Ode to Orange

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Alright, so the colour orange… You ever notice that orange never seems to get the attention or respect it deserves? I mean, you hear a lot of people go on about how their favorite colour is green or some such. But really, nothing matches the vibrancy of a good orange. It can be warm, dark, moody, bright, cheerful, bold, sunshine.

I think orange has suffered over the last few decades mostly due to a definite shift towards the conservative in design. Designers (fashion, home, furniture, car, etc.) have shied away from anything that could be perceived as “loud.” What that really amounts to, though, is a fear of going out on any sort of perceived limb, that painting a bedroom orange, say, is opening the door to someone not liking it simply on the basis that it’s easy to point to and say “An orange room? Strange.” For many people, anything out of the ordinary scares them, and as such they find it easier to knock something simply because it’s noticable rather than taking a liberal, open-minded perspective and looking at something in its own isolated context.

People like safe. Insecurities like safe. Fashion is the most telling in this way. Just take a look at the fashion of the 80s, 90s, and 00s. The 80s were, at best, a sylised and minimised 70s, with fashion becoming blander with each passing year since, so that by the 90s, let alone today, it’s all white, black, or blue. Compare this to the 60s or 70s, and it’s really quite sad, particularly for yours truly, who loves his orange. Check out the Beatles in the Let It Be sessions, for instance: orange turtlenecks, purple jackets, striped shirts, red jeans. Now we’re talking! Not a chance today. Only jeans you can buy are various shades of blue, maybe some black. Doesn’t leave much room for self-expression. Today, orange is relegated to vests worn by crosswalk guards. Orange deserves better! Don’t be shy, people: colour is good in life. Even more crucial during the dark, drab, cold, and wet winter months.

And let’s not forget the taste! Best encapsulated in my opinion in the form of a mandarin orange, preferably of the Japanese variety (harder to find even here on the West Coast. The Chinese ones are nice, too–sweeter, though less delicate). Listen, any colour that comes with its own flavour’s gotta be alright.

There’s more to life than walls painted white, jeans stained blue, and cars tinted grey. It’s a new millenium out there, folks–lookout orange!

P.S. Purple’s not bad, either…

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2 responses »

  1. Appreciate the props to orange. Where it’s missed most, though, is in the automotive industry.

    Honestly, would the Dukes of Hazzard been what it was in a beige–and-brown Chevelle? Exactly.

    Add to the Ignored Colours list Mint Green and Hot Pink … no pimp can be complete without either (not to mention the purple crushed velvet suit).

    You can really work a good Fushcia, too, in both fashion and decor.

  2. I like orange, but it makes me look like a croaked olive.

    I used to have a seriously well-cut red serge suit back in the Mod days. It was cut along the lines of the Beatles ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ suits, complete with the black collar.

    Do you know how that black collar came to be … originally, I mean? It was during the French Revolution, a statement of disagreement with the policy of beheading via the Guillotine.

    You’re right: colour … & tone … is right on.

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