Wednesday, November 28, 2012

colour love

Have you ever loved a colour so much you had an almost unbearable desire to consume it?

I have been choosing a colour for a new set of headphones. Not to claim originality here, I spied a person on the train this morning who had pumpkin-coloured headphones with the cord a matching colour. 

          I don’t consider myself a particularly materialistic person, nor one with her finger two beats ahead of the fashion pulse. It wasn’t about cool, or keeping up. Yes, the design was fantastic, and no doubt part of the appeal. But really it was about the colour. I wanted it in a way that was a completely visceral experience. I surreptitiously trained my eyes over the headphones to read the miniscule label, declaring the brand name, and committed it to memory.

          I spent the next leg of my journey online, touching through a colour palette of headphone choices, ranging across sage to grape to mocca to rust. I tried all the colours in each different range, imagined how one after the other would look in real life, released from the glow of my iPhone screen. I longed for the colours. I could have looked at them all day. I wanted to fall into them. I wanted to grasp them. I coveted those coloured headphones.

When I was growing up, we had a set of mismatched melamine cups, saucers and plates that we used when we were camping. Most of them were the standard tomato red, sunshine yellow, but there was one cup and saucer that was a deep teal, too green to be peacock, too blue to be forest. I simply had to drink from that cup; no other would do. 
          My enthusiasm for this colour was matched by one other gem in the kitchen cupboard, the burgundy coloured plate that was the colour of shiraz, though I wouldn’t have described it as such at the time. I might have likened it more to beetroot, a staple on the childhood dinner table. It was a rich purple red, with the intensity of plums and muscatels. If I had to choose a plate out of the set today, I would still choose that plate. The colour remains vivid in my memory.

The other night I went to the city for a drink at a new Japanese bar. The cocktail I ordered had Campari as one of it’s main ingredients, so it was a delicious, light-hearted, cheeky vermilion, although not exactly Japanese in origin. One of my companions had elderflower and bitters mixed in theirs, and it gleamed with a pink, flowery look of complete innocence. Though it was far from that in toxicity. 

          Our other companion ordered a drink that was the most beautiful, purest colour I think I have ever seen. It was almost a non-colour. A clear liquid of pale lemony transparency that glittered like a jewel beneath the lights.

It’s only now that I think about how intense my love of colour is, and that it has always been this way. Equally, some colours repel me – khaki being the worst. Colour therapy and the science of colour’s effect on one’s mood is not a new notion, but it is a powerful one. 

          After spotting the gorgeous coloured headphones, I returned to the website many times during the day, weighing up the virtues of each shade, selecting favourites, desiring to have them for myself. And finally, I placed an order, for a little piece of colour heaven of my own. 

Indigo. I’m so in love with it I can almost taste it.