From logo to monochrome: fashion in revolution

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Even more immediate than a logo, color promises to go straight to the heart (of maturity). By defining the rules of a game of captivating combinations, the rainbow of nuances, which like to replace the meaning of a brand in brand recognition, plays an increasingly defined role. Drawing the boundaries of a world – that of the fashion houses -, expressing its values ​​and restoring a veiled sense of belonging. In other words, fill in the obvious sense of Community. With the first examples, it is actually no coincidence that connections between color and maison primarily concerned only the packaging, including shopping bags, gift boxes and cardboard boxes, displayed when necessary in the city or in the intimacy of the home. You (re)discover thatorange of Hermes, an unmistakable tone of orange dense and warm, it was born almost by accident: it was in 1945, at the height of the conflicts of the Second World War, when Émile-Maurice Hermès, grandson of the company’s founder, forced by the lack of packaging, had to fall back on a supply of orange boxes to be able to pack and sell clothes and accessories. The color that no one wanted very soon becomes a pure expression of expectation and desire.

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Hermes orange, an unmistakable tone of orange dense and warm, it was born almost by accident

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Similar fate chez Tiffany & Co.The New York house that is around its singular pastel blue – registered trademark – built an empire. Chosen by founder Charles Lewis Tiffany for the cover of the first edition of the Blue Book, an annual collection of handmade jewelry, the turquoise, reminiscent of the American robin’s egg, is today a symbol of promise and love. From boxes to signs that pass through interior design, the blue, which a number of taxis were painted with in recent 2018, has gone from packaging to jewellery. By questioning the history of costumes, quickly rereading the development of the great couturiers, one therefore rediscovers how the rise to the Olympus of designer brands has often been closely linked to monochrome. That pink by Elsa Schiaparelli, “illuminated, impossible, cheeky, full of life, fascinating, as if all the light of the world and birds and fish merge, a color that spoke of China and Peru, far from the West”, passes through the packaging of a perfume in 1937 to the fabric, resting on organza and embroidery. In Italy, it is the turn Giorgio Armani, that punctuates her wardrobe in a palette of greige, inspired by the intangible and industrial atmospheres of Milan, and by Renato Balestra, who chooses one as the cornerstone of his studio shades of blue vibrant, the same one that, last February, started the re-branding project formulated by the designer’s daughters, Federica and Fabiana. An expression of identity, the monochromatic freeze frame of the creative vision soon proves to be an indelible truth in the fashion business: if the letters pass, the color remains.

the green of bottega veneta

Bottega Green by Bottega Veneta, introduced in the brand’s collections by Daniel Lee

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As Emily Safian-Demers, editor of Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, told the WSJ, “color can be used in many more ways than a logo. It can easily be translated to all the virtual environments, where everyone is controlled by the sense of sight”. From the metaverse to the digital worlds, non-places of unreality where creatives are free to explore, leave individual colors the task of defining and describing the space. An aspect that, even in terms of tangibility, has already been thoroughly investigated in the set-ups of physical stores (see e.g. pop-ups a color block by Jacquemus, fuchsia in Paris, white in Milan, blue in London). The reworking of the stylistic codes of the heritage thus goes hand in hand unprecedented chromatic experiments that reflect new creative pathsand came up with an exact point of the iris the intentions and inspirations for a great poster beyond the dress: Daniel Lee did it in 2021 with his magical Bottega Green, the now characteristic pale green shade of Bottega Veneta, and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino at beginning of 2022. Because the Roman maison has the designer himself in collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute to create a very special hot pink, a metaphor for joy and a political statement about the saving power of beauty. “Human and textile materials are catalyzed in the chromatic cancellation, which is really amplification,” the company wrote. “An array of bodies, attitudes, corporeality, enhanced by monochrome”. And for all those nostalgic for the legendary red Valentino from Garavani’s time, the answer will soon come from the new generation of brands: red is actually everything from the king of streetwear, Supreme.

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