Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Favorites: a prologue
I've always been a color junkie. I can clearly recall, as a college freshman, flipping through the J. Crew catalog and imagining with glee my ideal job: penning the color names of the clothing items within. Persimmon, periwinkle, mango... ahhhhh. To a newly independent small-town girl, those adjectives cried out to me; they spoke of experience, worldliness, and wisdom.
(I still think it would be a fun job. I'm long past fitting into many of those swank, slim clothing separates, and I still find most of them out of my price range. Perhaps the catalog employees get a discount on the plus-sized leftovers at season's end?)
Anyway. Color. Some colors are so closely linked to an item that said item becomes the color itself, and vice versa. Think of peony: it will forever, for me, represent that rich, deep, fragrant pink of the June bloom. And hydrangea—could there be a more perfect lavender-blue shade than the amazing tint of those wondrous bushes, grown in perfectly acidic soil?
There are so many color words that are what they are. Ivory, ebony, jade, turquoise, sky, sand, moss, and coffee. Wonderful, many-layered words that evoke not just a sight but also a scent, perhaps even a sensation.
My favorite? That would be dandelion, without a doubt. The flower, the crayon, it matters not. That amazing, heaven-breathed yellow, color of midday sunshine, of amber daydreams... It is simply the best.
But I love another color, too—and this one is a more recent love. It is known by many names: oxblood, aubergine, eggplant, burgundy, raisin, bordeaux. It's represented nicely by the curvy vegetables shown above—and just as well by a pair of well-loved penny loafers. It's a distant cousin to brown, but more valuable, more rare, uncommon. It's also related to purple, but the relation is subtle, not obvious, and all the ghastly showmanship of purple has no place in the world of such a breathtaking shade. It can function as showpiece, or as accessory. It can ground a room of lighter shades, or it can own a room of dark drama. It can stand in as a neutral, can warm a corner, can hold up well under wear and tear.
And oh—by the way—it looks absolutely fabulous with dandelion. Did I mention that?
What is your favorite color, the one that makes you smile, that inspires redecoration or new outfits?