Ah, the Holiday season. Time for singing carols, mulling wine, and donning gay apparel.
Some classic things we associate with Christmas festivity: mistletoe, lights, and most interesting to me, the color red. As a designer of lingerie, I often steer clear of red because of it can come off as one too many sexy attributes in a garment. For example, if it’s short AND lacy, I would probably keep it a less over-the-top sexy color. (I don’t want to be causing any heart attacks out there! Or for my customers to be mistaken for hookers.) I prefer to use colors that aren’t automatically associated with sin, like plum and dusty pink, so that the wearer can feel pretty AND sexy.
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But for Holiday 2011, I had an impulse to unveil two bright red pieces for my collection, Lola Haze. Why? I asked myself the same question and decided to do some digging into the the origins of red as a Christmas color.
My admittedly unacademic research lead me to a couple of theories, none of which seem definitive. A commonly cited explanation is that green represents the life associated with the birth of Christ, and red represents his death on the cross. As the holly leaves became associated with Christmas (one of the few practical plants to choose because it’s alive in the winter), the green of the leaves and the red of the berries became emblematic of these religious symbols.
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As for our beloved Santa Claus, in his red suit with fur lining–this is a relatively modern vision. This costume’s debut is usually attributed to the 1862 drawing of the German American satirist and cartoonist Thomas Nast. It was then made famous by Coca-Cola’s Santa advertising campaign in 1931, and the shade of red used throughout the campaign was patented by the company. Before that time, Saint Nicholas had been pictured in various colors and forms, including as a gnome and a bishop.
So ladies, why red? It’s a color with such wide and powerful associations throughout the world’s traditions: sin, lust, courage, blood, life, death, and passion. There’s The Scarlet Letter, stop lights, the goddess Lakshmi, the Soviet flag…
This time of year, red is also the color of festivity. So here are some picks to gussy up your Holiday season. What are your favorite pieces of red lingerie?
Lola Haze Holiday Chemise – $139.
(TLA readers: get an exclusive 20% discount off your purchase by using code LolaFriends20 at checkout until December 31, 2011.)
Yandy Christmas Lingerie – various prices
Fun Factory G4 Tiger – $109.90