50 Shades of Blue
by Veronica Iannuzzi
50 Shades of Blue
The Musée de la Mode has a new exhibition that explores the colour blue and its influence in fashion for last 100 years.
Feeling blue? Take a trip over to the Musée de la Mode and discover the new exhibition dedicated to the classic colour. Blue Spectrum takes a closer look at how designers have incorporated the hue into their collections throughout the 20th century. In addition to a stunning display of vintage and modern clothing, the curators also have a section dedicated to the history of blue and how it was manufactured and manipulated throughout the centuries. You’ll leave with an enlightened understanding about blue and a heightened appreciation for its metamorphosis.
When you walk into the exhibit, you’re immediately greeted with mannequins donning pieces from 1900 and onwards. You see classic-looking silhouettes from 1925 and statement-making pieces from the 80s’, and they all have one thing in common – blue. As you go from look to look, you begin to appreciate the different tones and textures. The colour transcends time and leaves a particular impression the way no other shade does. Its effect is calming, but it still gives a fashion-forward feel. Earlier in the century, designers played with the colour by giving it much darker shades, which arguably lends a chic yet understated feel, whereas the second half of century is represented by lighter hues and eye-catching embellishments – characteristically seen in the 70s and 80s.
Once you’ve appreciate the interpretation of the colour from different designers, both current and old, you then move on to a brief overview of blue and how people have built upon its origins. The exhibition goes as far back as Egypt and how people created the colour using an artificial pigment made from copper silicate. It became a major trade in Egypt and Mesopotamia and it carried over to the Middle East. Jumping forward several millennia to the year 1000 A.D., blue went through an evolution and it became connected to different elements of theology and religion – one important reference is the Virgin Mary and how she usually wears blue in many artistic interpretations. All these historical references have one major theme in common: namely that blue, in its beauty and simplicity, leaves an ethereal and soothing effect that has transcended time and history. To this day blue is worn by UN peacekeepers and has become a symbol of peace internationally.
Blue Spectrum aims to showcase the origins of a colour and how it has played out in the pages of history and fashion. As a viewer, you’re taken on a very unique journey and emerge with an amazing appreciation for the historical and symbolic depth of something as simple as the colour blue.
All images provided from Pinterest