My passion for the colour goes back to memories of kindergarten. I had this incredible dress; black with big and bright sunflowers. I remember it vividly as if it was yesterday. And by today, it still remains my favourite of all. Why? I can't explain it. But I've now learned a lot and will share some insights.
Yellow. A primary colour of the whole colour spectrum. Used to convey so many contradicting messages within fashion history, yet still being part of it every damn season. A colour that has never left and will never leave my closet. It touches me deeply.
As Vogue describes brilliantly:
"The history of yellow is controversial. Hated, loved, mistreated, it was among the colours of the latest fashion shows. The colour yellow is, in nature, a sign of danger. Something humans have copied, due to its luminosity and to the fact that it’s immediately recognizable, so much that school buses, taxies and stop lights are yellow. It's a primary colour and so it's the base of endless shades of colours, yellow was a shade loved also by Impressionists such as Matisse and Gauguin, from the Fauves to the representatives of Abstract art like Mirò. If the first artists mixed and developed it in tens of different shades, the latter paint yellow as the main colour, full and pure."
Yellow means warmth and energy to me. I associate the brighter spectrum with dazzling power, that can compete with any other colour to make the outfit be filled with energy.
And the range of tones is endless: neon, sherbet, canary, sunflower, ocher, lemon, pastel, cream, pale, saffron, gold, mustard, flash tone or spicy and soft, pumpkin, taxi yellow or sun-colour. But when wearing it, among these it is important to find the colour that fits best with your skin tone but also your personality.
It works with denim blue, sweet pastel pink or emerald green satin. To wear it more subtle, pair it with black and white.
And psychology agrees with what my body feels when being dressed in yellow: in colour-therapy yellow indicates a sunny disposition and a desire for change. A splash of optimism and a whip of energy.
We know the colour today to be a cheerful and vibrant choice in fashion. However, yellow is also the preferred colour choice worn for public service uniforms for decades. Back again to the taxis and busses. Human interpretation still narrates along giving attention.
First during medieval times, yellow was replacing gold when it was too expensive for the project, like for example used for the background in frescoes, large surfaces. Sometimes gold was used on frescoes, it simply depended on how much a community could afford. Yellow instead was a much cheaper alternative that still represented the divine light.
During the Victorian decades, yellow was believed to be the colour most similar to light, representing sunlight. With shades ranging from the palest butter to the liveliest lemon, it was suitable for morning dresses, day dresses, evening gowns, and seaside wear. Fashion magazines and colour experts of the day recommended restricting clear, bright yellows to spring and summer. However, shades of yellow could be seen in fashionable dresses throughout the year, often in the form of gloves, a fancy fan or a stylish hat.
Yellow was particularly valued in the 20th century because of its high visibility, which remains up to the 21st century. The taxis and busses again...
In the west, yellow is not a well-loved colour though. In a 2000 survey, only 6% of respondents in Europe and America named it as their favourite colour. Compared with 45 % for blue, 15 % for green, 12 % for red, and finally the 10 % of Scandinavians voting for black. For 7 % of respondents, it was their least favourite colour. No idea how that had happened.
It is the colour most associated with optimism and pleasure; it is a colour designed to attract attention and is used for amusement. Yellow dresses in fashion are rare but always associated with gaiety and celebration.
And to me, it's part of my visual identity. It's what I wear when it's not black. It's what I pick when I have to choose amongst all those colours. It gives me warmth and screams power. Yellow gives me my superpower.