La Vie en Rose

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Rose is one of the colors with more history both in art and fashion. Until March 3, you can visit the exhibition “La Vie en Rose”, in the Museo del Traje at Madrid, to learn more about its history, explore how the color was obtained, and what sensations it has awakened in each historical period.

The Most Wanted Color

Rose is the color that, consciously or unconsciously, arouses the most sensory reactions in human beings. Moreover, its various shades allow us to distinguish between different artistic and fashion periods, changing its meaning through every one of them.

There’s no direct animal, vegetal, or mineral source for this color. It’s made by mixing red and white or by diluting red with water. It was the most expensive and difficult color to make until new shades were obtained, through mineral sources, in the chromatic world during the 19th century.

Rose has been stigmatized because of its attractiveness, being associated with excess, lust, and bad taste. It was widely used in publicity during the 20th century, especially in products aimed at girls, due to its eye-catching quality.

Rose in Art and Fashion

Since Ancient times, rose has been associated with freshness and healthiness. In religious art, rose is associated with positivity, hope, power, and masculinity. In the fashion world, due to being so hard to obtain, it’s almost exclusively used by the upper echelons of society. The aristocracy dresses in rose, and so does the high representatives of the church. They’re the ones that choose the shade that will set the trend for their entire color spectrum, from the bright pinks to the pastels and the more violet roses.

In 1856, the use chemical dyes became widespread across the population. Starting from this moment, a multitude of shades of rose appeared: rose pink, cerise, plum, light pink, tea rose, pale rose. By the end of 19th century and beginning of the 20th, rose stopped being used to dress men, becoming very prevalent in women fashion. Nowadays, there’s no definite gender for rose, being used both by men and women.

Rose for Me

Personally, I like to see life through rose-colored glasses, focusing on the positive and the joy of living. Since I was a little girl, Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose has always been one of my favorite songs. What struck me the most about it was that Edith sang to life, rose-colored life, with a raspy voice that showed us a singer that had lived beauty and pain with the same intensity.

When the time to paint and choose a color as a way of expressing a personal language comes, understanding that, for me, every color has both an individual meaning and a meaning that changes through contagion when combined with another color, I see this one as representing tenderness, vulnerability, fragility, and candor, but also the strength that can be found in the joy of living a rose-colored life. Tender red, simple and strong, is the most positive color. What does the color rose represent to you?

Exhibition: “La vie en rose” in Museo del Traje at Madrid, from November 16, 2018, to March 3, 2019
Curators: Lucina Llorente y Juan Gutiérrez
Location: La Panera Rosa
Special thanks to Katia for borrowing us her gorgeous pink beetle
Photography: Oscar Rivilla
Music: Dr. Symptosizer
Hair and makeup: Jose Sande
Art Direction: Carolina Verd
Main picture: pink dress by Antonio García Estudio
Picture 2: pink dress by Antonio García Estudio
Picture 3: pink-sequin dress by Roberto Verino
Picture 4: pink-metallic dress and silver shoes with buckle by Gucci

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