The Color Purple is a Sign of Uncertain Times Ahead

      November 03, 2008 10:42

      A model showcases a purple dress by Marc Jacobs.

      The color purple is in vogue. Since the Italian fashion mogul Miuccia Prada showcased a dress with the purple-blue hue of Van Gogh's Irises in her 2007 spring collection, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen have since followed suit.

      The purple fever spread from haute couture to more popular brands, such as Nike and GAP, and to the automobile industry, with editions of Cadillac. Michelle Obama, likely to become the next U.S. first lady, appeared in a purple dress in Barack Obama's nomination ceremony and final debate in August and on Larry King Live.

      Traditional fashion wisdom says warm colors, like light brown, are the "It" colors for autumn, but this year has been an exception. The Nov. 10 edition of Time magazine reported, "Analysts and anthropologists who study shifts in chromatic preferences see this particular manifestation -- the purple proliferation -- as a sign of our uncertain times… Psychologist and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman sees the hybrid color as a reflection of 'discontent and desire for change,' a quarrel between cool blue (peace, hope) and warm red (passion, anger, turmoil)."

      Some say purple reflects hesitancy and indecisiveness. Leslie Harrington, executive director of the Color Association, the oldest chromatic forecasting firm in the U.S., said, according to the Time magazine, "The meaning of red and blue are so entrenched in our society. Purple is representative of not deciding."

      This explains why pundits like Keith Olbermann, host of the MSNBC news program "Countdown" and Fox News political analyst Bill O'Reilly have been appearing on television in purple ties.

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