THE BLOG

The Summer of Bubble-Gum Nails

02/07/2014 13:37 BST | Updated 01/09/2014 10:59 BST

The summer of bubble-gum nails: that's how my husband has christened this summer's fashion for brightly coloured nails -- try soigne botanique polish in Kyoto or Vodka if you want to see what we're talking about.

But it's not just nails which are focussed on colour this year. It seems to be everywhere. Two weeks ago I was in Paris for a presentation on the 'history of the 20 years of the Channel Tunnel' at the British Ambassador's residence. Not the place I expected to see colour but I couldn't help being drawn to the window of the Gucci store as we approached the Rue du Faubourg. It was filled with magenta trousers and orange jackets. On my way back of course I arrived at St Pancras International station to see David Batchelor's huge sculpture - Chromolocomotion - hanging on the Terrace Wires up above the platforms. The simple shapes and gentle, contrasting - and often sun-kissed - colours provide an illuminating backdrop welcoming people to the UK at the end of an international trip.

Our cultural life too is focused on colour - my last blog centred on the Mondrian exhibition at Margate's Turner Contemporary which has colour at its' heart.

The July edition of Wallpaper* has a lovely spread about Lubna Chowdhary's ceramic tiles showing her with solid orange, red, blue and green and yellow tiles in her studio. Not just that but simple shapes in the firing of the colour onto the tiles -- mostly in circles.

Simple shapes and bold colours are also the stuff of the Matisse cut outs at the Tate Modern -- hanging from the walls as they hung from his studio or on the walls of a convent. The National Gallery has also dedicated its exhibition to colour and different pigments with sparkling minerals and crushed insects.

Even pop star, Pharrell Williams (the pop singer of the year?) gets 3D colour due to the fact that he has synaesthesia. This means he hears in colour because of a neurological connection which causes his senses to become confused.

This isn't therefore a summer of light strips with neon colour - it's much gentler than that. Varnish, paint, pigment, fabric, tunes - this is how colour is coming through to us now. It's softer and warmer. Perfect for a British summer.