There is no other way to say it. We’re wild about green. No other color speaks to us in a language closer to our own native fashion tongue than green.
We don’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day to roll around once each March to passionately embrace the wearing of the green. That would be such a shameful waste of the 364 other days of the year.
The easiest color on the eye is green. It is thought that the reason hospital uniforms are so often green is because it relaxes patients. With all due respect to devoted and selfless medical professionals everywhere, this is hardly the place to exalt the joys of dressing in scrubs.
Green symbolizes growth, regeneration, and nature. Brides in Europe in the Middle-Ages wore green to symbolize fertility.
The fashion radar was first lit up by green in full force in the Victorian era. Gowns in bottle-green were the dress to die for – literally. The color was later dubbed ‘poison green’ because until the 1860s, the shade was only achievable in fabric through the use of arsenic. By the 1870s arsenic was replaced with aniline greens.
In 1934, public relations tycoon E. Bernays infamously spent a small fortune promoting green. He hosted a Green Ball and courted magazine editors, interior designers and department stores with press kits extolling the virtues of green – all in the hope that American women would feel compelled to color coordinate with the forest packaging of Lucky Strike cigarettes. Sales figures indicate Bernays’ efforts were a success.
When it comes to memorable leading ladies in green, there’s no finer example than Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in her famous green velvet curtain dress in Gone with the Wind. The lovely, green-eyed Leigh was so personally enamored with the color, that she often wore green off-screen as well.
The true dawning of the age of green came in the 1960s, as shades of lime, leaf and chartreuse perfectly captured the go-go, psychedelic groove that defined the time. Green was so wildly popular in fact, that Harper’s Bazaar devoted its entire May 1961 issue to the color, promoting swimsuits, dresses and other fashions in every spectrum of the shade.
This season fashion runways have been awash with a gorgeous spectrum of greens, including shades like Green Flash, Mossy Green, Army Green, Beetle Green, Bottle Green (arsenic-free!) and Lucite Green. Spring is here, and there’s no better time for some wearing of the green!
“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
Pedro Calderon de la Barca
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