Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Colorways/ The Power of Purple




NYC Highline and Interior
Props at Prop Haus
Produce at SF Growers Market
Artichokes, Coral Fern and Lilac
Yayoi Kusama, MoMA "Violet Obsession" 1994, Allium Purple Sensation Flowers


When I was in primary school, we used to sing a song in music class called "Purple People Eater" probably one of my conscious acknowledgements of purple, it was written and performed by Sheb Wooley, that reached #1 in the Billboard pop charts in 1958 (way before my time I may add!), in high school it was Hubba Bubba" purple colored grape bubble gum, I can still smell it now, I was seriously addicted to the stuff. Purple was a color my mother wore with pride when going through her late 80's "feminist phase" and of course there was Prince, the “purplist” of them all. Purple is one of those colors that people seem to drift back and forth from, in Styling, I have styled many purple trend/ decorating stories, used purple as accents and since living in the States, using a lot of purple with Thanksgiving/ Fall stories, for some reason it just resonates with all that pumpkin orange!

I personally painted my living space recently a very dusty lilac, much to my own surprise, as I usually hate the color, it was only because the mysterious color spirits told me to do it and for the space it works even though sometimes I fear I was having a Quentin Crisp moment.

Purple historically has a lot of connotations and in human color psychology, purple can be associated with royalty and nobility, In medieval Europe, blue dyes were rare and expensive, so only the most wealthy or the aristocracy could afford to wear them, In more modern times we have Purple Magazine”, A magazine that has became associated with the "realism" of the new fashion photography of the 1990’s, with names like Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Mario Sorrenti.

In my images here I have included images shot from the stock at New York prop house, “Prop Haus” www.prophaus.com, As stylists we are lucky with many prop houses that they color code their stock so as we edit for a story, we cut down a lot of time if we know what colors we need to pull for. I also do the same when visiting growers markets and floral markets, where I often take pictures of produce and botanicals to show Art Directors what I have in mind, Many of these were shot during a recent trip to the San Francisco Growers Markets at The Ferry Building.

In terms of interiors, Purple adds some opulence, especially if purple velvet, this image here is from French magazine, Maison Francaise. I also love Yayoi Kusama's "Violet Obsession" which was showing at MoMA, It is sewn and stuffed fabric over a rowboat, wry commentary on virility and power,  My favorite purple moment happened on New York’s High Line, where last year all the flowers were purple themed and at night purple light flooded the underground passages, it was truly spectacular.