There’s no doubt that since the initiation of high fashion, yellow, blue and red in their saturated, true hues have become something of a standardized colour in every fashion contender’s wardrobe. These colours have a steady habit of resurfacing, season after season. The same three colours that Google generate, as they pride themselves in one of the most established colour schemes in branding, and the same three Crayola colours that lured your attention as a toddler in kindergarten. More importantly, these colours have found their way onto the leathers, the silks and the demins of world’s most beautiful fashion pieces. But why do we have this insatiable hunger for the three poignant colours that should technically clash with one another? This article explores the concept of primary colours, their history, their current position in modern fashion and why we simply cant get enough of them.
Like the little black dress, the plain white tee and Barbie, the primary colours are one of those ‘things’ that will never go out of style. They are the only three colours that transcend seasons, fads, and fashion decades. A single red coat looked as good on Verushka in a 1965 David Baily editorial as it does today, on Miroslava duma at the Carrousel du Louvre.
A pair of cobalt blue shoes paired with a monochrome androgynous pants suit in 2014 looks as good (well almost as good), as the cobalt blue, wide shouldered satin blazer which devastatingly hailed as fashion’s height of sophistication in the 80’s. Still there is something so deeply attractive about those three colours, whether independent or combined, which, by the laws of the colour wheel should inherently clash when placed together, but contrary to this notion, the three colours automatically bring about a beautiful incandescence come rain or shine.
Why have these three colours, so distinguished from one another, reigned supreme for so long and continue to dominate the trajectory of spring, summer, autumn, winter when they immediate connotations of school classrooms and lego? Well, anyone who paid attention in art class will know that blue, yellow and red are the only colours which cannot be created by mixing two colours together and that mixing any of the three colours together can create an infinity of new colours. Apart from that, and onto a more fashion related explanation, primary colours pose as the ultimate ‘when in doubt’ appropriators and just like that, a striking yellow clutch can transform any look from nada to Prada.
These three powerful colours address the fundamentals of colour, which simply cannot be stripped away from the core area of the brain that compels fashion’s biggest artificers such Celine, Versace and Lanvin to include them, in their brightest, purest form, in almost every collection since we can remember. Most commonly, a single coloured item takes preference over the a vibrant mix of all three, but either way, the primary colours have adopted a stationary position as the three major players in fashion wheel of rotating colour trends.
This summer, lose the unsaturated and banal by opting for a bursting red, a lucent blue or a flamboyant yellow from the wheel of inspiration below.