Feb 20, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
Today, just in the nick of time for Valentine’s Day, I want to share with you the power of red, its cultural connotations and explore a new contemporary take on the classic shade. A bold, dominant colour perfect for refreshing your S/S’17 wardrobe with.
What better way to begin my first blog post for INSIDER, than to discuss the powerhouse colour that is red. Fresh faced to the colour forecasting team here, my role includes predicting new, emerging shades and seeking out the next big colour trends two years in advance.
Red is deeply associated with passion, desire and love, often attracting more attention than any other colour, it is marketed and used as a key shade for Valentine’s day. A tone which possesses a multitude of emotional connotations and other than the romantic ones can signal danger, anger and fear.
With Chinese New Year having just passed, I wanted to explore the prominence of red in Chinese culture and why this traditional shade became such a symbolic representative of happiness and good fortune.
Reaching out to our Womenswear Editor in Shanghai, Jennifer Zhang, she shed some light on why red is deemed lucky and considered an auspicious colour for warding off evil spirits in China:
“In ancient times, there was an animal called NIAN which devoured a large number of people during the spring each year. This animal was afraid of the red and everyone adorned this colour to avoid being devoured. So Chinese people decorated their houses in red and wore red clothes during the Chinese New Year (Historical legend). Red is also the colour of the Chinese national flag.
Nowadays, red is a shade promoting happiness and luck in China. We like to wear red for some special occasion wear, like traditional wedding dresses, or on other important holidays in order to keep lucky.”
I wanted to explore a more contemporary twist of the traditional tone – a clean, refreshed look at red. With an importance shifting towards primary brights, and intense colour blocking as seen at the Balenciaga S/S show and other designers (subscribers check out more here) . I focused in on this orange infused tone, it creates the perfect balance between commerciality and a more playful, directional edge. This red appeals to the active –inspired trend and high intensity shades seen on the S/S ’17 Catwalk. (WGSN Subscribers can see more here)
So as you pick up your bunch of red roses today, or get inspired to create a bold red moodboard, hopefully you’ll do some with a little more insight into why the colour is so powerful
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