Timeless Blue - Pantone Colour of the Year 2020
My mum always finds it weird. She says she cannot wear chocolate brown as she wore it to school as a heavy, itchy school uniform which was guaranteed to scare the boys away! And my sister and I wore navy to school. But that shapeless gaberdine we endured both summer and winter for 6 years was still not enough to deter me – blue remains my favourite.
Anyone who’s visited my home will see… from the cushions on the sitting room sofa to the Chinese ginger jars and beloved trinkets. Even the tea towels and crockery all come with a blue and white theme.
And don’t even get me started about the bulk of my wardrobe. Recently one of the Perfectly Sorted Housekeeping angels remarked on the number of permutations of a blue and white t-shirt I own! Then there’s the cardigans and blazers in navy, or the blue sandals, boots long and short, heels, ballet flats, sneakers or Ugg boots – all in blue and would match most of what I wear everyday (just not the Ugg boots outside)!!
My daughter has even been invited to go to ‘the blue and white ball’ with a school friend as his date. Imagine hundreds of gorgeous young things in these classic colours dancing with their tuxedo clad friends… sounds too divine to imagine!
At one stage we had a large country garden with only blue and white flowers! Iris, may bush, agapanthus, wisteria, iceberg roses with jonquils, blue bells and my favourite white hellebores. Despite heavy
black soils, droughty summers and frosts to make the pipes freeze – there was always a blue and white bloom somewhere.
Blue and white …. I think I’m somewhat potty about this pair!
The shade of blue is not important … personally I’m a navy fan though I do love duck egg blue and midnight blue – not so much a fan of teal blue, French navy or school shirt blue. But the best thing about blue and white as a combination is that all blues go well with white! It’s a friend for all.
How you can style with blue
Styling with blue and white – whether it’s yourself in some faded jeans and white t-shirt with a navy tailored jacket, or your kitchen with white blooms in a vintage willow pattern jug, a child’s bedroom with spots, stars or stripes to sleep under, – it’s all smart, timeless and fresh with universal appeal across continents, modern and past times, young and old.
This got me thinking about the origins of blue and white and why popularity for this combination has never wavered. From the incredible works of the early Chinese ceramic masters, the French sailors, the Hamptons interiors, right through to the starched, and ladylike uniforms of my alma mata!
It’s a complex and varied history – that of chinoiserie, coastal Hamptons style and Greek architecture, a few which come to mind.
My favourite quick blue facts…
Blue and White Porcelain – The colour blue gained special significance in the history of Chinese ceramics during the Tang dynasty (618-907). The distinctive colour in blue-glazed pottery and porcelain comes from cobalt ores imported from Persia, which were a scarce ingredient at the time and used in only limited quantities. Even today and there are pieces in famous museums and palaces in contrast to my collection from travels as well as gifts and op shop finds.
The striped blue and white shirts of French Sailors – these were designed so that the colours contrasted when a man fell overboard – so could be rescued more easily!
Blue calls to mind feelings of calmness or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.
Blue has been found to lower the pulse rate and body temperature.
Whether it’s the azure from the ocean in contrast to the white squeaky sand at Coogee, or the cobalt blue of the sky in parched drought ravaged Coonabarabran with cotton seed for fodder on the back of a dusty white Ute… Blue and white is in our landscape most days. Each brings a sense of hope – hope for rain or hope for a refreshing swim, hoping it’s one day sooner or hoping the holiday will never end.
Blue and white tell so many stories, and everyone has their own version.
My favourite blue and white is the tea mug I sip from every morning at breakfast, always 2 cups to prepare for the day with new challenges and adventures ahead.
If you love blue and white just enjoy your version and create your own story, collection, wardrobe or garden!