Rolling out the Red Carpet

Red. Power. Privilege. Louis XIV strut along the gold trimmed mirrored hallways of Versailles in red silk stockings and scarlet Louis_XIV_of_Franceheeled 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.

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