guy bourdin exhibition review

Welcome to the first post of 2015! I was thinking about doing a year in review and reflecting on last years New Year's resolutions but I have something far more juicy to share with you. I went out on a girls day during the week to visit some fashion photographer exhibitions in London and had a serious design revelation around colour that I just HAVE to share. It's so simple that I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. This can really help you if you're struggling to choose the right colour scheme for a room!

Last week I visited both the Guy Bourdin and Horst exhibitions at Somerset House and the V&A museum. 

somerset house ice rink winter

I wasn't really familiar with either Horst or Bourdin's work, so it was actually pretty cool to go to an exhibition without any preconception of what you're going to see. I really recommend it! 

Anyway, we pottered around the Bourdin exhibition, which we went to first, taking things in. 

This was right up my street. fairly abstract, surreal fashion images from the 70s. High impact and high contrast. 

I pretty much enjoyed all of the photographs, but there was one that I was extremely drawn to.

70s fashion photography

Sure, I loved the composition and the styling, but there was something else that was really pulling me. 

The colour palette. 

I started to think about how I could use these colours in my next scheme. The emerald green of her shorts, the hot pink of the carpet, burnt gold wall panels, browny black sheer tights and silvery rain grey satin sheets. I snapped a pic and thought 'I'll reference that later.'

I moved on, and then started to see that I could find colour palette inspiration in almost every photograph.

colour combinations

Muted variations of grey, harsh black and crisp white with gold accents.

guy bourdin exhibition

Soft peachy skin tones, high shine silver and copper. 

Do you see what's hidden in this photograph?! Shhh!

As we moved onto the Horst Exhibition I wondered if it would work with another photographer with a completely different style. I couldn't take pictures at Horst unfortunately. Boo!

But yep, it worked again! 

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Had I just found the simplest, easiest and fastest way to find new colour combinations? I think so!

I grabbed a few of the postcards from the gift shop to take home and study later. 

This particularly works well for me as I'm a fan of high contrast colour palettes, so the retro 60s and 70s fashion imagery is perfect for this. Personally you may find that you have a more subtle taste for colour, in which case you could try some different styles of photography, artwork or paintings. The key to this is not to look at the picture or what it represents but purely looks for the shades and tones of colour and contrast used within the image. 

Now I had a taste for this I went online and found a whole bunch of images that I am going to pull colour combinations from in the future. 

So try it yourself! Next time you're stuck for some colour inspiration, go online and look at different types of artwork and photography. If you know you have a bit of a 'thing' for a certain era or style then look it up and see what colour combinations you can find. It really beats going on Pinterest and looking at hundreds of images of other people's rooms. How boring!

If you're anything like me then you want to be as original and unique as possible, and what better way than using a completely un-interiors related image for your starting colour concept?

What do you think of this technique, is it something you might try? What other ideas do you have for finding unique colour combinations? Share with the read of the readers in the comments below!

S x