The ombré effect continues to sweep through trending markets, from fashion to beauty to home goods. Moving from light to dark values or blending contrasting colors, using ombré in design is a harmonious way to move the viewer’s eye over the entire piece.
This effect is particularly advantageous on stage, both for the performer and the audience: ombré in costume design can visually extend a dancer’s body lines, adding grace to the movement, with no additional effort. It’s also a subtle way to bring focus to a particular point, as the eye will naturally move from the darkest to lightest. It can create balance in asymmetrical cuts, and can infuse chaos in abstract works.
Ombré acts like a line without being as literal: it pulls your gaze from one point to another. Imagine a white floor length gown. If you wanted to make the wear appear taller and slimmer, the eye should move vertically between the face and the floor. Make the face the focus with the lighter color on top, and dip the hem in the dark color as the visual base.
There is also a play on balance, here. Imagine if the ombré was reversed on the gown, heavy color on top with white on the bottom. This feels off. Unnatural. Upside down. This creates a slight chaos, like asymmetry does. Because it’s unsettling, it keeps the viewer interested, and that is sometimes a choice in design. In this example, the reversal ends up stunting the wearer because the base of the design- the dark color- now stops at the shoulders instead of incorporating the neck and face. But remember, the eye is drawn to the lighter end. This abstract gown, if worn on the stage, would bring attention to the dancer’s feet.
Part of the illusion of the ombré effect is what is found at either end of the fade.
Every level of crystaller can achieve the ombré effect, beginner to veteran. It can be done in multiple ways: by varying the space between stones, using different sizes, blending color or doing all three. Ombré is a design style that’s particularly well-suited for freehand crystallers as it feels more organic in nature, but is equally complementary in crystal designs of tidy, meticulous placement.
- Beginners starting with one package of stones can simply increase the spacing more for the “light” areas and place the stones closer together for the “dark” areas.
- Intermediate crystallers often use the same color stone in different sizes (larger for “dark” and smaller for “light”), and/or blend different shades.
- If you’re a veteran crystaller or very confident in your design abilities, take a cue from one of RU Ambassador Christine Murphy. Christine’s signature blending of Swarovski® crystals incorporates variances in spacing, color and size, plus adds the extra element of depth by using both close and contrasting hues within the same monochromatic design.
Swarovski® offers the largest palette- over 140 crystal colors and effects- allowing more options for seamless blending of ombré designs.
Rhinestones Unlimited blog author Jemm Stone is a multifaceted girl navigating our sparkly world with on-point insights. Visit Blog.RhinestonesU.com to follow her thoughts as she highlights design trends, turns the spotlight on industry influencers and breaks down how-to tips like light through a crystal prism.