On EILEEN FISHER color inspiration & theory

Eileen Fisher Color Inspiration and Theory

Eileen Fisher is known for its careful consideration of color. For our series of interviews with the EF Team, we caught up with Chris Costan, Senior Color Designer, to solicit her insight and expertise in developing color palettes for ready-to-wear and home collections.

Q: Please define your position at Eileen Fisher.
As Senior Color Designer, I generate the seasonal color concepts and palettes, exclusive palettes, and accessory color combinations, allocating color to fabric, yarns, styles and “how to wear”. Staying up to date on the latest trends and cultural moments is vital to the job that I perform at EF. I also work with the Garnet Hill EF Home team to introduce new concepts and combinations to the existing Eileen Fisher home line of bedding, bath, and sleepwear. Along with new ideas, we always want to ensure that we keep a consistent Eileen Fisher aesthetic.

Q: As a visual artist, how did you start working in color design/fashion?
My own career as a visual artist has informed my skill set, which it turned out was applicable to my job as colorist for Eileen Fisher. I came to EF without precise fashion experience but have always had a great aptitude and interest in fashion and trend. I once worked at MTV television networks on an animated television program, Daria, where fashion was quite important. I was supervisor of the color department overseeing the colors (characters, clothing, backgrounds and props) of Daria.

Q: What is most rewarding about your job as a color designer?
My job is quite hectic, varied and challenging. It involves making 1000’s of aesthetic decisions. It is rewarding to “reinvent” the wheel, meaning, given the restrictions and parameters of what color needs to be for this clothing line, I can try to make each palette different from those in the past.

Q: What is your favorite object in your studio?
My favorites vary from time to time. At the moment, a dried mushroom conglomeration, it’s inspirational in relation to the miracle of nature and color, and it inspired a canvas-y jumpsuit.

Q: How are the colors for the Eileen Fisher Home Collection developed?
I assess the colors from the EF ready-to-wear line and see which of those might be transferable to our home line. Then I interact with the designers at Garnet Hill as they contribute the Garnet Hill needs for color until we refine and finalize.

Q: What does your typical day look like?
My day also varies from day to day, season to season. I explore trends online, on the street and by reading magazines. I work alone on designing, conceptualizing, and planning ahead, jotting down ideas, gathering images and thinking of new color names (lots of multitasking). I also collaborate with different teams; design, merchandising, education and sometimes the writers for Eileen Fisher.

Q: Are there any colors on the rise that you love? What’s your favorite color of the moment?
I’ve been a fan of “cosmetic colors” for quite some time. A worker’s suit type of Green is on point right now. I’ve always loved pink so for the EF for GH home offering, Rosewater. Blue! Black! White! Too much information!

See the end result of Chris’s hard work in our latest Eileen Fisher collections for women, sleep and home.

A pop of summertime color — starting now!

Colorful Summer Bedding and Home


Sailor Blue. Tiger Lily Orange. Ocean. Coral. Golden Delicious…

Take a spin on the summer color wheel with Garnet Hill. We’ve collected a beautiful array of original shades, soothing to vibrant. Not only do we celebrate color in every design, but we also put rooms together by coordinating and contrasting hues and patterns. Here are some of our favorite picks for adding a healthy dose of seasonal color to your home:

Watercolor Floral Duvet Cover and ShamFrom splashy watercolor flowers to a sunny cottage garden, a vibrant floral print is a great way infuse color into a bedroom. To maximize decorating options, try selecting a print with many different colors. Pull from it for color inspiration for years to come — and everything will go!

Mini-Print Percale BeddingLive happily ever after with seasonal prints like blue Whales, navy Anchors, sand-colored Sand Dollars, quirky Bicycles, full scales of Musical Notes, and more. A playful sheet pattern is a great way to introduce color to the space and instantly change the theme of a bedroom for the season.

Flip-Side Quilt and ShamNothing screams summer like a light and airy white bed with just a splash of hot color. Vibrant solids are a great way to make a more potent color statement. We recommend a Ribbed Cotton Matelassé Coverlet for an intense statement, or a Flip-Side Quilt that’s two colors in one!

Garnet Hill Fair Isle Hooked Wool RugA real showstopper and a forever favorite with customers, the Fair Isle Rug is hand-hooked from soft wool in vivid color combos that enhance the whimsical spirit of its folkloric patterning. And this round rug works in any room, from bedrooms and guestrooms to playrooms, entryways, and family living spaces.

Garnet Hill Doormat CollectionSometimes swapping out a design for a new color or design will make all the difference and instantly change the look. A cheerful motif on a natural coir doormat, a fresh stack of plush towels, a cozy throw draped over the end of a bed…all invitations to add an instant burst of color (and comfort) to a home.

Monochromatic, tonal, or bold and bright… What’s your favorite color story this summer? For more fun ideas and color combos, including our designer rooms, explore the current home collection.

The Coverlet That Stole Jane’s Heart

Kreta CoverletThe year was 1999. Jane was wistfully perusing a home magazine with her sisters when she found the Garnet Hill coverlet of her dreams. “I fell in love with the print immediately, because it reminded me of my grandmother’s bedroom quilts,” she recalled fondly.

Fortunately, her sisters were paying attention and enlisted her brother to chip in on Jane’s Christmas gift that year. It was a good call on their part. “The pattern is a timeless classic, and has been the cover on my bed for almost 17 years!”

Kreta Coverlet

Jane’s coverlet still looks beautiful after 17 years.


We checked in with our Customer Service Manager, Erin, who promptly named the coverlet. “I knew it was the Kreta Coverlet the moment I saw Jane’s photo. I joined Garnet Hill in 1996, the year the Kreta Coverlet was first offered, and it was one of the first items I owned — 20 years ago!”

The Kreta Coverlet, as featured in our Spring 1999 catalog.

The Kreta Coverlet, as featured in our Spring 1999 catalog.

Thank you, Jane, for the fun trip down memory lane. It makes us want to peruse more vintage Garnet Hill catalogs.

We’d love you to share a Garnet Hill item that stole your heart. Leave a comment here, or post a pic on Instagram @garnethill #garnethill. We may even be able to unearth it in our archives!