Remember Pantone Radiant Orchid? Last year this was launched as the “colour of the year” by Pantone, a company which seeks to capitalise on colour trends, which clearly change from season to season and year to year. And when it first came out I thought it was very bland, a light, muted sort of cool shade. And I decided immediately it was not a shade for me.
Radiant Orchid. Sometimes the name affects you. I don’t dislike orchids, but it is not the sort of flower that appeals particularly. We have them in all the supermarkets and I associate them with old ladies who live indoors. Also with a particular style of interior decorating that is basically neutral with one or two “exotic” “splashes of colour” provided by orchids, some of which may even be artificial.
And just for comparison here are some actual supermarket orchids which are decidedly brighter but still pinky with a really bluish undertone.
This just shows that colours and how we feel about them is very much a subjective matter. And they go in and out of fashion. When I was growing up everyone was painting their homes cream and brown. Then there was a fashion for grey and yellow. Then there was terracotta and blue. Then everyone went for beiges. Now I understand grey is the best seller (after white).
Of course colours are in fashion, or not, and I was interested in my reaction to Radiant Orchid. I didn’t even bother to work out if it would be a colour that would suit me. I just didn’t fancy it.
Then I found myself planning on buying a new Swatch in the airport on the way to Egypt. This was to replace my existing white Swatch that had got rather grimy and hardened. And I looked at the pink, a sugary pink, and thought about it, then spied this purply-pink one. I have lots of pink in my wardrobe, but nothing whatsoever in this shade of purply pink. It was an available choice because it was a fashion fad. Somehow, inexplicably, it suddenly seemed “fresh” and new, and this was the watch I bought.
I have worn it every day and began to like the colour.
Then, on holiday, I went into an Ecco shoe shop. I don’t know if you like this Danish brand, but I find their shoes and boots particualarly comfortable. I found a nice pair of sandals in white, but they were full price. In the sale, at around £38, the same pair was available in radiant orchid. I already knew my watch looked good with much of my existing wardrobe – with jeans, with grey, navy or white. I was also really attracted to the little silver square buckles. I don’t feel I have purple feet but you can easily see in this photograph that this particular shade harmonises with my skin and the slightly blue look of my nails!
Because I now have toning shoes and watch I felt the need for a top. I was therefore pleased to find this sleeveless T for £1.49 in Marks and Spencer. And here I am at the Lords, having watched the first day of the Ashes.
I am not sure why I changed my mind about this colour. It now feels completely mine. I will mix and match these three items to create outfits that I can love. It seems to go with everything I already have but feels exciting as it is new to me. I asked Esme what she thought and she said it was a “little girl colour”, whereas I had seen it as old ladyish.
Not long ago I had a similar experience with lemon. I thought it a fuddy-duddy old lady colour, and perhaps “lavender” has similar connotations. But now I am becoming an old lady I realise I was blind to their charms.