We have a task for you: close your eyes and imagine a flamenco dancer... We can bet in your mind's eye most of you will get the image of a dark-haired beauty in a blood-coloured dress with layers upon layers of ruffles. For most people red is the colour intrinsically linked with the flamenco. And even though dancers use a wide variety of colours when dressing for performances, there is no escaping the classic due - red and black. That's why we want to dive into the history of this beautiful colour.
Do you know the meaning attributed to the colour red in different cultures? In Asia, it is associated with wealth and happiness. In Europe, it has just as many positive as negative connotations: it is the colour of blood, success, fire and love; it is exciting and intriguing, sensual and passionate. Red is never out of style, and for the last couple of seasons, the unforgettable ‘red look’ is a constant feature on catwalks and fashion shows. People who go for red are usually energetic, active, audacious and outgoing. You can count on red to spice up your temper or add more confidence to the more timid ones. In a nutshell - it’s a perfect fashion choice.
Red is among the favourite colours chosen by fashion designers. You don’t need to have a flawless figure to pull off red clothes, and it is a colour which suits you no mather the age, and looks great on blond, brunette, or ginger beauties. Women with more delicate features can opt for a warmer shade - coral, tomato, poppy or scarlet. Redheads with freckles will look gorgeous in brick or rust-coloured shades. The ladies with cool undertones can highlight their elegant beauty with cool shades such as cherry red.
Red goes perfectly with many other colours and hues - you can pair it with red, black, different shades of grey or even with juicy green, honey yellow and intense fuchsia. If you are looking to make an impact, try matching red with toned down navy blue or bright brown. You can be sure to notice various shades of red in athletic clothes and marine styles but it is just as common in unique couture gowns. There are plenty of options to choose from - for everyday outfits you can choose the shade that'll match your complexion and character best. And in red, you’ll certainly catch everyone’s attention, so if you’d like to remain unseen - stay clear of red or go for a more subdued, matte hue.
One of the most exciting shades of red is the chilli pepper - elegant, sophisticated, mysterious and warm. It’s just as perfect a choice for a casual look and a red carpet outing. You are a brunette or a summer-type blonde - that’s your colour! It featured heavily in dresses, shirts and jackets by Dolce & Gabbana and Armani.
There was also another red comeback on runways of the world - biking red, somewhere between burgundy and ruby, maroon mixed with brown. It appeared in a leather bomber jacket, tulle dresses, patent coats and capes by Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana. It’s a great alternative for classic navy blue, brown and cherry.
While talking about red in fashion, one name has to come up - Valentino Garavani, the founder of Valentino fashion house. He would often use the colour red while designing beautiful gowns, trousers and coats. The finishing touch to his farewell show was delivered by models parading in breathtaking red gowns made of silk and lace. There is even a separate shade of red named after the designer - Valentino red is a deep shade of light red.
Another designer fan of the fire colour is Micheal Kors. One of his collections featured sexy red dresses with open backs. Kenzo used red in everyday pret-a-porter clothes both for women and for men. Another red enthusiast is Alber Elbaz, who for years occupied the position of Lanvin creative director. His über feminine designers stood out for the use of drapery and shining fabrics. He was also known for midi dresses and sensual models sometimes decorated with a black flower print.
Red is also synonymous with Christian Louboutin. Women all over the world dream of famous red-sole heels. They were among “Sex and the City” heroine, Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite labels. There was also a bit of a scandal tied to these notorious red soles. Yves Saint Laurent’s fashion house also issued shoes with red-coloured soles, which caused an uproar in the fashion world. The case ended up in court and the judge awarded Louboutin an exclusive right to use the design. Apparently, there is a place for only one red-sole shoes designer.
Red has always been present in make-up providing perfect finishing touches to a woman’s look. Red nails and lips are beauty and simplicity incarnated. It was Coco Chanel who introduced the red lip trend. Her lipstick quickly became a “must-have”. And finally, there is red in logos - you can spot red poppies on Kenzo perfumes and red apple from Donna Karan - another red promoter.
Red suits everyone - it makes us feel beautiful. There is only one condition - you need to choose the shade that’s right for you. Once you’ve done that there’s no limiting the ways you can use it. Put on girly and flowy red summer dresses with ruffles or get a red wrap skirt in white polka dots - red clothes will serve you well for years. Remember, it is one of the base colours and, just as white and black, it’ll never fall out of fashion grace. And well-chosen red can become your biggest ally.