I came back from sweden! I barely had time to put down the bags that I must immediately get back to study for the new exams in September.
For this month I thought of a much greater presence on blogs.
Each day will present a fashion story on a topic by writing the story. Have fun!
Adapted from the French ‘bleu’, a term widely used in Italian
until the Eighties. For the Ancient Greeks and Romans blue was the
color of the Barbarians’ eyes. The Maya population did not
distinguish bleu from green, and used a single word to define them:
blue-green is the color of the center of the universe. In Ancient Egypt
blue was opposed to red and was considered the color of introspection
and of the infinite. In the Far East blue was considered a positive
color protecting against bad luck; blue eyes besides were thought to
have magical powers. The Bramins , at the top of the Indian caste
system, wear blue: blue as thought, as the highest peak .
In 2000 Michel Pastoureau published the essay “Blue.
The History of a Colour” . The French historian had dated back to the
year 1100 the turning point. The first sign that something was changing
was visible, in painting, in the mantle of the Virgin Mary, once
painted in brown , in violet or white as a sign of mourning and
affliction. Then, all of a sudden it became blue, clear and bright,
turning into a symbol of purity.
In panting blue is one of the most precious colors.
Before the chemical synthesis of colors, in order to obtain the blue
hue is was necessary to mix linen oil and lapis lazuli powder; such
technique made blue the most expensive color in the range of oil colors
and was thus used very sparingly (unlike colors like brown that was
obtained by simply mixing oil an soil). With the advent of Christianity
blue became the color of the Virgin May, the symbol of serenity and an
invitation to peacefulness, sublimated.
Yet no other book
- writes Pastoureau- no art work or event influenced fashion more than
Goethe’s novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”, published in 1774.
For at least 10 years the most coveted garment by young people all over
Europe was precisely “the suit à la Werther” that is to say, the blue
tailcoats that the novel’s hero was wearing when he met Charlotte.
himself would often wear blue and in his Theories of Colors he defined
the association of blue and yellow as the ultimate chromatic harmony. But he was not the only one: like the great German writer , the whole romantic movement worshipped the color blue.
by the encounter of light and matter it reaches its peak in the 18th
century when the invention of an artificial pigment – Prussian Blue
– enriched the painters’ palette ad when the scientists, thanks to the
discoveries of Newton on the solar spectrum, attributed to the color
blue the status of primary color.
For the Romantics blue represented poetry, the dream, melancholia, the thirsty longing for the absolute.
Arthur Rimbaud, the “damned” poet who loved alchemic symbolism,
associated the color blue to the letter O, a round figure, full and
maternal. Vasilij Kandinsky and Franz Marc founded together in 1911 the
artistic movement “Der Blaue Reiter” (the Blue Knight). Kandinsky wrote
that blue implied depth and it was the color of spiritual figures.
Nietzsche instead distinguished between polytheist colors (yellow, red)
and monotheist hues (blue and green). The blue swallows (who crash to
the ) of American playwright Tennessee Williams relive the old and
widespread myth of the blue bird, a fragment of the infinite.
A few oddities. Policemen and Carabinieri’s uniforms
are blue because the color inspires peace and safety. The scientific
demonstration of such digression is that the human heart inside a blue
room beats more slowly, for the same reason. The Blu-ray Disc format is called this way because Sony was not allowed to use the English word Blue.
is also used to define blues, the musical genre. "Having the blues" is a
melancholic state that may be compared to the Portuguese saudade. And blues is the word that has characterized the status and culture of African-Americans.
Looking at the stats of the last 100 years, blue is the favorite color by over 50% of Europeans and is much used both in marketing and ad campaigns.
Blue is everywhere and wherever it is, it conveys a precise message: on
the UN and the EU flags the color indicates the desire for peace and
brotherhood. An effective instrument to convey political and military
concepts : on the American flag blue was associated to the idea of
independence; on the French rosette, symbolizing the Storming of the
Bastille occurred in July 1789, it represented the equality of the
On the world wide web logo , blue reminds us we live on the “blue planet" and that we are becoming an interconnected community. The Telefono Azzurro,
the blue telephone, in Italy marks the wish to protect children in
difficulty. The symbol of an ineffable, unworldly freedom (and sometimes
of the soul of the deceased), blue is also the color of mythology, it
is found in fairytales and it is the color of heroic
princes. Pinocchio’s Blue Fairy had hair the color of the sky and of the
spirit: clearly hinting at the initiation of the puppet, that dies to
be reborn a child.
Bluebeard embodies its
disquieting aspect and symbolizes well the mysterious depth that the
soul has to know to achieve salvation. Intellectual, reassuring,
luminous, intense, chic, proposed in various nuances, blue is the color
of festive clothes. Although blue jeans are synonymous with an informal
and relaxed clothing style, in ink blue, sapphire, royal, cobalt,
powder, metallic, it has quietly replaced black in the more elegant
ensembles so much that the petite robe by Coco Chanel, in today’s
revisitation, betrays black for a deep blue. It was also Picasso’s
In today’s fashion, blue becomes the shade
of the night, after ousting purple. It is Carla Bruni Sarkozy’s favorite
shade but also Caroline of Monaco’s, in the cornflower blue hue that
has defined the Eighties.
statement-making: for Yves Saint Laurent between the 70s and the 80s
that exact shade of cornflower blue has been a classic hue as seen on
blazers, so we shall start from this. Ink blue makes a
comeback in the 2000 thanks to Stefano Pilati, who revisits the classic
sheath dress: obviously glossy , obviously topped off by gloves and
feathers. With ample shoulders and puff sleeves, short and buttoned up
like a little coat, is the blue of Krizia’s revival.
A softer and flimsier return, when cornflower blue flutters amid the flounces, and makes the austere walk at Calvin Klein flutter too, and tinges Versace’s sexiness with crossed necklines. Even Burberry,
the specialist of British earthy tones, in 2010 makes the stage in
blue. It is a long sequence of blue nuances that uplift today’s garments
and revisit a certain cobalt blue, at the time glossy and flashy, in
the decade of nightclubs and career women. More aggressive and almost
space-age, by Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana.
Deliberately childish by Miu Miu, featuring a conceptual undertone for
Marni, timeless in the revisitation of Balenciaga’s classic staples.
Finally, the elaboration of tunics with large collars or on dresses with precious drapery, by Valentino. The latest haute couture runway show in Paris was a hymn to the mantle of the Virgin Mary. The
ultimate blue? The caban or pea coat, the sailor’s double-breasted
jacket, a classic staple of the French wardrobe, a must-have, now more
than ever, and not only for sophisticated Parisian ladies.