Why orange also has a complex relationship with fashion

I have mixed feelings about the color orange. Our recent political history is to blame. Donald Trump was famous for his shocking cantaloupe complexion. Many can say that he also shares his makeup with his great friend Narendra Modi. Modi’s starchy complexion has often matched his kurtas. But he seems to have abandoned his penchant for orange with the rise of Yogi Adityanath. Yogi ji’s orange is so overwhelming you just don’t want to see it anywhere else.

We’re so fed up with the hue that I can hardly blame BJP’s Narottam Mishra for feeling outraged by Deepika Padukone’s orange swimsuit in the song ‘Besharam Rang’. Just 15 seconds of the tanned, toned actor twirling around in it has hurt “Hindu feelings” to such a degree that they want to ban the film altogether. Of course, it’s just a coincidence that his dance partner is Shah Rukh My-Name-Is-Khan, and Padukone showed up at JNU in 2020 in support of the student protests. Rest assured that the diversion has nothing to do with our recent confrontation with Chinese soldiers at Tawang.

In fact, Shah Rukh had also uttered the hit song “Rang de tu mohe gehrua” (color me saffron) in Dilwale (2015). Famous BJP spokesperson Amit Malviya mocked Mamata Banerjee when Arijit Singh sang the song in front of her in Kolkata recently.

I don’t think I’ve ever owned an orange dress or shirt. Perhaps the red-yellow combination dulls brown skin even though it brightens up white to black skin tones. In the movie Legally Blonde (2001), Elle Wood said, “Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously deranged.” Orange also has a complex relationship with fashion.

That said, it has all-season appeal. It’s a fabulously sunny color to wear in the summer, it’s an homage to autumn leaves in the fall (like the chinar leaves of Kashmir), and it offers great pop in the dull grays of winter. .

This summer, Rihanna stepped out in a fuzzy orange coat, Blake Lively in a pantsuit and Winnie Harlow in a mini. Hermès, of course, has made luxurious orange its signature color. The shade has happy connotations. A mixture of red and yellow, orange combines passion and positivity. It’s said to inspire creativity and elevate the mood – in fashion parlance it’s called a ‘dopaminergic band-aid’.

It also draws attention, a touch of it directs the eye where to look. Orange signs, on the other hand, are a symbol of danger and are used on safety equipment. Few on the right would know, but orange is also a symbol of sexuality and reproduction (even if Deepika Padukone doesn’t wear it). The representative color of the Svadhisthana, or sacral chakra, is orange. The sacral chakra, our energy center below the navel and close to the genitals, is known to stimulate sexuality and creativity.

There are often oranges that are not orange. Like the fruit that comes from Florida, it is treated with a coloring called “Citrus Red2” to create that luminous hue that we recognize so easily. Indeed, the natural color of Florida oranges is green, thanks to the excess chlorophyll they produce. Blood oranges from Spain and Italy, on the other hand, are quite red.

It is ironic that color generates such contrasting and polarizing emotions. Why blame poor bhakts then, orange is really their shadow.

@namratazakaria

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