In mid-January of 2020, while browsing through Netflix, I stumbled upon a documentary that caught my attention. The documentary was Wild Wild Country, and it told the story of a guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and his cult of followers called the Rajneeshees. The cult members were often shown dressed in monochromatic salmon, burgundy- and violet-colored outfits. Throughout the show, I was fascinated by how cool the outfits were and how influential it was in the branding of this organization to its stakeholders. This inspired me to pursue a new approach in designing my next collection for Day Onez, in which I re-evaluated the use of color theory.
Come to think of it, the fashion industry and cults have eerily similar motivations. A writing in December about an infamous cult leader Charles Manson, by Rhonda Garelick, shows how similar these two are. She compares Charles Manson to fashion's best marketers saying that Charles knew how to turn his vision into a specific product like the best marketers in fashion. He also knew how to incite desire for a unique product and use people's desires to fuel his agenda. These are the same strategies also used by todays fashion brands. These desires include the urge to be unique, superior and to belong.
Colors speak to us and appeal to our emotions. They evoke a response (both positive and negative) in the consumer’s psyche. In our Season 3 Collection we employed the heavy use of warmer tone colors such as Brown and Orange to communicate an overall concept of Heartbreak and Loneliness.
Interestingly, Brown creates more than one feeling; on its own evokes a sense of strength and resilience. However, when used in abundance it creates feelings of loneliness and isolation, empty like an enormous desert devoid of life. In a way, the "B.T.I.D" pants may be an excellent showcase of this idea. The phrase "Best Thing I Ever Did was Fall out Love" alludes to the idea of staying resilient through heartbreak and its associated loneliness .
On the same pair of pants there is also a small Purple Heart shattered in half, embroidered on the right leg. The Color Purple relates to the fantasy world and a need to escape from life's practicalities; it is like a daydreamer running from reality. Purple promotes harmony of both emotions and mind; it helps in mental stability and balance. According to color psychology it gives you peace of mind. Purple is vulnerable to its everyday surroundings; if around positive energy, it can strive. While in negativity, it can slacken and look abandoned, just like us humans who wear it.
The broken heart symbol adds a subtle nod to both the brand identity and the collection's central theme. For the Hoodies, we chose orange and, more specifically, a shade called International Orange. It has a deeper and more reddish tone and sets apart objects from surrounding like the safety orange in the aerospace industry. I love orange; it is my favourite color in the entire wide world. Besides, I want people to stand out wearing this hoodie, demand attention, and not just be another person fading into the background of everyday life.
Lastly, we decided to put an orange butterfly on a grey ski mask. In color psychology, grey represents neutrality and balance. Its color meaning likely comes from being the shade between white and black. However, grey does carry some negative connotations, particularly when it comes to depression and loss. It is the absence of color that makes it dull. The orange butterfly here represents a glimmer of hope, a beam of light in an otherwise lonely world.
In conclusion, the Season 3 Collection of DayOnez pushed me as designer to re-think the way I was using color theory in my product development process. Overall, I have come out of this experience with a whole new appreciation for colors and strongly believe that they are more effective in conveying emotions than any image or text design.