In the first proper week on my course, we had a lecture all about the colour RED! The focus was on the fashion bright side of the colour, warmth, love, confidence (the daring style icon) and the fashion dark side being anger, danger, seduction, warning, aggression and alarm, just to name a few (the dangerous siren).
When I think of the colour red, I instantly picture fire, love, passion, heat, strength, rage and danger. I believe that there are so many conflicting emotions that are associated with the colour. Red is an intense colour that is strong and stimulating, it is also quick to focus attention.
I was particularly intrigued by the Red Culture section; in particular gender. Women wearing red could be seen as creatures of beauty, but also evocative. This is the opposite of the connotations of men wearing this colour; for example authority and bravery. I was surprised by how great the emotions differed between the genders. I have placed some images below to show the reason behind the feelings mentioned.
What also fascinated me was the fact that where red is worn on the body can have different contrasting connotations behind it. The red hat could symbolise an intellectual standing, whereas a red suit could have a social standing. A red cloak may have a romantic emotional standing and red legs, an erotic standing.
The colour theory part of the talk also appealed to me. I didn’t realise that the colour red can be broken down and associated with so many other colours including, vibrant red, orange red, brown red, purple red and coral red. I definitely now understand how important the power of words are when making observations and descriptions! When comparing the colour tones, the common word for each is ‘strong’ which I feel shows how vivid the colour really is.
– Power, confidence, vivid, hedonism
– Hot, primary, pure, strong
– Thoughtful, refined, commanding
– Warm, pure, secondary, strong
– Ambition, grounded, intense, retro, abstract
– Deep-tone, cooler, secondary, strong
– Indulgence, regal, attitude
– Deep-tone, cooler, secondary, pure, strong
– Charmed, mysterious, poetic
– Pale-tone, cooler, secondary, pure, strong
I enjoyed seeing the clashing and complementary colours for red. The clash of tones really helped to make a statement and catch attention. It can be quite flamboyant and energetic; the clash usually occurs between the primary colour of red and a secondary colour such as orange or a shade of pink. The different colour combinations that are often used revolve around colour temperature, colour structure, colour contrast and colour tone. For example: warm vs. cold, simple vs. complex, dark vs. light and strong vs. weak. I have placed some examples of this below. My favourite colour combination is the red and teal since I feel that the cool-toned teal helps the red ‘pop’ and really catch a viewer’s eye.
I didn’t realise before the lecture that many brands use red pattern in their collections and advertising. Red stripes are quite graphic and used by brands such as Rykiel and red lace could come across flirtatious; Dolce and Gabbana often opt for this pattern. The red check and red dots are also popular; I view the check/tartan design as quite traditional and the dots more playful, fun and more extravagant. I personally love a red stripe and have many t-shirts in the print; I see it as quite classy and easy-to-wear.
Some brands are also now steering away from the traditional white backgrounds and opting for a red alternative. This may be in order to try and access new markets, such as China, and appeal to different cultures. When looking at brands that are doing this, I found that the use of red was more evident in high-end designers such as Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Celine and Valentino.
My lecturer also put some quotes on a number of different slides and these are some of my favourites:
‘Even if you don’t like colours, you will end up having something red’. ‘For everyone who doesn’t like colour, red is a symbol of a lot of culture’. ‘It has a different significance but never a bad one’. – Christian Louboutin
‘I selected the colour because it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable, and the colour of passion’. – Christian Louboutin
‘There is a shade of red for every woman.’ – Audrey Hepburn
I really enjoyed this presentation as it opened my eyes to the world of colour, making me think and start to analyse colours in a much deeper way. I feel that this understanding of the importance of colour will continue to develop throughout my time on the course and I will never see a colour in the same way again What do you instantly think of when you think of the colour red?