It’s time for orange
For a long time considered gaudy and associated with the 70s, this lively colour is once again in favour and here to brighten up our wardrobes. Orange is everywhere: shirts, pantsuits, coats, and accessories. It has even found a place in our homes, where Scandi-chic is old news. Let’s take a closer look at this fiery flashback.
Orange never holds back its ravishing power and is making a big comeback
That flashy colour right out of the fabulous 70s is finally back in full force and making sparks fly. For summer, of course, it’s absolutely perfect, flattering sun-kissed skin and delivering tones that are warm like a sunset or sweet like a fizzy drink at the end of the day. But there’s no doubt it will still be here in autumn, making the fun last longer. In fact, designers and brands have fully understood the colour’s hypnotic, high-energy power, and they’re squeezing it like a juicy orange. American Vintage uses it for jackets, shirts, and T-shirts, and Roseanna does the same with its best-selling T-shirt in a warm, summery, on-trend apricot. At Destrée, perfectly cut pantsuits have matching geometric bags. Make My Lemonade chooses a brick shade for a dress and suit. And Rouje – which we could almost rename Oranje – lets go with a form-fitting dress that seems to come straight from a poppy field!
Michel Pastoureau, eminent specialist in the history of colours, naturally gives orange a chapter in his book “Le Petit Livre des Couleurs“.* He writes, “A true orange is very difficult, a colour that doesn’t shift toward yellow or red, nor to brown or beige. It’s a very subtle balance that requires a precise luminosity, saturation, and wave length! Orange is classified as a warm colour, but it’s closer to chestnut or brown when it’s less saturated and less luminous and closer to beige when it’s luminous but not very saturated.” In summary, there’s a wide range of possibilities and a large playing field. Not gender specific and not used much recently, orange stands out. It’s easily linked with joy, light, a good mood, and a happy-go-lucky attitude. And those are all values we badly need, given the current uncertain and stressful times. With orange we recall the post-war boom, a sweet, carefree era of unhindered progress. And just like in the 1970s, 2023 orange can be used everywhere – on our bodies and in our homes. Pierre Paulin’s Pumpkin chairs, TamTam stools, plastic furniture, and Nessino and Colombos lamps are all totems from 70s interior design making a triumphant return, and why not with a beautiful orange wall as a backdrop?
In fact, at the last Maison et Objets trade show, an entire stand called Color Power was dedicated to the sparkling colour that makes us want to banish bad moods as well as the sad faces after too-short vacations. And if you’re afraid of turning into an orange muppet or you’re not yet ready for the (orange) revolution at home, you can enjoy just a touch with a showy accessory, a bright blouse, or a pair of lambskin gloves.
Orange never holds back its ravishing power.
*with Dominique Simonnet, Editions du Panama.
Thomas Zylberman, Fashion Expert with Carlin International Trends Bureau, explains.
“This season, we’re seeing a major resurgence of improbable colours, and that includes orange. For a long time, consumers in France were hesitant about this colour deemed garish, and yet, the doors have been flung open! There’s a cultural determinism in our country that pushes us to navy blue, beige, and black, which are seen as the backbone of French chic. But with globalisation and social media, our eyes are getting used to other cultural references. In the Anglo-Saxon world, for example, orange isn’t cause for controversy. It’s a colour that’s relatively accessible; it’s upbeat, happy, and light-hearted, and it can be worn by men or women. It reminds Gen Zers of their childhood. Nostalgia, of course, is part of this revival, as is the idea of a golden age – a contrast to our current era of enforced restraint.”