From Prince(s) to Pontiffs
No color is more closely associated with royalty than the color purple.
Cleopatra had 20,00 snails soak for ten days just to obtain a mere one ounce of the imperial shade.
In 273AD, Roman Emperor Aurelian refused his wife a purple dyed shawl since it was literally worth it's weight in gold. In ancient Byzantium, wearing purple could cost you your head if you were not highborn.
King Henry the 8th insisted that he was only person allowed to don purple, but that was easily done since a pound of purple wool cost more than what most people could earn in a year.
For centuries, this illustrious color was monopolized by producers on the coast of ancient Phoenicia, current day Lebanon. This deep, rich Tyrian dye was harvested by cracking open the shell of a sea snail to extract a purple producing mucus that had to be dried in the sun for a precise period of time.
Like the art of producing indigo, I can't help but wonder how the first humans came upon this delightful discovery.
Modern day science has taught us that purple is the most powerful visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy, being just a few steps away from x-rays and gamma rays. Which may explain why purple is associated with supernatural energy, the cosmos... and the artist formerly known as Prince.
See you next Fashion Friday,
Cover of Vogue Circa 1957
Today, the Hollywood elite is the closest we get to royalty.
Here's Katie Holmes with designer Zac Posen