Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm Blue... And It Wont Come Off

It's my last night at home in England and I really should be packing/organizing my room as it looks as though some sort of rodent has nested on the floor using my clothes, shoes and books... but that can wait.

I have an affinity for color, I've mentioned before that I am the number one resident color magpie in North America and possibly the world so it should come as no surprise to discover that today's agenda is... Blue. I mean, duh, it's in the blog title. 

Once upon a time I touched on another color... red and that set the stage for the second primary color. That blog post also started with this:
So again, how many shades can you name?
I've got baby blue, sky blue, royal, navy, midnight blue, indigo, cerulean, teal, turquoise, cyan, azure, powder blue, cobalt, sapphire, ultramarine... I'm exhausted. 

Let's see now, it's my favorite color and I think cerulean and cobalt are my two favorite shades (You might remember the infamous cerulean belts from The Devil Wears Prada). It is associated with sadness and yet calmness and optimism also royalty, military and boys... (but I reject the notion of pink for girls and blue for boys). It has been the color of the walls in my room since I was 11 and right now the color of my room at university is 'California Sky' - the faintest powder blue that I love waking up to in the morning.

While this is all good and wonderfully tranquil I'm not interested in the lighter, more optimistic shades. I want dark indigo and navy that is almost black... The reason for this will be clear enough.
Designer of the day: the one and only Giorgio Armani
Season: Spring 2011

Allons-y. (These are just several of the 61 looks from the runway)
The inspiration for the collection was the sky over the Sahara at night. The colors were so saturated that they bordered on inky black and the shades were so luxurious and wearable. Blue, like black is a flattering color as it is slimming and Karl Lagerfeld seems to think that navy blue looks better on television. I think the one color collection is fantastic and does not lack in variety. On the contrary it is absolutely bursting with it.
Here are some fabric swatches demonstrating all the different shades, patterns and textures the fabrics came in.

There was one big influence that drew my attention when I first saw this show. The navy and the turbans were a dead giveaway that are very reminiscent of the Tuareg people of Northern Africa. Also known as the Blue Men of the Sahara they are nomads who have occupied the Sahara for approximately 2,000 years. However, despite the nomadic influence the vocabulary of the collection was extremely polished and wearable. There were many clean cut suits jackets, slim legged trousers and his new length of dresses that hit just above the ankle. He didn't use any high heels, instead preferring to use a pointy toed flat that had a Couture elegance. It oozed simple elegance and a minimalism despite the sequins and beading.

Makeup was an easy one: Blue kohl and eye shadow, smudged to create a slept in look that I attribute to his Tuareg theme.

 The turbans were brilliant as they too came in many different shades and fabrics and were styled differently from model to model. Loving the John Lennon glasses.

So the Tuareg. They're famous for their indigo dress which often leads the dye to soak into their skin, thus tainting it an eerie blueish tinge. The only time I've ever come close to this happening is when I wore new Levi jeans (which were dark wash) in the rain. Lo and behold when I got home and took them off I looked like I had massive bruise from thigh to calf. 

Traditionally the men  wear turbans and a veil called tagelmust which are also indigo. The reason for this is that it is believed that the veil wards off evil spirits but the harsh Saharan winds whipping up sand may also be a cause. When a boy begins to wear the veil it is symbolic of his reaching maturity (much like the abaya for young women in Saudi Arabia). This veil covers the entire face except for the eyes and top of the nose, but results in the face being tinged blue as well.
If you look carefully at their hands you can see the effects of the dye. I love this man, all comfy on his camel. Being Egyptian it makes me envious about the fact that my dad is going to force me into an arranged marriage in exchange for a handful of these fellows. KIDDING! But someone told me that as a kid and I cried my eyes out..., about the marriage thing. The camels, totally cool.

Some gorgeous Tuareg women, in their beautiful colored robes.

I just wanted to include these Tuareg leather goods for fun because this post has been overwhelmingly blue and this tribe actually creates these gorgeous goods saturated  in color.
 A leather bag with intricate leatherwork and beading that is probably used during their long treks across the desert. 
No, not a bag... but a pillow. Imagine dreaming on one of these! 

So because I'm a blue freak I went to Asos and did alittle playing to find some great navy looks.

My recipe for a Giorgio look: Pair any of the above dresses with a fine cut blazer (love the large shoulders of this one to offset the dress) and then I would supplement the look with a navy satchel and a pair of comfy brogues. Who says you can't dress in one color?

Last post from England for a while. Off to clear up my hurricane.

- Life is good

Listening to: 'Rhapsody in Blue' - Gershwin 
Observations: The miracle that is seat upgrades
Craving: Snacks, but I need to stop binge eating

1 comment:

  1. i love this post, your blog is amazing - thank you so much for your sweet comments on mine!!!

    gotta love the fellow canadian bloggers!