In the fashion circle, there is a famous joke: “Look through your grandmother’s wardrobe, maybe you can find this year’s popular styles.” This sentence means that many of the most popular designs today are actually elements from decades ago. Looking for inspiration in, after more or less processing, it has become a new trend again. Color is an important part of fashion, too.
If you search for words about color on the Internet, names such as “advanced gray” and “smog blue” will come up one after another, which makes many people who do not pay attention to the trend even a little puzzled: how advanced is advanced gray? Why is the haze color not gray but blue? Even Pantone, an international color authority, has teamed up with designer JASON WU to launch a new gray “JASON WU Gray”. “. When there are more and more colors that are quickly sought after with low saturation, and it is too late to name them, people find that these low-saturation color systems actually appeared in the early 20th century. This color system It originated from the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, so it is called “Morandi color”.
Soft colors with low saturation are preferred
At the beginning of the 20th century, when Morandi painted bottles and jars in churches and colleges for decades, he should not have imagined that the color system he formulated would set off a wave of fashion decades later. Morandi’s life can be described as “low-key”. He was neither as poor as Van Gogh, who had won the top prize at the Venice Biennale, nor as striking as Picasso, nor did he live to see his work in the Louvre. collect. In modern words, Morandi is an “iron otaku”. He was born in Bologna, studied painting in Bologna, and taught in Bologna. In fact, he only went abroad once in his life – to see art exhibitions in Zurich, except for some simple trips in Italy, Morandi almost all his life. Living a simple life in his hometown, even after his works won awards, many art dealers wanted to cooperate with him, but most of them were rejected by him. In his heart, art is his family, his wife and even everything. In Morandi’s creative career, most of the paintings are depicting the simplest items in life – cups, plates, bottles and jars, perhaps these most warm objects in life give him the color. Inspiration: Morandi uses gray tones to neutralize the bright colors, so that the saturation of the colors becomes lower. The original strong colors seem to be covered with a layer of fog after the gray tones, and the impact is not so strong, but instead. Let the colors become gentle and elegant, people will not feel tired after seeing these colors, but also feel a little warm from them. And this muted color reduces the visual impact and weakens the strong impact on people’s emotions-dangerous or intense red, mysterious purple, and melancholy blue can create peace and tranquility after desaturation , mysterious and profound atmosphere, make people feel comfortable and elegant, emotional people will feel relieved after seeing it, and emotionally depressed people will feel healed after seeing it.
On Chinese social networks, Morandi’s “sweeping list” is because of an ancient costume TV series called “Strategy of Yanxi Palace”. Compared with previous court dramas, this drama claimed to have spent a lot of money on costumes, makeup and props when it was promoted. The quality of the actual film is indeed worthy of the investment. The costumes of the characters in the play are exquisite. Compared with the high-saturation color costumes in traditional court dramas, the costume colors in “Story of Yanxi Palace” are mainly delicate and elegant, and the soft costume colors match. The gray filter is full of “high-level sense”. People searched for the source of color, “digged” out the “dusty” Morandi color, and found a home for “high-grade gray” “smog blue” and other colors that were previously unknown. In fact, the color of the clothing in “Strategy of Yanxi Palace” is not the standard Morandi color, but the traditional Chinese color, such as: meat powder mixed with eosin, garcinia and water, phthalocyanine blue, garcinia and ink tones Crab blue made of cyan, moon white made of cyanine and ink, indigo made of phthalocyanine blue and cyanine, and so on. Compared with Morandi’s bright gray tone, traditional Chinese colors are more calm because they are mostly modulated with ink. However, whether it is a traditional color or a Morandi color, this low-saturation color is indeed full of “high-level sense” for people today. So, where does this “high-level sense” come from?
The Era of “Advanced”
In fact, the “high-level sense” is not the color itself, but different groups of people have produced relatively high-end color associations according to different cultural and historical environments and personal experiences. This is defined by the changes of the times, technological development, cultural trends and even the media means of different times.
In the Renaissance, whether it was Raphael or Titian, they painted the Virgin Mary in gorgeous carmine and blue, because this was the most advanced color of the Renaissance. Why were these two colors the most advanced at the time? The answer is simple – expensive. At that time, in order to achieve the dark blue color in the visual effect, it was necessary to grind it into powder with lapis lazuli and mix it with other additives. Lapis is a precious gemstone, and the price is extremely expensive – it is said that the price of lapis lazuli was twice that of gold at that time, so the painters at that time used blue with extreme caution, even to the point of “only noble and pure like the Virgin Mary. To the point of using such an expensive blue”. Carmine is also hard-earned. It is said that after Columbus discovered the New World, cochineal insects were found in America, and they were dried to make the red color used for painting. The price of pigments from across the ocean is naturally high. Therefore, carmine and blue have become symbols of high-end, and the color that can only be used by the Virgin Mary has also become a representative of identity. It was a veritable “high-end color” at that time. “.
In the era of Morandi, Morandi was not a high-end color at that time. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Impressionist trend prevailed, and the bright and bright Impressionist colors were the trend. At that time, the development of photographic technology had a great impact on the art of painting. After all, the panic of traditional technology brought about by new technology is very common in human history. From a realistic point of view, painting is no better than photography. In that era, post-impressionist painters broke through the shackles of traditional concepts and emphasized the expression of subjective spirit. As the most important weapon against black and white cameras at that time, strong and bold tones were particularly sought after. Because of the influence of art, these tones also became the “high-end colors” at that time.
In the 1920s and 1930s, with the development of technology and the development of socialized mass production, the modernist style entered the stage of history. The color of the industrialized material itself became a popular color at that time. Although there was no deliberately adjusted color, the color of the raw material itself represented the eulogy of advanced technologies such as mechanization, and the modernist style represented by the Bauhaus school was the most respected. “Premium Color”.
In the 1950s, with the end of World War II, the center of modern art shifted from Paris to New York. With the advent of the third industrial revolution, the speed of social development and change is getting faster and faster, and the speed of new trends and advanced colors is also more frequent. “Premium Color”. In the 1960s and 1970s, the popularity of Pop Art made bright collision colors become the trend again, and the psychedelic and jumping color matching was the main color system of that era. In the 1980s, the fluorescent color array with a sense of science fiction and high saturation became the darling of fashion again. The “popular trend” that everyone’s attention.
After the millennium, with the great abundance of commodities and the prevalence of consumerism, the trend color changes faster and faster. What used to be a 10-year trend is now a year or even a season. Changeable fashion trends and various commodities make many people feel that they are dominated by material desires and surrounded by commodities. Therefore, people hope to liberate themselves, to jump out of the complex and materialistic society, to separate themselves from the complex environment, to sink down and reflect on their own hearts, so that they have enough time to think and live. “Simplify the form and highlight its own existence”, under this concept, the trend of minimalist thought began to form. From frigidity to wabi-sabi, these aesthetics are products of minimalist thinking.
Simplicity, simplicity, and attention to texture can allow oneself to examine the heart calmly. After examining the heart, you can feel the warmth of your own. After all elements are combined, people find that the low-key, elegant, and textured Morandi color is simply The best match for this style. The minimalist style represents restraint, but a higher level of desire is hidden under restraint, and low saturation means that it can still release its own charm when there is no need for grandstanding. This is simply a combination tailored for “high-end”, and it is no wonder that Morandi can lead a wave.
During the Renaissance, whether in the works of Titian or Raphael, the Virgin Mary was dressed in gorgeous carmine and blue.
During the Renaissance, whether in the works of Titian or Raphael, the Virgin Mary was dressed in gorgeous carmine and blue.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the post-impressionist trend prevailed, and the bright and bright Impressionist colors became the trend. The picture shows “Tiger in a Tropical Storm” by the Impressionist painter Henri Rousseau.
Modern craftsmanship helps color aesthetics
The “high-level sense” of Morandi color is also inextricably linked with the level of modern printing and dyeing technology. In fact, it does not mean that low saturation will make it look advanced. Don’t you see the exclusive color of “King of Bags” Hermès – “Hermes Orange” is a very saturated color. Who would think that Hermes is not advanced? And “Hermes Orange” is not a masterpiece.
Before World War II, Hermès packaging was off-white and made of cardboard imitating pigskin. With the outbreak of World War II, production gradually came to a standstill, and Hermès could not find a manufacturer to produce after the packaging inventory was exhausted. Out of desperation, Hermès could only use the only orange-red cardboard left in the factory at that time as packaging. I thought this high-profile color would not be loved by the public, but I didn’t expect the effect to be surprisingly good, and it was well received by consumers. On the one hand, this bright orange gives a feeling of warmth and hope during the war, and on the other hand, this orange matches the tone of Hermès leather goods. Therefore, after the end of World War II, Hermes changed the packaging of all products to this color in order to commemorate the era of material scarcity, and gradually evolved into an eternal classic in the fashion industry-Hermes Orange. But why are the same high-saturation colors, some look very advanced and some look less advanced? In fact, it has a lot to do with the material.
High-saturation color printing and dyeing is relatively simple and easy to operate. Therefore, many low-end products like to use high-saturation colors to reduce costs, and low cost often means poor materials and relatively rough color craftsmanship. High saturation The color is naturally very eye-catching, “not advanced”. However, many expensive luxury brands also use high-saturation colors. On the one hand, the material itself has been carefully selected. On the other hand, the designer has repeatedly scrutinized what color to match. The printing and dyeing technology will naturally appear exquisite and high-end. Moreover, when luxury goods use high-saturation colors, they have gone through several layers of screening in terms of publicity and promotion, T-stage catwalks, etc., and those left behind have been baptized by fashion people and market judgments, and won the “Judges and Audience” recognition, of course, there is no sense of cheapness.
Turning your eyes back to Morandi color, you will find that it happens to be in the middle ground between “shoddy” and “selected”. With the development of printing and dyeing technology, the use of low-saturation colors has gradually matured and stabilized, and low-saturation colors are not picky about the material itself. Some relatively low-cost materials have their own texture due to the addition of Morandi colors. , and the hazy feeling and a little graininess brought by the gray tones in the Morandi color make the material and color combine well. Moderate, comfortable, hazy, and non-aggressive, these labels naturally unify the two. Make merchants more willing to choose this color to create products, and the audience is also willing to be affixed with these “labels” of Morandi color, so the name “advanced color” is like a link, connecting merchants and consumers. Together, this color system has been widely recognized with high-end aesthetics.
The blue created by Yves Klein is known as “the absolute blue” and “the purest blue in the world”.
The ultimate pursuit achieves “Klein blue”
However, fashion and trends are like the face of a child, and the trend of Morandi has not yet receded. “Klein Blue” has become the “new favorite” of the trend, occupying the shelves that originally belonged to Morandi. color location. Klein blue is not a newly invented color. Like Morandi, Klein blue was born in the middle of the 20th century.
In 1960, Pop artist Yves Klein exhibited eight monochromatic panels of the same size at the Milan Art Exhibition. A formal appearance in front of the world. Klein called this blue “absolute blue”, which is the purest blue, symbolizing the sky, sea and air, depth and infinity, freedom and life, the most essential color of the universe, and the most representative color. color of self. At the same time as the exhibition, Klein patented this blue color, and the name “International Klein Blue” was officially born.
In fact, before the birth of “Klein Blue”, Klein also experienced failure. Originally a judo player, Klein gradually turned to the field of art in 1954. He made art in a style that rejected the secular and boldly innovative. Driven by the idea of ”liberating color from the cage of lines”, Klein made art. Because started his “monochromatic art”. His works are painted all over the canvas with a single color, which for him is the only way of painting that allows “to see what is absolutely visible”. For ordinary people, these monochromatic paintings are not much like paintings, but just a colored canvas. Unsurprisingly, when Klein brought his most proud work “Orange” to the exhibition, he was ruthlessly rejected by the organizer. Klein’s comment was: “This work is really not enough. If you can accept at least a little addition, or even a little bit of other color, we may agree to show it. But if it is only One color is impossible…” However, this rejection did not make Klein flinch, but made him stick to his monochrome art even more. After self-reflection, he decided to give up the other colors and go all out to paint blue.
Later, with the help of a material dealer friend, Klein blended ultramarine powder into a synthetic resin, and finally formulated the blue color he wanted. He chose a fine woven cotton with a very fine texture as a canvas, then covered a layer of milk on the surface of the cotton cloth, and finally quickly painted the canvas with the vigorously stirred blue. This kind of treatment makes the whole work look only blue, but in a flat and consistent picture, the tiny particles and folds composed of cotton cloth and pigments are like tiny waves on the sea. Viewing this work is like looking down from an airplane. Like the sea, calm, deep but not rigid. With the great success of the Milan Art Exhibition, “Klein Blue” quickly became the darling of designers and artists. Just two years after the birth of “Klein Blue”, in 1962, Yves Klein died of a heart attack, but the “Klein Blue” he left behind has become a classic color. With this shade of blue, Klein joins Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys as the four artists who made the greatest contribution to world art in the second half of the 20th century.
Although “Klein Blue” has a high status in the art world, for ordinary people, due to the high saturation, “Klein Blue” is not pleasing at first glance, but will make some People feel dizzy. Apple’s mobile phones also “turned over” because of the “Klein Blue” color scheme. Under the glossy mobile phone material, even with Apple’s top industrial design blessing, the “Klein Blue” color Apple mobile phone still looks very cheap, and many netizens even use trash cans, slippers, broom blue and Apple mobile phones. In contrast, complain about the cheapness of this color scheme. Although it has encountered a “rollover” in the field of mobile phones, in the fields of clothing, design, home improvement and other fields, “Klein Blue” firmly occupies the position of “high-end sense” and is a veritable “color top”, even Some people say that if a woman doesn’t have a “Klein Blue” dress in her closet, she’s too embarrassed to come out to a party.
Color also has “rules”
From Morandi to Klein blue, who made these popular colors full of “high-end”? In fact, popular colors are really “formulated”.
International Fashion Color Association, Color Marketing Group, American Color Association and other organizations, after discussion and voting by a committee of experts, selected several groups of colors as the fashion color trends in the next 1-3 years. Later, Pantone, an international color standard organization, released the color card of popular colors for designers and artists to refer to and promote. Therefore, as the dialogue in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” tells, “The color you think is selected by yourself is actually the one that has been screened and processed by countless people for you to choose.” Although popular colors seem to be made by Experts “selected it with a pat on the head”, but it is also closely related to the social environment at that time. For example: The reason why “green grass” was chosen as the popular color in 2017 was because the economic downturn in 2017, Brexit, environmental pollution and other issues brought a lot of negative emotions, and “green grass” can be reminiscent of green Plants, so as to achieve the purpose of relieving tension. The popular color “coral orange” in 2019 represents concerns and vigilance against climate change. It hopes to remind people that coral groups are dying due to rising ocean temperatures through the color of coral, and to use color to arouse people’s awareness of environmental protection s concern.
Whether it is “advanced color” or “popular color”, it is actually chosen, formulated and given by others. Trending is one thing, but being right for you is another. How to choose your own color? In the famous short film “Love, Death, Robot”, a story called “Qima Lan” may give us the answer.
2017’s “green grass”, 2019’s “coral orange” and “Qima blue” that touches people’s souls.
In the story, there is an artist named Qima, who is famous and famous all over the world. In an unintentional creation, he concocted a blue that touched his soul, so he started to use only this blue. From painting, architecture, and even using the universe as a canvas to paint stars in this blue, people call this blue “Qima Blue” after him. When Zima used this blue to create, he also began to search for his “original heart”. At his last show, he told the world the truth: he was originally a simple robot cleaning swimming pools, but as he kept changing owners, he was constantly upgraded until he had a mind and became a A world-renowned artist. The reason why “Qima Blue” can touch his soul is only because the color of the pool tiles was this blue when he first started as a pool cleaning robot. He has been immersed in the cleaning of the swimming pool since he was made. This blue is like the hotbed of his growth, and it is also the most original, the most original and the most relaxed color he feels as a robot. At the end of the story, Qima gradually decomposes the body made by the machine, degenerates the mind gradually, and changes back to the simplest swimming pool cleaning robot, forever immersed in the color of “Qima Blue”, and forever immersed in his own in the heart.
There are many interpretations of this story. But as far as color is concerned, the color that belongs to you most from your heart is your own “Qima Blue”, which is your own “advanced color”, which is decided by everyone, not given by others. Everyone has their own “Qima Blue”, I hope you can find it.