Sunday, September 18, 2011

De Colores

I was recently privilidged with the opportunity to sit in a room full of Rothkos (Wikipedia-him). It was a small quaint room where I could sit quietly and let Rothko romantically seduce me to concepts about color. Yes, Rothko your green is complex, bluish, translucent, bottomless, seductive and ethereal; your pink is whimsical, powerful, open, infinitely spiral, sparkling and…oh my goodness was that my heart skipping a beat from all the jazzy hues? What can I say, color has an effect on me and that’s why I sighed and sat there with a smile for a few minutes. And then, when I was done ruminating through the other halls, I went back for one last moment of blissful colors before exiting the museum.

In the fashion world, color is a yo-yo concept that goes in and out of “style”; in the process, the concept  is edited, formatted, and narrated by the industry to be “re-invented” every few years as something new to try, complete with mixed messages. First, they tell you black is slimming and you should wear it to feel good about yourself. Simultaneously, they make you inherently afraid of color because it will make you feel the opposite: fat, unattractive and abnormally visible. And with that framework, they occasionally send you a message that this season “do not be afraid of color”. So if you DO wear it when they tell you to “embrace” it, you are bold, powerful and OMG, such a “fashionista”.

Well, I’m not afraid of it. I haven’t been ever since I started actually experimenting with styling myself. And I hope I never feel afraid of it; that I wear across the seasons, in all its various elements; and that it remains a tool in my arsenal of happiness. It’s not just me who feels this way. Color is a part of many cultures around the world and it was actually very prominent in pre-historic culture. Further, color is so common in the natural world that it’s even used to signal gender and sex by some animals including many species of birds. Of course, not everyone loves color, for not everyone has my reaction to Rothko. Check out this Youtube video of a Mad Men episode which hilariously portrays the opposite effects that Rothko has on people.

So, what I’m saying is, I personally love color in my style; but there’s people who naturally dislike it or interpret it differently. And that’s okay. But I just beg you to analyze why you don’t like it. Is it because they are telling you not to wear it to look skinny or that it’s out of “style”? If that’s your reason, I think you should go stare at Rothkos a bit and see if it changes your mind about the power of color.
I leave you with a song I used to sing as a kid…

De colores, De colores se visten los campos en la primavera
De colores, De colores son los pajarillos que vienen de afuera
De colores, De colores es el arco iris que vemos lucir

Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mi
Y por eso los grandes amores
De muchos colores me gustan a mi