There isn’t a nip in the air anywhere in India as yet, thanks to the very evident climate change. But that has not stopped anyone from taking out that favourite winter colour. Red has pulled out all stops and has become the season’s preferred dress code. It could not have been more telling than when fashion queen Deepika Padukone showed up at a private party recently in top-to-toe traffic-stopping red. The movie star wore a crimson crew neck knee-length dress, and matched it with red pumps and a satchel. She wasn’t done. There was the It-shade of lipstick to boot: Of course, I mean red!
Red showed up at Diwali parties, too, with two mega movie stars dressed in the flaming shade. Kareena Kapoor Khan shared pictures of herself in her luxurious dressing room at home, dressed in a sumptuous red sari from Shikaarbagh. Alia Bhatt attended Khan’s party in a plain red silk lehenga and a low-neck blouse, with a zardozi embroidered matching dupatta. Hair open and just earrings for accessories, Bhatt looked ravishing.
Sanjay Garg’s label Raw Mango is beloved for its red Banarasi jangla saris. The label recently shared a picture of a new bride in a red jangla lehenga, reminding us that red is a bride’s evergreen choice. It was just a gush of vibrance after seeing too many brides dressed in pastels and nudes (we are looking at you Kiara Advani and Parineeti Chopra).
The effect red has on us is actually backed by science. It is the colour that reaches the deepest in our eyes (it’s the first colour a child sees, while some animals only see the world in black, white and red). This means, our brain receives a red signal faster than that of any other colour. This is why stop signs and danger signs are in red. Red and black are also two of the oldest colours man has used to dye and decorate his clothes and tools, thanks to the easy availability of madder and soot as natural colours. Archaeological remains from China dating 15,000 years ago show shades of red.
Sara Ali Khan wore a gorgeous tomato red for her appearance on the latest season of Karan Johar’s talk show, Koffee With Karan. Jennifer Lopez wore a red halter dress with a coordinated Birkin (in the extremely rare croc leather, mind you) for a day out in Los Angeles recently. On another evening to promote her new cocktail brand, Lopez wore a head-to-toe Cult Gaia dress with red sandals. And Priyanka Chopra famously wore a red corset dress for the premiere of her film Citadel in London. Let’s not forget a very pregnant Rihanna’s iconic Superbowl romp in a red breastplate.
International fashion weeks have lately seen ample shades of tomato, claret, rose, and coral. Valentino, famous for his ‘Valentino red’, won’t present a show without enough dresses in his preferred colour. Schiaparelli is always showing blood-red, too. Alexander McQueen loves a red dress. Gucci, Ferragamo, Prada, and even Fendi’s winter wool—red was everywhere we looked.
Fashion has always loved a strong red. It is almost as fundamental as black, white, beige and grey. This season, it is taking us back to good old-fashioned glamour. Red is not invisible like black, or puritanical like white. Its confidence can grab you by the collar and kiss you with its red lips. Wear it at your own risk.