A passion for purple

A passion for purple

Since Pantone recently announced that its 2018 colour of the year would be Ultra Violet, it has been mentioned three times in different articles and blog posts I have been assigned to translate, firstly as a super-funky hair colour, once as a wedding theme colour, which will apparently look amazing combined with the golden sand on Canary Island beaches, and then as a colour scheme for homes that “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”.

Oh Pantone! I do hope you are right. Last year’s pick was ‘greenery’, symbolic of new beginnings, and as far as I am concerned, the year, 2017 will not go down in history as the most optimistic and inspiring one, even as the company aimed to provide “the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment’. Black might have been a better choice last year considering the horrible behaviour of some politicians!

I adored purple as a young teenager, in fact my indulgent parents allowed me to decorate my bedroom in shades of purple. I had lilac wallpaper with dark purple roses printed on it outlined in gold, and a purple carpet and bedspread, which I thought were extremely glamorous, and they probably were! Then I got interested in pink… but who knows, Ultra Violet might just tempt me back.

Colour therapist say that purple is uplifting, calming, spiritual (whatever that means) and that it encourages creativity. The colour means different things to different people’s around the world, for example in Thailand it is the colour of mourning, whilst in the United States, a purple heart is the highest recognition of courage awarded to the armed forces.

Throughout history it has been associated with religion and royalty. Julius and Augustus Caesar decreed that they and they alone could wear the colour, and Nero made the sale of purple punishable by death. Charming!  Over time, little by little, Emperors allowed their staff, and later, magistrates to wear it.

Purple was the colour of the first manmade dye, which was calle mauvine (now you know where the word ‘mauve’ originates) and was formulated in 1856.

Other interesting fact… February is the month associated with purple, and the amethyst is the birthstone. My birthday is coming up soon, and I hope someone buys me one.

So now you know, the shops are likely to be packed with Ultra Violet items this year, and so might your hairdresser’s salon. Although glorious violet tresses look lovely on paper (or on your computer screen), achieving and maintaining this look means hours in the hair salon and lots of effort at home to keep the result from fading. Perhaps I’ll just buy a purple hat!

Juliet Allaway 

Written by editor