Colors bear their own code of associations, conjuring certain perceptions in our minds and eliciting physiological and emotional responses. One might argue that our interaction with colors is akin to the masterful strokes of a poet’s pen—conveying emotions, sensations, and ideas that dwell deep within the subconscious realm.
THE BLUE DRESS
“As we readily follow an agreeable object that flies from us, so we love to contemplate blue, not because it advances to us, but because it draws us after it.”
— Goethe (Theory of Colors)
A mesmerizing synthesis of the boundless skies above and the oceanic abyss below, blue is rightfully regarded as the most versatile and profound of all colors. With a spectrum encompassing turquoise, aquamarine, ultramarine, cobalt, azurite, classic blue, and royal navy, blue’s richness in shades and hues lends itself to a nuanced symbolism. One can be flirtatious in aquamarine, serene in sky blue, confident in cobalt, introspective in ultramarine, or regally assertive in the royal navy. This chameleon-like quality of blue is precisely why we sometimes find ourselves “feeling blue,” as opposed to, say, “feeling green,” an emotion that originated an entire musical genre, the soul-stirring blues.
Below, we dive into our favorite expressions of blue, as elegantly showcased by Argent’s fashion diva, Mila Belcheva, featuring collections by Fashion Boutique Alegra – Varna.
CONFIDENCE AND TRUST
Blue’s tranquil nature has a grounding effect on the psyche, imbuing those who wear it with an aura of poise and self-assurance. It’s like adorning oneself in a cloak of capability, making the wearer seem proficient and reliable.
In the corporate realm, blue isn’t merely a preference; it’s a strategy to evoke a feeling of trust and confidence in one’s products and services. Giants like Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, Amazon, Ford, PayPal, IBM, and LinkedIn all selected blue to represent their branding arsenal. This choice of color stands as a silent promise of reliability and quality, a subtle nudge encouraging consumer loyalty and faith.
The trustworthy properties of blue stretch well beyond the world of business. In Hindu philosophy, it symbolizes the throat chakra, or Vishuddha, located at the throat’s base. This energy center is the command post of self-expression and communication. Donning blue is believed to stimulate Vishuddha, enhancing one’s ability to convey thoughts and emotions with clarity and conviction. Effective communication, as we know, is intrinsically linked to confidence, a trait that carries an undeniable allure if we are to agree with Dr. Frasier Crane (of the “Cheers” and “Frasier” fame) that “there’s no greater aphrodisiac than confidence.” Seen through this lens, a person robed in blue, exuding eloquence and self-assurance, becomes a magnetic presence for those around.
In the romantic tradition, blue is the symbol of an endless chase for the elusive and unattainable. Enter the eternal blaue blume (blue flower) of the Romantic era, a symbol steeped in desire for what remains just beyond grasp. The blue flower calls, enchants, and captivates the senses while remaining distant and elusive.
In the annals of German Romanticism, Novalis notably wove the blue flower into the fabric of his novel “Heinrich von Ofterdingen.” Here, the protagonist’s journey in search of this elusive bloom mirrors the author’s quest for artistic and personal enlightenment. For Novalis, this flower stood as a transcendent ideal – a fusion of imagination, emotion, and spirituality.
Russian symbolist Alexander Blok was captivated by the blue flower’s enigma, too. In Block’s poetic universe, sinii tsvetok embodied a deep-seated longing for something beyond the mundane – a yearning for the divine, for a touch of the mystical that is somewhere out there.
In G.R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the blue winter rose surfaces as a symbol of unfulfilled desires and forbidden love. The moment Rhaegar Targaryen publicly crowns Lady Lyanna Stark with a garland of blue winter roses, bypassing his own wife, he sets off an array of tragic narratives yet to unfold.
Across these literary landscapes, the blue flower stands as a symbol of the intricacies of human longing and the heart’s eternal pursuit of what is tantalizingly unattainable.
DIVINITY AND TRANCENDANCE
Outside the realms of romance and seduction, blue has long been entwined with notions of divinity and serenity. Delving into Hinduism once more, Krishna, the supreme deity, is often depicted with blue skin, signifying his divine and transcendent nature. In Chinese culture, blue represents healing, harmony, and immortality; an association echoed in ancient Chinese porcelain, which often features elaborate blue patterns.
Within the sands of ancient Egypt, blue was regarded as the color of the gods, with the royal gemstone Lapis Lazuli widely believed to possess divine properties. The Egyptians held that this sacred stone would guide the souls of the deceased into the afterlife, granting them protection and eternal peace.
Fast forwarding to the 15th century, when Christian iconography would often portray the Virgin Mary adorned in a blue cloak as a symbol of her divine essence, purity, and comforting presence. Often chosen by those who wish to radiate an aura of mystery, inner peace, or profound wisdom. Today, blue remains a color that speaks not only to the eyes but to the soul and is frequently chosen by those who seek to radiate an aura of spirituality and a sense of inner peace.
A JOURNEY INTO THE SUPERNATURAL
A color abundant in nuances, blue captures not only the divine but also delves into the introspective and supernatural. As Goethe observed, blue attracts us, not by coming toward us but by luring us into its endless depths. This sentiment was expanded upon by the renowned painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky in his seminal work, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” Kandinsky saw blue as possessing a unique “calling towards the deep, the inner, and the supernatural.” The darker the shade of blue, he believed, the deeper the feelings of introspection, contemplation, and a longing for the unknown.
This interplay between blue and the supernatural brings to mind the mesmerizing portrait of the fallen angel by Mikhail Vrubel, a masterpiece I was privileged to admire in person at the Tretyakov Gallery a few years back. We see Vrubel’s Demon enshrouded in shades of blue; his gaze fixated on the distant landscape. Afflicted with an overwhelming passion for the Georgian girl Tamara, he exudes profound solitude, longing, and inner turmoil. Described by Vrubel as “a spirit, not so much evil as suffering and sorrowing, yet in all that a powerful and majestic spirit,” the Demon’s portrait perfectly captures this essence of blue to speak of the complexities of our human psyche and relentless search for emotions that lie deep within us.
Pure or seductive, trustworthy or elusive, divine or demonic — blue has it all. Paired with the right accessories and attitude, this nuanced color offers the perfect canvas to express our multifaceted personalities time and time again, making statement after statement.
[Published originally in the 2018 Summer issue of Falchion Pub.]
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