By John Legaspi
As we start another decade, the Pantone Color Institute gifts with a color to welcome a new chapter in our lives—the Classic Blue.
Being the color authority since 1963, Pantone’s color selection this time echoes its very first prediction back in 2000, Cerulean Blue. The shade was made famous by the movie The Devil Wears Prada where actress Meryl Streep’s character (Miranda Priestly) delivered a monologue on how the fashion industry worked. The movie has become iconic, relevant and, to an extent, a cult favorite. This latest color prediction, we feel, will easily achieve the same status.
Part of the three primary colors, Classic Blue is described by the institute to be “a timeless and enduring blue hue, elegant in its simplicity.
Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of Classic Blue offer the promise of protection, highlighting our desire for a stable and dependable foundation from which to build.”
Throughout history, the blue shade was mostly associated with prominent figures and special ceremonies. In 2500 BC, ancient Egyptians produced what is called Egyptian Blue by heating pulverized stones and minerals. The color was used for funeral statuary and tomb paintings, as it was believed that blue was a color that helped protect the dead from evil in the afterlife.
In the Islamic world, blue is said to be the favorite of Prophet Mohammed. In Byzantine and Renaissance art, the Holy Babe and the Blessed Virgin are always depicted wearing the color blue. It’s not until the 12th century when the color became available to the mass market due to woad, a common plant in Europe. The accessibility of blue led Pope Pius V, in 1570, to exclude the color from use in his ecclesiastical dress.
In 1873 in San Francisco, German immigrant Levi Strauss created a new type of work trousers made from denim, which was eventually called blue jeans. Vogue magazine took the jeans to the level of high fashion through its pages in 1935 and, 15 years later, blue jeans became a closet staple in the US and around the world.
In the Philippines, the color represents truth, justice, and peace, as seen in our flag. Its shade of blue was changed to a lighter one during the Marcos regime. This decision, however, was immediately rescinded after the 1986 People Power Revolution that removed Marcos from office.
Blue may be said to evoke confidence and optimism, based on the way our Filipina beauty queens have worn the color on the international stage. It is also the color associated with deep waters that surround our archipelago, a prime natural resource of the country that we firmly claim as ours.
With all our political, social, personal distinctions as a nation, Pantone’s 2020 selection can truly be said, for Filipinos, a “multi-sensory experience reaching a greater diversity of people.” The hue gives us a sense of peace and cleansing, refreshing our minds and surroundings from the dirt and pollution of our day to day.
Start anew this year with these closet staples colored with Pantone’s Classic Blue: