After what seemed like the full-on advent of Spring we here in the Northeast were slapped hard by the return of frosty air and wind filled with snow. It was hard to take for sure when it hit us squarely across bared faces. I know I should have not fallen for the tease of ease, but I did, rather like an amateur in this region might have made. Quite similarly, I was swept up in the fanfare and glitter on Oscar night, the easy banter of those witty hosts, the hope that this year a more diverse and promising bank of recipients might hold their trophies high over head in pride. And they did. All of that. But the sting of that slap, that one violent recrimination captured by the ever present Eye, stings just as bad as the Arctic blast battering us back inside our homes. Back to wonder, how did we become a nation where shame is no longer felt when it is clearly earned?
Red. Power. Privilege. Louis XIV strut along the gold trimmed mirrored hallways of Versailles in red silk stockings and scarlet heeled shoes… (Christian Louboutin carries on similarly with his signature red-bottomed heels). Thousands of miles away Cardinals flock to the Vatican in red wide-brimmed hats and caped long coats. Red also denotes the naughty. Satan is swathed in red from his horns to his tail in his fiery Hell. Fallen women lurk in red-light districts with red drawn across their lips. The Scarlet Letter is, well scarlet. Yet, despite the piety or the fallen, Red is simply good luck. Just ask the Chinese.
Before the 1800’s red dye was made from a bug (although this detail was a treasured secret for decades). But a tiny red bug, hand collected by the masses who never dared wear such brilliance, was dried and crushed into a powder worth its weight in gold and reserved as a royal color for Presidents and Dignitaries. Even after the synthetic dye hit the market red denoted the wealthy, the lovers, the exotic… those residing on a throne.