Colours can have a profound effect on our emotions and state of mind, so we associate them with different moods and feelings. In this post, we will consider metallic tones with examples from the domain of fashion and furniture. We decided on these finishes because they give objects importance and glamour and contribute to the festive atmosphere.

Metallic colours

Metallic finishes represent a combination of colour and light effects. The impression that the observer gets about the object depends on the angle that the object's surface takes about the light source. This impression is changable and varies depending on mutual relationships.

The metallic effect we see in real life on a physical object is not the same as on the computer. This type of colour cannot be adequately reproduced on the screen. It is impossible in digital format, to faithfully convey the effect of light on the surface, i.e. metallic reflection.

The sparkling effect and its changeability contribute to the metallic finishing being special and different from the others. The objects of this processing are interesting and dynamic and attract attention.

Top handle bag Mini Jodie, Bottega Veneta Photo: Bottega Veneta site
Top handle bag Mini Jodie, Bottega Veneta
Photo: Bottega Veneta site

Metallic tones are not on the spectrum of basic colours, but all information about their use can be found on the Pantone website.

There is a large selection of colours with a metallic lustre that resembles natural metals: gold, silver, bronze, brass, nickel, chrome, aluminium, zinc and copper... Each of them has its specificities. Copper provides a rich, warm glow with a pinky-orange undertone, Iron exudes strength in its palette of grey tones, Brass is a bright, cheerful similar to gold, while Bronze is an earthy brown. Gold and silver tones are the most represented, although we can add a metallic shine to any colour: green, pink, blue... by adding superfine metal dust to the selected pigment.

The field of application of metallic processing is wide. There are everyday objects, clothes, packaging, inscriptions and marketing materials ... In the automotive industry, any car model with a metallic finish has an additional aesthetic value and is always current. In the fashion industry, metallic tones are particularly trendy this year.

Fashion 

In the fashion industry, there are numerous items of metallic finish. There are coats, sweaters, trousers, shirts and then details: bags, gloves and belts.

Golden, sensual silver, copper or bronze tones are the most presented. Many well-known fashion design companies play with metallic finishes: Gucci, Burberry, Paco Rabanne, Banana Republic, Versace, Bottega Veneta...

Fabrics with metallic processing are of different compositions, often a combination of polyester and nylon. Fibres with woven yarns create special effects: metallic shine or unique texture.

Dazzling satin blazer, Brunello Cucinelli Photo: Brunello Cucinelli site
Dazzling satin blazer, Brunello Cucinelli
Photo: Brunello Cucinelli site

An attractive example of metallic fabric usage is the Dazzling Satin Blazer (Brunello Cucinelli). The jacket has a simple, classic cut, and the applied material gives it a sophisticated elegance. Discreet shine and sparkle appearance were achieved by the addition of small, refined paillettes that cover the entire surface of the fabric. The bright, silvery colour contributes to the jacket's discrete and feminine appearance. The material used is the result of a long and complex process that represents a combination of industrial production and craftsmanship. An elegant satin fabric is a blend of silk and other fibres.

This jacket brings the look and use of a classic piece of clothing to a new level. The example confirms that the use of metallic fabric is not limited to wedding or cocktail dresses but can also be used for other clothing items. The great aesthetic features make this perfect garment timeless.

Crystal-embellished mesh mini dress,Prada Photo: Mytheresa
Crystal-embellished mesh mini dress,Prada
Photo: Mytheresa

Another example is the sparkly, mesh formal dress launched by Prada. In this case, the finishing of the used material is a factor that characterizes the entire product. The material is a combination of polyester and polyurethane. The entire surface is woven with discreetly sparkling crystals. The neutral grey colour (Name of the designer colour: Ematite) highlights the attractive structure of the fabric. The sleeveless dress attracts attention with the simplicity of its A-line cut. 

The reduced line of the dress and the applied fabric are a winning combination, in this case. that will contribute to a glamorous, festive look.

Top handle bag Mini Jodie, Bottega Veneta  Photo: Bottega Veneta site
Top handle bag Mini Jodie, Bottega Veneta
Photo: Bottega Veneta site

A bag is often a fashion detail that attracts attention. Mini Jodie (Bottega Venetais a bag of small dimensions and a rounded shape. It is made by interweaving silver and gold strips that are unexpectedly gathered, on one side into a big knot. Jodie was created by a subtle combination of different, metallic colours that flow into a compact whole. The combination of strips gives the surface an interesting texture and avoids monotony. It can equally be paired with a silver or gold attractive ensemble or it can be the focal point of a more unobtrusive combination. Mini Jodie is a striking accent for any outfit.

Lupe Cobalt Blue Leather Metallic trousers, Amylynn
Lupe Cobalt Blue Leather Metallic trousers, Amylynn

Lupe Cobalt Blue trousers confirm that any colour in a metallic finish looks glamorous.

Furniture

In our home environment, we are surrounded by numerous objects from wall art to bed frames, made of metal. In the furniture sector, there are chairs, club tables, shelves...beds and many other items. The metal construction can be combined with other materials, such as leather or fabric for the upholstered parts. There are many other objects for different purposes like lamps, cookware, faucets, sockets, hooks, and chandeliers... Stainless steel, aluminium, wrought iron, brass, and copper are most often used for the production of these items. Which of the usual treatments will be applied: antique, brushed, hammered, polished, or satin,  depends on several factors.

Cabinet Sculpt, design by Francesco Forcellini   for  DeCastelli   Photo: DeCastelli
Cabinet Sculpt, design by Francesco Forcellini for DeCastelli
Photo: DeCastelli

The Sculpt cabinet is made of metal. Special hammering and rounding techniques allowed the metal to be shaped unusually for the material used. The body of the cabinet has a regular, simple shape, with sharp edges. The opposite are doors with a three-dimensional effect. They seem soft and elegant as if they are not made of metal. The rhythmic play of light and shadow on the surface of the door contributes to the general appearance of the unit.

The aesthetic characteristics of the entire product emphasize the production process and finishing applied to the metal from which it is made. The Sculpt cabinet looks elegant and its surfaces are shiny and velvety like silk.

Tab.u stool,design by Bruno Rainaldi   for Opinion Ciatti  Photo: Opinion Ciatti
Tab.u stool,design by Bruno Rainaldi for Opinion Ciatti
Photo: Opinion Ciatti

Tab.u presents a collection of furniture that includes items of different purposes: tables, chairs, and mirrors. The main characteristic of these elements is their processing. It comes from manually crumpled aluminium and placed over a wooden structure. This creates uneven surfaces over which light is refracted and causes variable impressions depending on the conditions and the moment.

Tab.u stool has small dimensions and can find its place in different rooms. It is useful in the dining room around the table as a place for an unexpected guest, in the bathroom for storing small things, in the living room as a spare place for sitting or in the bedroom instead of a coffee table. The elements of the Tab.u collection are handmade and each piece is unique. Different tones of metallic finishing are presented:  satin aluminum, chromed, and mirror gold. Their dynamism, high shine and uniqueness cannot go unnoticed in any space.

Golden Chair,design by Nika Zupanc for Moooi   Photo: Nika Zupanc site
Golden Chair,design by Nika Zupanc for Moooi
Photo: Nika Zupanc site

The Golden Chair got its name from its finish, which represents a recognizable sign. The structure of the chair is made of steel profiles that are finished in golden colour. Decorative elements in the form of 'balls' are located at the ends of the legs. In the same manner, was designed the detail of the decorative buttons on the backrest with the same finish.

Synthetic leather, also in golden colour, is used for the upholstered parts. The materials are not high gloss, so the whole product has a note of tenderness and elegance. The Golden Chair will give any interior an accent and a festive note.

Gold Arch, design by Pietro-Franceschini for Pietro-Franceschini Studio Photo: Pietro-Franceschini Studio
Gold Arch, design by Pietro-Franceschini for Pietro-Franceschini Studio
Photo: Pietro-Franceschini Studio

Another example of a product with a gold finish is the Gold Arch. It is a steel bench with a satin brass finish, blackened.

 

Cabinet Sculpt, design by Francesco Forcellini  for  DeCastelli  Photo DeCastelli
Cabinet Sculpt, design by Francesco Forcellini for DeCastelli
Photo: DeCastelli

The presented examples show that metallic colours have the effect of highlighting and accentuating objects or details. With their metallic shine, they attract attention, emphasize even the most neutral objects, and give them meaning. Even a small amount of metallic colour can completely change an outfit or interior composition.

On the other hand, these colours should be used carefully. Too much metallic colour can do the exact opposite, it can appear flashy or kitsch.

The red is also a colour that contributes to the festive atmosphere and our feeling of celebration and joy. We covered this color in detail in the post: Fashion & Furniture in Red.


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