advent of a new season brings natural change, excitement and renewed energy.  Throughout the pandemic, a myriad of people seem to have been more cognizant of their immediate surroundings: the changing of the seasons is often a catalyst which transforms lives and creates new connections.  Each of the four seasons align themselves with a truly definitive palette; furthermore, each season hails different behavioural activities and elements such as seasonal foods, cyclical flora and fauna and seasonal clothing hugely contribute to the way we align ourselves with the seasons. 

So let’s consider Autumn or Fall (as it is referred to in North America).  Even saying the word Autumn is tremendously evocative – picture golden brown leaves on the trees, harvest festival colours such as the burnt orange of pumpkins and rich reds of October apple picking outings to weighty warm ochre, aubergine and rich teal blues.  The Autumn palette is incredibly earthy and feels extremely grounding, whilst being relaxed, informal and cosy.  During a walk in the countryside to absorb the wonderful Fall colours, one can experience the full Autumn colour spectrum in one breath, telling us that the days are getting shorter and cooler and it’s time to hunker down and get all cosy. 

Generally speaking no one no-one likes being labelled, so telling someone that they are an “autumn person” may irritate them if their wardrobes are filled to the brim with pastel hues.  Yet considering colour philosophy and applying the rules of the four tonal groups, everyone does fall into one of these groups.  Understanding how to achieve harmony with the tonal groups will ultimately impact on the way you feel, the way you dress and how different colours evoke different emotions.  When one enters a specific area, which feels perfect - together everything in the design conveys energy, directness and strength, delving deeper will often confirm that careful consideration was given not only to its composition, light, textures but also to the palette used. 

Le Corbusier’s Architectural Polychromy, with its 63 Architectural colours incorporated some unique interpretations of the quintessential autumnal hues – in his 1931 colour palette, 32080 Orange is perhaps the most obvious Fall colour – it is a dynamic, youthful and dynamic hue, possessing many of the universal attributes of orange – warmth, friendly, warm-hearted, playful and it plays into a positive feeling of sufficiency.

The Autumn colour spectrum is quite diverse and ranges from gentle and subtle (not the light colours of the Spring palette) to extravagant, quirky, rich and jewel-like.  The intense 4320W le jaune vif from the 1959 collection is reminiscent of sunflower fields, natural straw and Indian Summer sunsets: it is an impressive ochre shade and brings provides a comforting glow to any setting.  The dignified 32100 rouge carmin is another example of an Autumnal colour which seizes many of the attributes of the rich red apples one would expect to see in a cornucopia as part of a Thanksgiving spread – the colour signifies energy, warmth, excitement, sensuality and flamboyance and is such a cosy colour which makes one reminisce also of the glowing red of a campfire on a chilly October evening, relaxing with friends roasting marshmallows on the flames. 

Many Autumn colours might seem unlikely partners in a scheme, but by definition all are complementary and bounce off each other with a fresh upbeat energy.  Yellow and black pigments are the underlying common denominators in Autumn colours: the warm yellow base creates a special intensity and energy, and the injection of different degrees of black add richness, depth and intrigue.

Le Corbusier masterly used colour in such a thoughtful way, always respecting the building’s surroundings and heritage.  Look at the image of Maisons Weissenhof-Siedlung and see how the autumnal hues glow in the evening sun, and the shadows of the pilotis are cast against the burnt orange hue, demonstrating how complementary the palette is with its environment. 

Why not embrace your inner Autumn: soak up the golden saffron coloured leaves, ruddy sunsets, oven roast some seasonal vegetables and appreciate what mother Earth gives us during the annual harvest months, don some vibrant jewel-like hues and be thankful for the earthy Autumnal palette which is inspired by nature.

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