I love color in my home, but not so much in my wardrobe. (Look through my closet and you'll see a sea of black, gray, and bit of greige thrown in for good measure.) But a panoply of bright colors is usually not something to which I gravitate. Lots and lots of shocking, wild color in one room feels like getting hit in the head with an anvil. But if an array of vivid color is limited to one piece or a confined area, and if the colors are arranged in a tight, linear way, well, that's an entirely different story. An angular composition of color seems to give a semblance of order to what otherwise might be chaos; it adds a severity and an edginess to the colors which I like.
Take, for example, the fabric I've shown at top. I don't know who made this fabric, but I'm absolutely in love with it. I realize it's not for everyone, but think about this geometric print being used in a controlled way- perhaps on a seat cushion, pillow, tablecloth. It could very well bump a room from great up to fabulous. And it has the Brooke Astor seal of approval.
Think something like Harran II, Frank Stella, 1967; the Guggenheim Collection.
I think this quilt, Bittersweet XII by Nancy Crow, 1980, would be magnificent hung on the wall as artwork, especially if housed in a very minimal, contemporary space.
This Donald Brooks coat from the 1960s/70s is fabulous. The colorful bands read sophisticated, not cutesy. It's that wow piece that would make the rest of your neutral wardrobe sing.
There's a reason that this book makes appearances so often in chic interiors, and it's just not because it's about Christian Liaigre. I think it might also have to do with that cover.
Even better than the Liaigre cover is this one, American Painting by Barbara Rose.
(Unfortunately, I can't remember from which publication the photo at top was taken.)