Shades of RED

Red is the most evocative color in the spectrum. Not only is it visually arresting, the color has strong physical effects such as elevated blood pressure, increased confidence, and higher levels of energy. Our ancestors saw red as the color of fire and blood – energy and primal life forces. Most of the color’s symbolism today arises from its historic associations. Not every hue is created equal; a slight adjustment of tone or intensity can radically alter the overall mood and meaning of a piece.

Described as “A drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth,” the ruby is often associated with vitality and sensuality.  The precious gemstone can range in shade from pink to bright red but the most valuable of rubies are a dark red hue called “pigeon blood.” Historically, the stone was thought to have healing properties and could improve blood circulation.

Burgundy is a dark red hue tending towards brown – the color of wine. The color is synonymous with nobility, sophistication, and power. Historically, royal families use the color in tandem with luxurious fabrics such as velvet which further associates the color with wealth and elegance.

The color of flames, scarlet symbolizes literal and figurative heat. The orange tinted hue evokes feelings of passion, romance, and/or anger. It is also mentioned multiple times in the Bible in reference to the sin of lust. Conversely, scarlet is often used in religious clothing and considered to be the “color of the blood of Christ.”

The intensity of red mixed with the purity of white. Pink is a color closely related to femininity, youth, and tenderness. While both red and pink are used in reference to romance, red is indicative of passion and sexuality and pink is used for gentleness and lovingness.

(All photos featured are of pieces available at Southeast Costume)