THEATRE OF FASHION - 20C VINTAGE  CONTEMPORARY FASHION

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Colour

Color 02

 

We needs colour to live; it's just as necessary an element as fire and water.

~ Fernand Leger

 

Fashion should be something that in the morning, when you open your window, you say, 'Oh fantastic, sun!' Then you take your shower, you say, 'OK fantastic, which colour I wear today because I feel happy?' This should be fashion.

 

Roberto Cavalli

Long white lace dress ~ Long white maxi dress

Posted by on in Colour

 

 

long-white-lace-dress-long-white-maxi-dress-05.jpglong-white-lace-dress-long-white-maxi-dress-01.jpg

 

White : Perfection, Light, Summer Lace, Weddings...

 

 

“Black is the absence of all colour. White is the presence of all colours. I suppose life must be one or the other...”

~ Mary Balogh, Then Comes Seduction

 

 

“Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”

~ Coco Chanel, Chanel

 

 

White is the colour of snow, that endless cold white which covers winter landscapes... it is the colour of polar bears, and icy glaciers, of milk, of bridal gowns, and the colour of the clouds in the sky, and the colour of purity.

 

 

In heraldry white depicts faith ~ and in religions, angels always wear white.White has always been with us, forever, from the beginning ~ and it has become a colour strongly associated with all beginnings. The Queen traditionally wears a long white maxi dress when she opens the new session of Parliament; in high society, debutantes traditionally wear a long white lace dress, or white silk, or white taffeta, yet always white, for their very first ‘coming out’ ball; and a new project is often described as beginning with the white of a ‘blank page’.

 

Historically, white was one of the first colours used by the Palaeolithic artists ~ they used lime white, made from ground calcite or chalk, sometimes as a background, or as a highlight, in their early cave paintings. The beautiful mystical, pure white unicorn was a common subject of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, paintings and tapestries and was strongly considered to be a symbol of purity and grace. In ancient Egypt, white was connected with the goddess Isis, and the priests and priestesses of Isis dressed only ever in white linen. In Christianity, a white lily represents the Madonna. In Greece and other ancient civilizations, white was often associated with mother's milk ~ and in the Talmud, milk was one of only four deeply sacred substances, along with wine, and honey, and the rose. The ancient Greeks saw the world in terms of darkness and light, so to them white was a fundamental colour, not an abstract, nor an absence of colour. Although considered universally to be a colour without variation, the Japanese have six distinct terms to define whiteness, which confirms the different layers of whiteness which the colour white can have.

 

 Symbolically and historically, the colour white is the opposite of the colour black, and often represents light, or enlightenment, in contrast with darkness. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, the colour white is most often associated with innocence, with perfection, the good, honesty, beginnings, the new, neutrality, lightness, and exactitude. It holds within it the feeling of safety ~ and a white flag in wartime is universally recognized as a symbol of truce...and the white dove is an international symbol of peace.

 

 

In clothing and fashion, white has held much significance throughout the generations. White was the universal colour of both men’s and women's underwear, and of sheets for the bedchambers, in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was absolutely unthinkable to have sheets or underwear of any other colour, as you will find when buying antique and vintage under garments, bed wear and linens. The reason was simple: the manner of washing linen in boiling water caused colours to fade. When this linen was worn out, it was collected and turned into high-quality paper. This link is still with us to this day. A ‘white paper’ is an authoritative report on a major issue by a team of experts; a government report outlining policy; or a significant official treatise, and by association with the colour white we signify these documents to hold unbiased information and ‘clean’ facts...a remnant from the days of washed and boiled white linens, cleaned of any dirt, and turned into pure pulp for paper making.

 

Colours and their meanings have many interwoven connections, and these associations evolve with the passing of time and are also strongly shaped by generational traditions. The colour white has had different meanings, significance, and uses, at different times in history, and still today has varied meaning and uses in different parts of the world. We see this very clearly with many colours, yet especially with the colour white and its central and very special relationship to bridal gowns and weddings themselves (or the ‘white wedding’), that significant day which marks a rite of passage, that special moment in time, of change, for both the bride and the groom and their families.

 

Unusually for those in the western world who have for so long associated white with weddings and black with funerals, the colour white in many cultures throughout history is strongly associated with mourning. Historically, the colour of deepest mourning among medieval European Queens was white rather than black ~ and this tradition survived in Spain until the end of the fifteenth century. It was the long held custom for the Queen of France to wear ‘deuil blanc’ or ‘white mourning’ ~ and still today, white is the colour of mourning in China and in Africa.

 

Whereas today in the West brides will choose a long white maxi dress, in many eastern cultures, brides often choose red to symbolize prosperity and good fortune. Many wedding dresses in China, wedding saris in India and Pakistan, and the bridal form of the traditional Ao dai in Vietnam are scarlet red, the traditional colour of good luck and promise. However, in the Western world nowadays, and in Japan also, white has the strongest association with weddings and wedding dresses.

 

 

A ‘white wedding’ is a traditional formal or semi-formal occasion originating in Britain. The term first came from the white of the wedding dress, which first became popular with Victorian era elites, after Queen Victoria wore a long white lace dress at her own wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. Although only stemming from the white colour of the dress itself at the time, the term has now come to encapsulate the entire Western wedding routine, especially in the Christian religious tradition, which generally includes a ceremony during which the marriage begins, followed by a reception...and, of course, where the bride wears a long white maxi dress.

 

Prior to Queen Victoria’s wedding, the first documented instance of a princess who wore a white wedding gown for a royal wedding ceremony is that of Philippa of England, who wore a tunic with a cloak in white silk in 1406. When Mary, Queen of Scots, married her first husband, Francis Dauphin of France in 1559, she wore a white wedding gown for no reason of historical significance except that it was her favourite colour, although at that time white was the colour of mourning for French Queens. However, this choice of white for bridal gowns and ceremonies was not a widespread trend, and prior to the Victorian era, a bride was married in any colour, black being especially popular for wedding dresses in Scandinavia.

 

Royal brides before Queen Victoria very often chose heavy brocaded gowns embroidered with white and silver thread, with red being a particularly popular colour in Western Europe more generally. European and American brides had been wearing a plethora of colours, including blue, yellow, and practical colours like black, brown, or grey. So Queen Victoria’s influential white wedding gown played a significant part in changing the traditions which had surrounded colour choices for bridal wear, not only for royalty, but for everybody in the western world and this has filtered through to many other cultures also.

 

On February 10, 1840, Queen Victoria married her cousin Albert and she established this lasting bridal custom of choosing white by wearing an off-white, silk-satin gown. Electing to wear this beautiful long white lace dress was considered a very radical decision at the time, especially for a royal wedding dress of such significance. It is said that Victoria had wanted to incorporate into her bridal gown some lovely white lace she dearly prized and that the dress in its entirety was tailored around this lace...and so the white wedding dress, which would influence brides for hundreds of years to come, and throughout the world, was created.

 

The official wedding portrait photograph of the royal couple was widely published, and after this many brides stated to opt for white in accordance with the Queen's choice. As accounts of Victoria's wedding spread across the Atlantic and throughout Europe, society elites followed her lead. Due of the limitations of laundering techniques at that time, white dresses provided an opportunity for conspicuous consumption and acted as a representative symbol of wealth and social standing. A white wedding dress was favoured as a way to show the world that the bride's family was so wealthy and so firmly part of the affluent class that the bride could choose an elaborate dress of such a pale and unpractical colour, which could be ruined by any sort of work or spill, and that this had no bearing on her choice whatsoever. At this time, and in the same way that white was chosen by the affluent for weddings, white was also the colour society debutantes were required to wear when they were presented at court for the ‘season’.

 

Since Victoria’s seminal wedding dress approximately 170 years ago, the colour white grew steadily and rapidly in popularity as the bridal colour of choice, not only for society weddings, but for everyone...and this was further underscored through the ensuing years by designers through the eras, and by the film industry who had enormous influence on fashion, trends and culture, including weddings.

 

The designer Coco Chanel, who is considered to be one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century, was a very powerful force behind much change and innovation in women's fashion. She was the one who officially introduced the short wedding dress in the 1920s: a white knee length dress worn with a long train ~ and again, as with Queen Victoria, Chanel’s standing and popularity saw her use of white for her wedding designs further cement white as the universal colour of the wedding dress.

 

It was of course the movie industry of the 1930s and 40s which had one of the biggest effects on wedding fashion, communicating, as films did, to people in such huge numbers. The portrayal of weddings in Hollywood movies, particularly immediately after World War II, helped crystallize and homogenize the white wedding into a normative and universally sought after form. Think of Claudette Colbert in her stunning luminescent silk satin white wedding gown and long veil in the 1934 film ‘It Happened One Night’. Or Katherine Hepburn in the romantic comedy ‘The Philadelphia Story’ (1940) where, in the final wedding scenes, she wears a luxurious floor sweeping organza gown...in white. And, just to name a few, remember...Ginger Rogers in the 1945 movie ‘It Had To Be You’ wearing a long white maxi dress in satin and with a stunning halo headdress ~ and of course, Audrey Hepburn in the enormously famous 1957 ‘Funny Face’, where Hepburn wore that classic 50s style ballerina-length wedding gown with very full skirt and tightly fitted bodice and layer upon layer of tulle...and all in wonderful white!!!

 

In more recent times, the white wedding style was given another hugely significant boost in 1981, when three-quarter billion people ~ one out of every six people all around the globe ~ watched Charles, Prince of Wales marry Lady Diana Spencer in her elaborate white taffeta dress with a 25-foot-long train. Valued at the time at £9,000, it became one of the most famous dresses in the world, and this royal wedding is generally considered the most influential white wedding of the 20th century.

 

 

Today most brides wear white, with many choosing a long white lace dress or white crochet, especially for Summer weddings, vintage style weddings, and for both formal and beach weddings.

 

 

Crochet, once a hippie-associated trend, has had a refreshing new look and feel that’s so beautiful and elegantly stylish...always sexy and, either dressed up or down, very versatile. The fashion revival of crochet ~ reintroduced from the popular 70s style  ~ has been gaining much popularity with designer's recently as a result of the bohemian allure which it offers, giving a simple yet chic vibe to any outfit. There is evidence that crochet dated from the 1800s, possibly from even earlier. It was Queen Victoria again who famously boosted the popularity of Irish Crochet Lace when she purchased some ~ she even learnt to crochet herself! The popularity of crochet hit a peak between 1910 and 1920, with Edwardian fashions calling for more complex stitch patterns, primarily using whites and creams. However, it was in the 1960s and 70s that crochet took on a whole new meaning ~ and after a long history, crochet items are now gaining in popularity once again and are gracing our couture catwalk shows. Seen on many celebrities and models, crochet is a beautiful look for many occasions ~ and in whites, or off white and creams, looks stunning as a wedding dress or bridesmaid's dress for bohemian, gypsy or hippie-luxe weddings. Crochet pieces may have hippie inspirations, but today the aesthetic is always luxurious with a modern sense of elegance and refinement and an easy way to achieve that sexy and bohemian look.

Beautiful white lace and up to the minute white crochet have both garnered a lot of attention on the catwalks this season and in previous seasons also, with designers such as Ralph Lauren, Pucci, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci showcasing chic fashion-forward dresses, from mini dresses to long maxi dresses in a multitude of new designs in these fabulously hand made fabrics with intricate cut out and delicate patterns. Valentino and Dolce and Gabbana have given us some of the most stunning white lace dresses over the years ~ and although these designers are out of most people’s price range, there are many fabulous vintage white lace dresses to be found which match these couture designs in their uniqueness and ethereal beauty. The same is true of Emilio Pucci and his beyond fabulous long white maxi dress in white crochet ~ again, Pucci is beyond most people in price, and yet there are the most beautiful vintage crochet dresses to be found, both long maxi and mini, which offer the wearer a one off and gorgeous alternative.

 

 

High street hot spots, including Topshop, the barometer of London street fashion, featured white crochet in their recent collections, recognising its popularity, its beauty, and versatility ~ all interwoven with that laid back, easy to wear, carefree, Boho style. Kate Moss has featured white Bohemian lace and crochet in her brand new 2014, much anticipated, and now total sell out and very sought after premium collection for Topshop ~ and Kate herself has been seen very often wearing white crochet and lace, as have numerous celebrities and models, especially wearing white lace and crochet dresses for red carpet events. ...and many brides to be are now choosing white lace or white crochet for their beautiful big day, because of its sexy and elegant, 30s or Bohemian, and always timeless, appeal.

 

White is an ancient colour, full of meanings and significance ~ and still to this day, always modern and essential. Whether we love it and wear it to mark the significance of our wedding day, or on the beach to contrast and accentuate our sun kissed tanned skin, or because it is so cooling in the heat, or so beautiful in the snow in winter, or elegant and stylish, sophisticated, sexy, peaceful, white has so many meanings for us.

 

 

 

It holds within it the essence of the endless. It is the colour of beginnings, and yet has always been with us, never ending. White, it is simply, always, beautiful.....

 

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LINK

 

White on Pinterest ~ Dark purple dress The colour Red ~ Red dresses ~ long sleeve red dress 

Tagged in: Colour Crochet dress

Dark purple dress ~ Light purple dress

Posted by on in Colour

dark-purple-dress-purple-homecoming-dresses.jpgPurple ~ Royalty, Bohemia, Profanity and Biba

 

 

“Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple...” ~ Regina Brett

 

A colour that combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red, purple is traditionally and most notably the opulent colour of royalty: ‘It is the colour of luxury and passion, of princely robes and papal vestments, dazzling gems and florid prose...’ (Vogue 2012-13). Purple was one of the first colours used in prehistoric art ~ and down through the ages, it has come to symbolize power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. Purple conveys wealth and extravagance. It is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity ~ and not forgetting, amidst its rich hues, mystery and magic.

 

Throughout history, purple robes were worn by royalty, aristocracy and people of authority or high rank. Many believe this to be because of the rare occurrence of purple in nature and this rarity made it, not only have sacred meaning, but also one of the most expensive colour dyes to create. Through the ages, purple has been the colour worn by Roman Emperors and magistrates, and later by Roman Catholic bishops. In Thailand, it is the colour of Saturday. And according to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colours.

 

 

Historically, purple was only worn by the elite few. A quick glance through images of medieval nobility and royalty and one is instantly met with images of beautiful queens and princesses in long purple cloaks over a dark purple dress. Think of maid Marion, or Guinevere, or a medieval handmaiden to the Queen’s Court, or a high-born woman of the Tudor aristocracy, and the sumptuous velvets of their long dresses come to mind...maybe a light purple dress with ornate gold embroidered borders, draping in soft folds as they move through the corridors of power and influence. This is the origin of purple in fashion ~ it has breeding, wealth and luxury interwoven into all its many shades: violet, plum, lavender, lilac, thistle, mauve, magenta, amethyst, wine, mulberry...all the myriad purples.

 

Since those early cave paintings, purple has been essential to artists. At the turn of the century, purple was a favourite colour of the German painter Gustave Klimt, who flooded his pictures with sensual purples and violets amidst luxurious golds. The pre-Raphaelites also favoured rich dark colours, purple being one of the most evocative. John William Waterhouse, an English pre-Raphaelite painter, most famous for his paintings of female characters from mythology and literature, used the dark rich colour in his famous ‘Boreas’ which shows a young woman in a windswept landscape with her thin wind-blown draperies of dark purples with blues.

 

Jane Morris (1839 - 1914), who was a model and muse to the pre-Raphaelite artists William Morris, whom she married, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, epitomised, probably more than any of the women associated with the pre-Raphaelites, an unrestricted, flowing style of dress which, while very unconventional at the time, would be highly influential at certain periods during the 20th century. And the dark hues of the thin drapes and diaphanous fabrics so often seen in Pre-Raphaelite paintings remind us so much of the later (roughly 120 years later!), 1960s and early 1970s, Indian gauze cotton dresses, (flowing, floaty, just like those worn by Jane Morris), which were made by Indian dress makers such as Phool and Adini, and again very often in lilacs, purples, mulberries ~ and combined with that touch of gold, as with Klimt, except here the gold is Indian gold ink, block printed over the dark floral or paisley fabrics. These semi sheer, floaty, and very sensual, care free, bohemian 70s Indian pieces ~ a light purple dress, a dark purple dress, their rich purples mixed with maroons and blues and touches of gold ~ are now very sought after vintage pieces, evocative, as they are, of a bohemian hippie idyll and a free gypsy spirit which so many people hanker after as an expression of their true, and unconventional, selves.

 

So purple has connections to royalty, the church, and also to 70s hippies...all using purples in their clothing to express something of themselves in their own ways. Interestingly, although traditionally very strongly linked to the papal and royal establishment, the colour purple also has links with alternative thinking, the unconventional and social change. We noted earlier the connection of purple to hippie clothing ~ perhaps a reflection of the fact that purple has over the years become increasingly associated with a new age spirituality. However, even before this, in the early 20th century, it was linked to societal change when purple, along with green and white, were the chosen colours of the Women's Suffrage movement, which fought to win voting rights for women...and again was later associated with the Feminism of the 70s, and the psychedelic drug culture of the 1960s. During the 60s and early 70s it was also associated with counterculture and musicians like Jimi Hendrix with his 1967 song Purple Haze, and the English rock band Deep Purple which formed in 1968. And again, a far cry from the purple velvet robes which signified the historical and traditional power and piety of royalty and bishops, the colour purple is also used to describe profanity and bad language as in the expression “purple speech”.

 

 

Purple’s association with the unconventional and with bohemian living creates many tapestries, interwoven throughout the years. In modern usage, the term ‘Bohemian’ is applied to people who live unconventional, usually artistic, lives. It is a description of freedom and free living outside of the boundaries of convention which has been applied to many artists and groups and was used to describe the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ of the early 20th century, of which Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf were an integral part, among other artists, writers and thinkers. Before them, during the 1860s the term was associated in particular with the Pre-Raphaelite movement, that group of artists and aesthetes of which Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the most prominent ~ and Jane Morris his muse, painted in her free flowing robes of purples and magenta and amethyst...

 

The connections, and colours, continue to entwine as we move through the years...

 

 

dark-purple-dress-purple-homecoming-dresses-01.jpgFiona MacCarthy, a biographer of the pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones (1833 - 1898), noted that, in 1964, when the influential Biba store was opened in London by Barbara Hulanicki, the "long drooping structureless clothes", though sexier than the dresses portrayed in Burne-Jones paintings, such as The Golden Stairs or The Sirens, nevertheless greatly resembled them. Biba clothing was not only often very similar in style and shape, but Hulanicki also used the same dark rich colours the pre-Raphaelites loved and used...the dark purples, browns, blues...So here again we see fashion connections linking different artists and designers, often with years and years between them.

 

 

Barbara Hulanicki says of herself and her work that she was always “living in the past and redesigning into the present”. She has always acknowledged that when she created Biba, the clothing and the store, that she was greatly influenced by the pre-Raphaelites, just as Fiona MacCarthy noted. She says that the face of Biba, the famous pale face and dark lips in browns or dark purples, which was a new vision and radical concept at the time and became known as the ‘Biba look’ or the ‘Biba girl’, was very strongly influenced by the pre-Raphaelite painters especially Rossetti’s ‘The day dream’ (1880), a painting of Jane Morris, who at the time was married to William Morris and having an illicit affair with Rossetti. The interior of the Biba store itself has been described as having an atmosphere that "reeked of sex” ~ an old-fashioned, Edwardian style of forbidden sex with its feather boas, potted palms, bentwood coat racks and dark lighting. It has been quoted as being designed to look like a bordello with its purple, scarlet, black and gold plush fitments. Purple here again, defining the famous store, and again the exotic colour chosen by Hulanicki for so many of her Biba dresses, and the colour painted dark and seductive on the mouths of the Biba girls, as if they had been eating crushed purple berries with their fingers and the colour had spilled, and stayed, staining their lips. Barbara Hulanicki, describing the impact of the Biba look in her book, 'From A to Biba', said of the ‘Biba girls’: 'Wherever the girls went there was silence. Elly was completely blue: blue make-up, blue clothes, blue cap and blue curls. Eva was all green, Del all violet. Some girls were all in black... in their full regalia looking as if they had just left a Fellini set.'

 

 

So Del wore all violet, and probably a light purple dress to match her eye-shadow, or a dark purple dress and soft suede purple knee high boots...and Biba was beautifully fabulous, with its roots firmly planted in the pre-Raphaelite’s history of unconventional lives and sensual colours...and both a long way from the princely purple robes and vestments of the traditional church and conventional court.

 

 

Purple has many meanings, many meanings as it has meandered through the ages and eras ~ and like Lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers which are considered delicate and precious plants, purple is a special and exotic colour in the palette of our fashion history and our lives, and has been for hundreds and hundreds of years. To paraphrase Barbara Hulanicki: purple has lived in the past and has redesigned itself again and again into the present.

 

 

“I was a punk before it got its name. I had that hairstyle and purple lipstick.” ~ Vivienne Westwood

 

“The sky is already purple; the first few stars have appeared, suddenly, as if someone had thrown a handful of silver across the edge of the world.” ~ Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board Light purple dress Dark purple dress on Pinterest.

 

LINKS

The colour Red Fashion and Colour ~ Blue ~ Light blue dresses 

Tagged in: Colour Fashion

New ad features the 'society of elegant persons of the Congo' otherwise known as the 'Sapeurs', a group of everyday heroes from Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo.

 

 

And.... A Short Documentary.

 

 

A documentary Illustrating the brightly coloured and social affairs that bring the 'Sapeurs' together. Their bold choice to live an unexpected lifestyle is a source of celebrated originality and positivity. Their life is not defined by occupation or wealth, but by respect, a moral code and an inspirational display of flair and creativity. The Sapeurs show that whilst in life you cannot always choose your circumstances, you can always choose who you are.

Tagged in: Colour Video

long-blue-dress-light-blue-dresses-01.jpgBlue 

“Of the colors, blue and green have the greatest emotional range. Sad reds and melancholy yellows are difficult to turn up. Among the ancient elements, blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overhead and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay. Although green enlivens the earth and mixes in the ocean, and we find it, copperish, in fire; green air, green skies, are rare. Gray and brown are widely distributed, but there are no joyful swatches of either, or any of exuberant black, sullen pink, or acquiescent orange. Blue is therefore most suitable as the color of interior life. Whether slick light sharp high bright thin quick sour new and cool or low deep sweet dark soft slow smooth heavy old and warm: blue moves easily among them all, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.”  ~  William H. Gass

 

“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night...” ~  Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

 

The quintessential ‘cool’ colour, blue relaxes the senses, most notably due to its deep connections with nature ~ it is after all, the colour of the sky and the ocean.“There is a reason people look outside each morning knowing the sky is out there and hoping it’s blue...” ~ Eisman. It is also commonly associated with ice, cold, and sometimes with sadness.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_light-blue-dresses-long-blue-dress-02.jpgAlthough considered a ‘female’ colour in China, and despite being considered a ‘masculine’ colour in western culture, blue is the most favoured colour equally for both men and women. And let us not forget that in fashion terms also, blue denim jeans are of course the most popular clothing for both women and men alike. Yves Saint Laurent isfamously quoted as saying: “I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes...” More generally in fashion terms, blue is typically worn by those people, both women and men, looking to create their own aura of serenity.

 

Blue was a late comer among the colours, used in art and decoration, as well as in language and literature. Reds, blacks, browns, and ochres are found in cave paintings from the Upper Paleolithic period, but not blue. Blue was also not used for dyeing fabric until long after red, ochre, pink and purple. This is probably due to the difficulty of making good blue dyes and pigments. The earliest known blue dyes were made from plants ~ woad in Europe, indigo in Asia and Africa, while blue pigments were made from minerals, usually either the extremely costly lapis lazuli, or azurite.

 

 

light-blue-dresses-long-blue-dress-03.jpgWhile red is the more physical colour, blue is the more cerebral, representing depth, stability, wisdom, confidence and intelligence. As a result of its calming affects, fashion consultants worldwide recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty, and it is for this reason that police officers traditionally wear blue. In Mexico, blue is the colour of trust and serenity. In Thailand, it is associated, unusually, with a day of the week: Friday. And blue has very often been a favourite colour of artists, especially the Impressionist painters, who used it not just to depict nature, but to create moods, feelings and atmospheres. Pablo Picasso had a ‘blue period’ (1901–1904), where he used blues predominantly, with some green, and hardly any warm colours, to create a melancholy ambience to his work. And Matisse recognised the power of blue when he wrote, "A certain blue penetrates your soul."

 

With such strong symbolic connections to stability, loyalty and wisdom, it is no wonder the colour blue also has a significant link to marriage. What could be prettier than bridesmaids in light blue dresses as the bride’s ‘something blue’, and not forgetting the iconic pale blue of the famous jeweller’s Tiffany box, creating a strong visual connection with engagement rings, a traditional symbol of loyalty and stability.

 

Aside from weddings, this season blue has been seen a lot on the designer catwalks and runways as well as on the high street, particularly dresses in summery hues; think light blue dresses with bright accessories or a long blue dress with vivid pink shoes. It is all about making an impact whilst retaining a little serenity and calm, and what better colour to choose than dreamy blue. Valentino has created many a beautiful long blue dress in intricate lace, and some stunning light blue dresses in a duck egg shade created entirely in macramé type crochet, a fabric which is everywhere this season and fabulously versatile for both casual and more formal occasions. Valentino’s version will set you back about £3,000 ~ however there are some delightful and really gorgeous vintage blue crochet pieces to be found.

 

 

light-blue-dresses-light-blue-dresses-022.jpgAnother designer, whose vintage pieces especially, are now very sought after, is Laura Ashley. Laura's love of all things Victorian led to the longer length silhouette which would become the company's trademark and was right on trend at the end of the 1960s when fashion turned from the mini to the maxi ~  a trend that has since returned with force, emphasising Laura Ashley's timeless quality. She designed many fabulous blue dresses in numerous shades from the darkest midnight blue to the softest palest blue, and in a myriad different patterns and prints, from florals to mythical animals ~ dresses which often evoked a rural, 19th century feel, characterised by romantic designs and the use of natural fabrics, and which reflected quality, subtlety and nostalgia adored by modern brides and bridesmaids.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_light-blue-dresses-light-blue-dresses-09.jpgThe dresses were made from the textiles printed by the company, and the designs were mostly modern interpretations of antique prints (influences included English Medieval, William Morris, Chinese and Egyptian). The 20s and 30s were also brilliantly referenced with ‘Gatsby’ inspired sailor
dresses with iconic styling, in the loveliest, most lightweight cottons and linens and very often in blues ~ polka dot blues, and striped blues, and in all manner of hues which echo the sea and seaside on a summer’s day, or which evoke English cottage gardens with colours such as cornflower blue, or the regal blue of tall delphiniums, or the many shades of sweet smelling hyacinths. Indeed, with these modern versions of fashion from times gone by, Laura Ashley had hit upon a "brand new version of the past”, and these vintage dresses have become very sought after and are typical of Laura’s love of classic lines, beauty and nostalgia which evoke a very particular part of English heritage.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_light-blue-dresses-long-blue-dress-00_20140509-033343_1.jpgCurrently, the desire to reference vintage style in fashion has returned and vintage fashion is now extremely sought after everywhere, boosting the popularity of Laura Ashley’s vintage pieces which are now being exhibited in vintage collections and coveted by collectors worldwide. Laura Ashley's significant place in British fashion history was further cemented in Summer 2013 with the first major retrospective of the designer held at Bath’s fashion museum and the Bowes museum in Co Durham. These exhibitions showcased over 70 vintage dresses, including fabulous examples of vintage blue dresses, including a long blue dress of the darkest navy blue with cream Victorian style open work crochet which was representative of Laura Ashley’s earliest styles, and a number of light blue dresses which so perfectly depict Laura Ashley’s characteristic look of the 60s and 70s which inspired a generation of young women to dress as their romantic heroines such as Thomas Hardy’s milkmaid from Tess of the d’Urbervilles, or Cathy from Wuthering Heights searching in vain across the northern moors for Heathcliff. Laura Ashley is famously quoted as saying: "I reckon that women looked their best at the turn of the century..." ~ and women today often agree, seeking out as they are, over fifty years later, Laura’s beautiful and rare vintage designs, especially for bridal dresses or for bridesmaids for vintage themed or bohemian weddings.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_light-blue-dresses-light-blue-dresses-98.jpgWhether you are looking for contemporary dresses, or vintage pieces, or you love to live in your favourite pair of old adored fraying Levi jeans, blue is a colour which remains a popular and versatile choice for women everywhere. From bright dazzling cobalt, to duck egg, blue has a shade for everyone and as such is a delightfully popular colour for designers to use in collections season after season, whether it be light blue dresses for bridesmaids, summer evening soirees or a day out at the races, or a long blue dress for the opera or special evening occasion, this beautiful colour, in all its shades, will leave you anything but blue!

 

 

“One of his tears fell in my mouth, where it became a blue sapphire, source of strength, source of strength and eternal hope.”  ~ Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

 

“I saw a picture of Elvis in blue lame, and thought that if I could recreate that suit and walk down the King's Road in it, someone might pick me up and take me off on a crazy adventure...” ~ Malcolm Mclaren

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_light-blue-dresses-long-blue-dress-07.jpg“There is no blue without yellow and without orange...” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

 

“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes...” ~ Yves Saint Laurent

 

And if you pardon me

I'd like to say

We'll do okay

Forever in blue jeans, babe

And long as I can have you

Here with me I'd much rather be

Forever in blue jeans, babe

 

~ "Forever In Blue Jeans" ~ Neil Diamond 

 

Click to buy beautiful blue vintage clothing...

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board Blue Light blue dresses long blue dress on Pinterest.

 

LINKS

Click to buy beautiful vintage Laura Ashley ~ The colour Red ~ Red dresses 

Tagged in: Colour Fashion

Colour and fashion, water and ink

Posted by on in Colour

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I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.

~ Georgia O'Keeffe

 

When I see a colour or hear a sound, I am aware of something, and not of nothing.

 ~ Charles D. Broad

 

Shadow is a colour as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones.

~Paul Cezanne

Tagged in: Colour Festival

I’m so fortunate to be red!

Posted by on in Colour

Red-dresses--long-sleeve-red-dress--fashion.jpg“I hear the question upon your lips: What is it to be a colour?

 

Colour is the touch of the eye, music to the deaf, a word out of the darkness. Because I’ve listened to souls whispering – like the susurrus of the wind – from book to book and object to object for tens or thousands of years, allow me to say that my touch resembles the touch of angels. Part of me, the serious half, calls out to your vision while the mirthful half sours through the air with your glances.

 

I’m so fortunate to be red! I’m fiery. I’m strong. I know men take notice of me and that I cannot be resisted.

 

I do not conceal myself: For me, delicacy manifests itself neither in weakness nor in subtlety, but through determination and will. So, I draw attention to myself. I’m not afraid of other colours, shadows, crowds or even of loneliness. How wonderful it is to cover a surface that awaits me with my own victorious being! Wherever I’m spread, I see eyes shine, passions increase, eyebrows rise and heartbeats quicken. Behold how wonderful it is to live! Behold how wonderful to see. I am everywhere. Life begins with and returns to me. Have faith in what I tell you.”

 

― Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red

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The colour Red 

 

Tagged in: Colour Fashion

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There are people who can achieve huge success in life, while adding a bit of fun and a splash of colour to this increasingly grey world.

 ~ Peter James

 

Colours are life.

 ~ Chuma Nwokolo

Tagged in: Color Fashion

red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-654.jpgRed

Red", I write "is the color of life. It's blood, passion, rage...Beginnings and violent end. Red is the color of love. Beating hearts and hungry lips. Roses, Valentines, cherries. Red is the color of shame. Crimson cheeks and spilled blood. Broken hearts, opened veins. A burning desire to return to white...” ~ Mary Hogan, Pretty Face

 

Click to buy beautiful red vintage dresses 

 

I love bright red drinks, don’t you? They taste twice as good as any other color.”  ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

 

“And whenever I'm in a situation where I'm wearing the same as 600 other people and doing the same thing as 600 other people, looking back, I always found ways to make myself different, whether it be having a red lining inside of my jacket, having red shoes, it hasn't changed.” ~ Jeremy Irons

 

 

If fashion is a language, colour is one of its main means of expression...” (Veronica Culatti), and this could not be any more apparent than the colour red in fashion.

 

The colour red garners the most powerful and provocative reaction of all the colours. So stimulating, it can increase the heart rate ~ red is passionate, vibrant, intense and the strongest of all the ‘warm’ colours. It is associated with energy and strength and danger ~ and also has erotic undercurrents which very often manifests in fashion and films and femme fatales as red lipstick accentuating the mouth, or bright red painted nails, and of course the show stopping move stars in red maxi dresses. It is the colour of scandal, and of rage, and also, especially in ancient heraldry, used to indicate courage.

 

red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-67.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-87.jpgToday, in Western culture, red is associated with sexuality, whilst in the East, it is a celebratory colour and a symbol of love, with both a short or a long sleeve red dress worn by brides in much of Eastern culture. Red has always been strongly associated with love, thus, red and it’s lighter shade pink, have become the symbolic colours of St Valentine’s Day. And think of the famous love song by Chris de Burgh, ‘Lady in Red’...which he wrote as a love song about his wife Diane.

 

Without a doubt red gets noticed, whether indicating VIP status on the red carpet, or signalling drivers to stop, our brains are trained to pay attention to red. Socially, red most symbolically represents power. This can often mean, among other things, sexual prowess ~ as has consistently been portrayed in pop culture and popular fashion. For instance, Jessica Rabbit, who famously wears a body-hugging red dress in her cartoon manifestation of powerful and overt sexual allure, or more recently, the most famous of all the contemporary  red maxi dresses, the attention grabbing and gorgeous red chiffon dress designed and worn by the famous, independent and successful model and now business woman, Kate Moss at the preview to her premium fashion collaboration with Topshop.

 

red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress_20140507-061705_1.jpgDuring the 1950s, many fashion designers looked to Spain for inspiration, and the rich ruby red adored by the passionate Mediterranean cultures became the colour very often worn by movie stars wanting to be centre stage. Brigitte Bardot, Liz Taylor, and Ava Gardner all chose myriad red dresses ~ and in the 1953 box office hit Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell wore the unforgettable and famous sequined red maxi dresses ~ with matching red lipstick! In the 1957 film Funny Face, the fabulous Audrey Hepburn glides down the steps of the Louvre in a show-stopping silk confection by Hubert de Givenchy ~ another of the very iconic red maxi dresses made famous by film stars throughout the decades.

 


Whether channelling Maid Marian in her medieval long sleeve red dress in rich opulent velvet or wearing the more contemporary bias cut red maxi dresses, in luxury silks and satins, red has had us transfixed for generations. In divine red lace or soft red chiffon by
 Valentino, or in rich red with ornate brocade embellishment by Galliano for Christian Dior haute couture, or wearing the ever contemporary and sought after, sell out, maxi red dresses by Topshop or other high street hot spots, all women love to wear
red...sometimes, often, always. Worn by a beautiful bride or bridesmaid, to a masquerade ball or an evening soiree, to a red carpet event, or for a Valentine’s Day, or night, liaison...the colour red, and red maxi dresses especially, have the power to entice,b2ap3_thumbnail_red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-01_20140507-062103_1.jpg inspire, seduce and provoke...and it is certainly a colour we just adore it with a never ending passion. 

 

“Your red dress,’ she said, and laughed.

 

But I looked at the dress on the floor and it was as if the fire had spread across the room. It was beautiful and it reminded me of something I must do. I will remember I thought. I will remember quite soon now...”  ~  Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

 

“Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn...” ~ Marilyn Monroe

 

“I want to be different. If everyone is wearing black, I want to be wearing red.” ~ Maria Sharapova

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board red dress red maxi dresses lace red dress on Pinterest.

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