Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Mauve Decade

We were watching something over the weekend when the term The Mauve Decade was used. I had never heard that phrase before and as mauve has long been one of my favorite colors, I had to learn more.
If you do an image search for mauve, a number of different shades will appear. But for me mauve has always meant a light smoky lavender.

Like this.

Or seen as fabric, like this.

Then there is the question of how you pronounce the word. Is it mawve or is it mowve? (Long o as in mow the grass.)

I learned that The Mauve Decade was the one in which all my grandparents were born - the 1890's. It was so named because a synthetic dye made it possible for the masses to enjoy a color previously only available to the richest.
Purple had long been associated with royalty because the color purple was obtained from snails which made it very expensive. Once the English chemist, William Henry Perkin, developed an aniline dye, mauveine, the color became affordable. It became so popular during the 1890's it gave the decade one of its nicknames. The other, more famous being, The Gay Nineties. Though I think any woman wearing mauve would feel gay. It is such a happy color.

Back in the 60's I had a peignoir robe set similar to this one in a lavender or mauve color.

And in the 70's I made several jumpsuits from double knit material, one of which was mauve. I wore it with a long string of purple beads fashioned as a belt. Very hip.

In the 80's there was a lovely, soft mauve skirt my daughter and I shared. I don't remember if it was hers and I borrowed it or vice versa.

There is nothing mauve in my closest right now. Perhaps I should remedy that with something new for spring.

Maybe something like this. Could I pull it off? Is the look me? Maybe in another time.
Hmm. It is awfully cute.

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