ORIENTAL INFLUENCES STILL EVIDENT
Hues—" Celestial," " Vivacious," or quietly " Pastel"
Time passes 'very quickly after even the most shattering events.
Already the prescribed period of national mourning is over, but still our streets have a greyness about them that suggests that people are unwilling to change their dark clothes while the general mood is one of sadness.
We must expect that the genuine feeling that prompted the entire nation to don black last week will dictate the choice of quiet colours now. Together with black and white, accessories for frocks will be of Royal purple, Silver grey, Amethyst, Plum and Egg Plant, Is the announcement of the British Colour Council.
With the passing of winter and the co:Aing of spring and summer this mood will pass too, and while under gloomy skies we cling to our appropriate signs of mourning, April will renew all things—even our lost hope.
So now come the new colours for spring and summer wear. Colours not only of a new season but of a new era—the Neo-Edwardian era.
What then will we—the Neo-Edwardians—wear to express this newness that has come upon us?
The British Colour Council have sat for many months spinning their webs of fine colours, dipping their brushes over and over again into their paints and splashing their results about on their palettes. At last they have satisfied themselves that there must be freshness, more vigour and stronger contrasts in our clothes. And so they have not been in the least afraid to give us brilliant flames, startling golds, intense blues and strong greens, and to relegate those once all-powerful off-whites and dusky pinks to a second place.
All things will have a new face on them this year—a freshened complexion, a clearer skin as it were; and we, when we wear our new colours will feel renewed also.
But besides this feeling for the bright colours which are called " Vivacious" hues and include all the spring greens, such as the hard Sicilian green and the milder Clover green and the milder Clover
b Leaf and Young Spruce as well as Fire red, blue, Pacific. and Honey Irisgold, there are also the influences from the East that must have come among the packings of the Chinese Exhibition exhibits and somehow escaped into the heads of the Colour Council.
" Celestials" from China
A whole scheme of blended shades has been drawn up based on true eastern colours, and among these " Celestials " are the softest of soft blues—just made for the fortunate fair people. Mandarin blue is the deeper shade, which would find an exciting contrast in Imperial gold, and feminine Faience blue, in all its azure paleness. should be set off by the strong, manly Tropic red.
Two greens that could also find helpmates in the gold and red and contrasting shades are the sea-bluey Dolphin green and its paler companion Chinese green—a colour seen oft-repeated in the pottery exhibits at Burlington House.
Quiet pastels always have a place in the wardrobe; there is a certain mood to which they alone are tuned, and therefore the demand is never forgotten.
This year's pastels have none of last year's dustiness about them. Even they have become affected by the desire to renew themselves, and they have come out, too, with a new freshness that somehow suggests early morning and dew on the grass. Biue-greens predominate. The Colour Council, with their propensity for poeticsounding names, call these colours Aquarelies, and they range from pale Sea Haze through Cascade, Aquablu and Watergreen to Chinese green and Dolphin green.
Most gorgeous of all the selection is the, sunset group of colours featured for the summer. All shades of Sunset-red will appear shortly: Sail-red--a deep shade with a suggestion of rust in its make-up—will be the strongest, and the colours will melt from red to pinks, such as Cedar Rose and Flamingo through Mauve Haze. Bluinist into Nacre grey, and disappear into Tinted white.
Hints of coming materials for the making up of spring dresses came in with the new colours. They include a tweed which really is reversible. That means that while one side is a clear colour, the other is a mixture which will use itself up as contrasts.
I saw also at this show a beautiful, if impractical, net of filminess, which had upon its black background, delicate Chinese figures in pastel shades.
New shoe leather, known as Capella calf, promises to be a great success. It is always difficult to describe textures to people who have never seen them, but I will try to explain this as a kind of flecked suede. The leather takes any colour dye and the. flecks always remain a natural shade. Bags are made up to match the shoes.
Someone has discovered a new kind of tiny pleating. Apparently the machine which does the pleating will attempt anything, so we will get pleated materials and pleated leathers too. You can have the same pleating for your dress and your shoes, if you are so minded.
" Fret" or " Swastika"
Another section of the Colour Council's activities was displayed in a room of interior decoration fabrics. The colours again followed the Chinese trend and included among the greens, golds and blues a dull pink called Lotus Bud and a beautiful nondescript background shade called Mushroom. Cut velvet pile was a favourite material, and it had been treated in patterns of Chinese " fret " or " swastika." No political allusions are implied.
So much for the new shades of 1936. Colour is far too illusive a thing for description—and there is little satisfaction in the attempt—you must imagine, however, all the brilliances that a black and white page cannot give you.
If it could blossom forth in colour it would have done so this week as a herald of Neo-Edwardianism!
For Nursery Shelves
Australian Stories for Children. By Kit Morley. (Houghton and Scott-Snell. 3s.) Moonshine and Monica. By Celest Zanetti. (Houghton and Scott-Snell. 3s. 6d.) The Talking House. By Barbara Baker. (Houghton and Scott-Snell, 4s.) Reviewed by IRIS CONLAY It is a problem common to all aunts— this giving of birthday presents to their nephews and nieces. On the one hand the aunts are usually quite fond of their little relations, and therefore like to remember them; on the other hand, as time goes on, the number of these delightful little people increases and present-giving becomes quite an item of annual expenditure.
Most aunts feel that books are acceptable to most children. They are—but many books for children, particularly it illustrated, are expensive.
Here in Australian Stories and Moonshine and Monica are the answers to Auntie's prayer.
Both these volumes, the first a nephew's book, the second a niece's, have a fresh, childlike—but not childish—atmosphere about them.
Monica's moonshine is the stuff that dreams are made of; shadowy, peopled with fairies, and full of exciting adventures in the Land of Nod.
Australian Stories are more vigorous and