• Patti Carpenter

Warm Winds Ahead

It’s been more than 100 days now that I have been sheltering in place, here in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 virus in the United States. During this time, I have experienced an emotional rollercoaster of feelings from the highest highs to the deepest heartbreaking lows. We’ve had friends and colleagues that have come through the virus to the other side, and we have lost friends, too young to have passed away, and relatives, who were part of the vulnerable senior age group. These were all devastating and broke my heart, imagining their transitions alone and frightened and none of us there to comfort them. Comfort is a concept that looms large these days.

And now we find our country and the world, peacefully protesting to bring about real and substantive change following another horrific and needless death of an unarmed Black man, one who could have been my partner, my father, our sons and bothers and friends. This is heartbreak that I can hardly bare. The warmth of my tears run even when I am unaware of them. These are trying, turbulent, tumultuous and transforming times.

As the COVID-19 virus begins to subside and we lift our shelter-in-place orders and emerge again into the world, we crave comfort and an added sense of safety. We need the warmth to ground us, and we are propelled towards the warmer side of the color palette. The emotions that this range of colors evoke are much needed at this time of anxiety, uncertainty, loss and fear. Warm, glowing and balmy, these colors range from make-up shades to molten and spicy brights. They are the “Hot Tickets” for the upcoming seasons.

At their core, these colors range from nourishing and nostalgic to energizing and regenerating. Wrapped in the early trends of the fierceness of the feminine, Just Blushing began as a follow up to the now ubiquitous Millennial Pink. With the added heat of a yellow-casted complexion that pushes it from the cooler blue hue of season’s past into the tint of modern make-up shades, blush nuzzles us with a subtle nuance that speaks of empathy and kindness. Rounded, curvilinear forms and sumptuous velvets in furniture pieces offer us a place of quiet respite. Pleasant and plush, these shapes surround us, but are now understood as gender neutral and non-binary.

Pretty in Peche carries us away in a calming coral cast. The red undertones add an inner glow. Another color that will play well with either side of the neutral palette sitting wonderfully with either grays, greige, taupe and the new range of warm browns. Slightly retro in this reiteration, it recalls a quiet time of reflection and wellness.

Conversely, Cinnamon Stick is the tasty tone that recalls the baking we have newly learned or recently perfected. It connects us to the spicy side of life and sparks the familial feeling of sweet treasured times spent together. This toasty tone is best on dry, sueded and sanded surfaces.

Lastly, Molten Lava brings the heat. It is reminiscent of the floes we watched over months of volcanos erupting globally and ignites the fire within us needed to do the work that lies before us of restoring, rebuilding, rethinking and restructuring. Not for the faint of heart, it speaks to our resilience and our resourcefulness. Warm winds are ahead. This is the color of change.

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