the language of orange


2.24.2007 over

"the secondary colors, orange, green and purple, are less popular for clothing than the primaries, especially in conservative periods. individually, and even more when combined, they suggest the unusual, the original, the peculiar: an orange-green-purple print fabric seems jazzier than the same design in red, yellow and blue. in america, orange is often used for safety garments because of it's high visibility (greater even than that of yellow). traffic policemen, bicyclists at night and hunters in the woods wear garments of a brilliant, near-phosphorescent orange. partly as a result, this color has come to suggest danger and a call for attention. The addition of pink or white to orange softens the message, though not completely. members of the hare krishna sect dancing and chanting on a city street in their light-orange robes are certainly demanding attention - and, if you are trying to get somewhere in a hurry, or are the parent of a susceptible teenager, can represent a real hazard. in ordinary life, to wear an orange dress or suit, or even one of bright peach, apricot, or salmon-pink, is to demand to be noticed. (in smaller helpings - a sash, or a scarf, for instance - these colors may seem merely lively.)"

-from the language of clothes by alison lurie [emphasis mine]


an amazing book about the sociology and symbolism of fashion i found over the holidays in jacksonville, florida, at my favorite secondhand bookshop of all time, chamblin's bookmine. my copy is from 1981. lurie looks at most colors and patterns, too, amongst many other subjects related to clothing and it's is a fascinating tome. i highly recommend it.


and how true for me, so many ways, both conscious and subconscious. smaller helpings are nice, but all over is better. *wink*