October 07, 2014


October 7, 2014 Photo (280/365): "Orange"

"It's too easy to say that orange is happy 
and black is sad. To me, black is perfect. 
You can fill it with the emotion you want to express."
~ Ann Demeulemeester, fashion designer

Yesterday, I alluded to the fact that orange is not my favorite color; in fact, I've avoided the fiery hue since adolescence.  I'm naturally attracted to neutral, cooler colors: blues, grays, taupes, sage or mossy green, chocolate brown, black, and white. Cool shades are prominent in my home and my personal style; however, I do play with warmer, seasonal accents of pink, yellow, purple, and even red (cooler, berry reds). But the one color that never makes an appearance in my fashion choices and only appears in my home in October (see yesterday's post) is orange.

I contribute my contentious relationship with the color orange to growing up in the 1970s when "earth tones" -- harvest gold, avocado green, and orange -- were de rigueur. (My mom still has these Corelle dishes.) As a Catholic school girl, I wore red, white, and blue plaid jumpers and skirts, white button-downs, and red or navy cardigans and knee socks everyday for years. Actually, I still like the idea of my own grown-up version of a uniform: various straight skirts, classic trousers, or dark-wash jeans, black and navy tops and sweaters, all accented with scarves, minimalist jewelry, hosiery, and footwear. I could write volumes about my passion for shoes -- in fact, I probably have! But in those days, on weekends and special occasions when I could choose what I wanted to wear, I faced a closet full of hand-me-downs from my older cousins and sweaters, vests, and scarves, knit or crocheted by my Grandma Dodo.  I was so blessed to grow up in a multi-generational household and loved that my grandma lived with us. "Dodo" (Dorothy) was a very talented woman who played the piano, baked amazing bread, sugar cookies, and coffee cakes, and created beautiful clothes with her arsenal of knitting needles and crochet hooks. Unfortunately, being the stylish woman that she was, she always chose those iconic '70s colors --especially orange. I had so many orange sweaters growing up that I believe that Dodo cured me of the color for life!

Yet somehow, just this fall, I've begun to warm a bit the vivid hue. Although I'd never choose it for myself, I have recently enjoyed creating websites and posters for other teachers who have requested orange as part of their palates. This morning, I actually found myself attracted to this brilliant, fallen leaf. Perhaps I'm making progress... Just don't expect to see me sporting an orange sweater (ever)!