January 4, 2009
Colors are part of India’s magic. Everyone has seen the all-time Rajasthan cliche of women working in the fields draped in fluroescent saris.
So you won’t be surprised if I tell you that just like Indians know their textiles, they are very specific about colors.
My favourite salwar kameez is not just yellow, it is mango yellow. With its orangy hue, it is like a whiff of summer: sunny, sweet, soft. Just like mangoes : ripe and irresistible.
Not to be mistaken for banana yellow: bright, unapologetically yellow, it will look fabulous if you can pull it off. Complexion, darling, complexion. Banana yellow is a tricky one – it should be bright without being harsh and warm without being mushy. But get it right, and you’ll hit it off.
Now, who doesn’t want to play it Gayatri-Devi-like, once in a while? Chiffon and pearls, no make up, attitude. What you need is: butter yellow. Breezy on your dainty complexion, utterly subtle, it is your ticket to grace. But don’t forget: pearls don’t buy poise, so think regal.
As the late Diana Vreeland said: “Rani pink is India’s black“.
But why don’t you try: onion pink. I was perplexed when I first heard about this color. What pink? Yikes. But, if worked well, it does work. Onion pink is this greyish shade of pink, light, muted, elegant. His soulmate is silver: pair them and watch the magic.
Whatever you do, please please please stay away from maroon, the biggest question mark in India’s magical rainbow. Brownish red.Why oh why do Indian brides go for this sad, smelly, unflattering color?
If you have to wear red, stick to a warm, fresh, brisk one, like poppy red. It is spectacular, but n0t overwhelming.
Had you asked me my favorite colors a few years ago, I would have said red, or blue, or any wildly unevocative, bare color name. If you ask me my favorite colors now, it’ll read like a garden by the sea: lavender blue, pistachio green, peach, indigo.