In ancient eras, men would dive to the depths of the Mediterranean sea to collect the shells of molluscs, which they would then boil and leave to change colour in the sunshine. The arduous process left them with a few precious drops of a pigment that made the colour purple – then called Tyrian purple – used to create the clothing of emperors and magistrates; a visual representation of power, and great wealth.
Since then, purple – a combination of incendiary, passionate red and blue, the colour of sadness and serenity – has been reserved for nobility, papal vestments, kings and queens, romantic heroines in great taffeta gowns. It speaks of mystery, magic, and creativity: the colour of the swirling cosmos or of Purple Rain, Prince’s epic evocation of longing and desire.
The Spring/Summer 2019 collections returned to the shade, in its most distinct form: Pop Art-esque hues of ultra violet, lilac, lavendar and amethyst appeared on season’s runways, and off them too – at Prada, attendees sat on purple-lit inflatable stools, designed by Verner Panton. The colour was most apparent in the accessories, though: from Dries Van Noten’s violet-tinted sunglasses to Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s croc-embossed mules at Chloé, or Fendi’s sporty décolleté lycra pumps, designers made a case for the colour’s modern relevance.
Here, we present an exploration of the colour purple from photographer Chris Rhodes and stylist Chloe Grace Press, taken from AnOther Magazine Spring/Summer 2019, featuring ten of the season’s colourful accessories.
Hair: Alexander Soltermann using Oribe. Make-up: Siddhartha Simone at Julian Watson Agency. Models: Ilona Desmet at Girl Management and Sylvie Makower at Casting Real. Casting: Simone Schofer. Set design: Thomas Bird at Bryant Artists. Manicure: Saffron Goddard at Saint Luke Artists using Le Gel Top Coat and La Crème Main Texture Riche by Chanel. Digital tech: Daniel Archer at Dtouch London. Lighting: Emma Ercolani and Ibby Azab. Styling assistant: Isobel Attrill. Make-up assistant: Asuka Fukuda. Production: Webber, Vinita Davé and Nathan Kerry Davé. Post-production: Dtouch London
This story originally featured in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of AnOther Magazine which is on sale internationally now.