Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Love Affair: Colors

A friend of mine- who apparently follows my blog- asked me recently what colors I was looking forward to wear this Spring-Summer. I did not hesitate to answer: all colors. That friend probably did not know that I loved colors and was not afraid to wear them. Coming from a country like Senegal when women are fashionably bold, and have a skin tone that compliments every color of the rainbow, it becomes kind of difficult to not enjoy colors.

My love affair with colors began probably when I was around 6 and became conscious about fashion. I was not the fashionista back then, but I still knew what I wanted. I remember loving everything that was in pink. Once, on a trip in Switzerland, I insisted on wearing every single piece of my outfit in pink: pink blouse, pink skirt, pink socks, pink shoes and even pink underwear. I know the image was probably gross. And come to think of it, I was infringing on all fashion laws back then. However, being a 6 year old, you will have to forgive me.
When I was around 8, my parents gave me a bright red romper with a white blouse. As usual, I would only wear this outfit for special times such as one my father's friend' son first communion. I loved the outfit; particularly the knee length skirt that was pleated. For some reason, I was an instant hit at the party, particularly with a group of boys. By the end of the ceremony, when we were leaving, they were running behind my father's car shouting "red garage" to me. It was a compliment but I felt awkward. The following day, I wore the same clothes to school under my blue and white blouse (school uniform), and some kids recognized it. They kept on shouting the same silly chant "red garage".

Over the years, I did not pay attention to color as much as I would have liked. When I finally had a say in what I wanted to wear, I would focus more on styles rather than colors. Nevertheless, I was still bold in my choices. Once I own a safari short suit in bright yellow. I used to love that thing. I would wear it on special occasions. I liked the texture of the suit, the cut, the way the short showed off my legs. It was such a pleasure to put it on.

Being a teenager, I was never too keen of my body, so my style changed into tomboy pieces such as jeans and sweatshirts. Strangely, the colors of those pieces were never bold, but rather plain: dark blue, dark green, brown, brown red. Dressing up was not such as pleasure then, but rather a torture. My disappointed mother made a point in finding suitable pieces for me to wear at least for parties. Therefore, my wardrobe was filled with colorful outfits such as floral dress, floral pinkish "church" suit, a red and white batik skirt and vest, a mustard yellow linen suit,a colorful pleated skirt, silky fuchsia and orange tops... Come to think of it, even though I was a tomboy, I always liked the pieces my mother choose for me. I did not wear them as often as I should have, but I did like them.

When I was old enough to leave the family nest, I went to study in Japan. To understand Japanese fashion, you have to know that almost anything goes. And Japanese college students like me were never afraid of colors. But the difference between them and Senegalese girls was that the latter loved to coordinate. In Japan, you would see a girl walking in the streets with 3 to 5 different colors on her, and not necessarily from the same palette. It was always fun to walk in crazy centers such as Shibuya or Harajuku and witness the different styles of Japanese girls. Although I would not go as far as to dress like them, I secretly admired their boldness.
As for me, during the first years of college, I only had eyes for one color: blue. I do not know why or how this obsession started but everything I would purchase would be something blue. I had blue tops, dark blue pants, blue jeans, blue shoes, blue accessories. When I was tired of blue, I would change for green or shades of blue that resemble green. It was a fascinating obsession. For some reasons, blue suited me. I even would go as far as to have blue eye shadow whenever I decided to wear make up. In all this craziness with blue, I still maintained a colorful wardrobe. I would enjoy having summer tops and winter sweaters in every color possible. I was never satisfied until I had a rainbow for shoes and bags. Shopping was such as fun activity. And wearing colors was a way of fighting depression and loneliness during hard times. To be truthful, I would be interested in buying a piece of clothing based more on the color than the fit, or the style.(mainly the reason why I ended up with such a dysfunctional wardrobe)
Recently, I am not as bold with colors as I was. Do not get me wrong, I still enjoy them. However I am less flashy than 5 years ago. Maybe it is because I am growing up. I still love my colors (blue, green, fuchsia, orange, yellow) but I find myself purchasing more and more things in boring brown, beige,dark blue, grey, black and white. I think, I am becoming too practical in dressing up because those colors are the basics; they go with everything without being too over the top.
After all is said and done, I will never stop loving colors. Summer is around the corner and I am still looking for colors to brighten up my days, and accessorize myself. Nowadays, I am into crazy color coordination like pairing a fuchsia top with a turquoise necklace. This is the new way of wearing color for me; still bold but more elegant.

Ps: Check out three looks that I would enjoy during this season

Beach Party Attire or for a simple party in Spring- Summer



Casual days:



For shopping days or girls lunch:

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