Blue. Immortal eleganceBlue, a symbol of armony, balance, peace; certainly and mostly a symbol of great elegance. Among colours blue is perhaps one of the most often employed colours in custom and art history though, comparing to red, yellow and other colours already present in prehistoric ages, blue appeared later. Egyptians are said to be the first who obtained from lapis lazuli stone powder this particular colour which they used to decorate Pharaons’ tombs. Due to this difficulty in obtaining it blue has always been considered a solemn colour and therefore it’s been associated to wealth as well as to dresses to be worn on very special occasions. This idea went on until, in the fifties, ‘jeans’ made its appearence; at the beginning with this term it was intended a working garment made of a very strong and tough fabric but it quickly became something which completely transformed fashion concept up to the present days. Everybody knows how blue is a ‘passepartout’ colour, perfect on any occasions, smart without being striking; many elegance and style icons loved it, let’s cite one for all: Jackie Kennedy. We have seen class women of all times often dressed in blue. It’s not a hazard then if nowadays blue, including all its shades and hues, is the colour we can’t do without. A fact confirmed by recent collections showed in world most important fashion weeks.
PHOTO CREDIT: Levi’s Orange Tab SS17Collection
Different shades, types of washes, shapes. Despite all this jeans always remain jeans. All of us keep at least one or two pairs of jeans in our cupboard. Blue jeans, being born as working garments, are accompanying us through generations matching with every changing fashion suggestion. The term ‘blue jeans’ derives from ‘blu Genova’ because of the characteristic trousers worn by genoise sailors which were made of a particular blue fabric, practical and resistant. However jeans mania boosted in USA in 1953 when Mr Levi Strauss together with tailor Jacob Davis gave birth to the first denim jeans trouser. Only afterwards blue jeans reached Europe to become, in the sixties, the favourite garment young people, both male and female, choose to wear as a symbol of their protest against previous generation hypocrisies. From that moment , that’s to say from the seventies, up to nowadays, jeans is present in every brands’ collection. In the beginning the manufacturing process started from already coloured fabric; later on, due to production requirements, the majority of jeans are coloured once finished. This technique highlights denim qualities: actually the way colour penetrates into the fabric is not complete so determining a superficial coat which is likely to change unpredictably during time. That’s why every pair of jeans becomes a personal and unique item.
Blue colour essential role has crossed costume history. Think of ancient Egypt, and of its culture developed along the river Nile’s sides. For long time Egyptians associated blue colour, which they obtained from reducing lapis lazuli stone into powder, to godhood. They employed this precious colour to embellish both pharaons’tombs and pharaons’hair. Therefore it’s not so amazing discovering that, later on, in England during the Elizabethan period (1558-1603), only the royal family members were allowed to dress in blue. That particular hue, social status and wealth symbol, could be obtained exclusively by using very expensive pigments coming from India. This once again highlights how blue colour has often been considered synonimous of elegance and refinement through history. Both these attributes are very likely to be referred to Giorgio Armani style: as a matter of fact he made out of blue his very trademark. ‘Armani Blue’ showed up to be a brand’s characteristic since the nineties never missing in his catwalks and collections. Just to make an example we can find this famous blue even in the Emporio Armani Spring Summer 2015 collection, though slightly renewed without losing its stylistic continuity.
Sea blue, electric blue, cobalt blue, navy blue, peacock blue, petrol blue: the more you have the more you may add. Every year we find ourselves enumerating all the surprising shades of blue we’ve seen in catwalks during fashion weeks, including male ones. As if a touch of blue were always necessary. If for Armani blue colour represents a must-have, we find it also in many a recent years collection such as men’s collections by:
- Antonio Marras
- Ermanno Scervino
just to mention the outstanding ones. Last winter electric blue has entirely dominated the feminine universe with Kenzo, Moschino and Marc Jacob collections; for the current year cobalt blue has been the favourite one, being evident that blue strongly mantains its starring role. Not only for dresses but also pullover and overcoats this particular blue shade has been choosed in order to create both easy and eccentric matches up to total blue outfits. Have you forgotten the words pronounced by Maryl Streep acting as Miranda in “Devil wears Prada” movie? …”What you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean jackets? […] and then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers.[…]” Wearing blue you never misdress, from everyday’s outfit to evening ‘mise’ you’re sure to be impeccable and never trivial.
The places you go the blue you find. Whereas for occidental people blue colour has often represented a symbol for wealth and royalty, for Indian culture things are a bit different. There blue colour was associated to the way lower classes dressed. This happened because the proceeding necessary to obtain blue pigments was considered impure. Going back to Africa, where we already cited Egyptians, we can now consider Tuareg people, nomads who live among Sahara desert dunes. Tuaregs are also named “Blue Men” after their mens’habit to roll up their heads and faces in a dark blue piece of fabric in order to protect themselves from heat, wind and sand. Due to perspiration part of blue colour passes onto thir skin therefore attributing them nickname and charme. Endless would be the research inasmuch this fascinating colour has coloured many a culture throughout the ages.