January 23, 2008


In Cabinet Magazine this month, Shelly Jackson sorts out the color mauve. " What is mauve? That pale violet that makes certain flowers seem to fluoresce at dusk, or the sullen, sullied rose of Victorian lampshades and mourning dresses? A cooler magenta, a gooier violet? Mauve, the color of ish, is defined most clearly by hedging negatives: not quite pink, not quite purple. It's less a hue in its own right than a diminution or intensification of some other hue; it has about it, simultaneously, an air of petulant retreat and overweening assertion. 'Pink trying to be purple,' sniffs Whistler. Or the visited link, its vitality depleted. Mauve is a 'feminine' color, but not a yielding one. It is adult, imperious. But its strength is ambivalent. Though pugnacious, it is not candid. Like Victorian fashions, it stresses femininity while repressing the frankly female." Read more.