14/02/2015 8:19 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Why Red Is The Colour of Passion... And Fashion

GERMANY - JUNE 01: Stilettos crush a picture of a man, Symbol picture about marriage, divorce,,. (Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)
Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images
GERMANY - JUNE 01: Stilettos crush a picture of a man, Symbol picture about marriage, divorce,,. (Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)

Red is one of those unafraid colours whose strength I admire. It is my favourite. My Collections and my evening wardrobe are more than fifty-percent red. I follow Bill Blass's mantra: "When in doubt, wear red". I am sallow and skinny and the colour red makes all the difference to the way I look on a good day. Even my favourite pair of shoes is red satin peep-toes. They lift the spirit of my dullest outfits. And if Kolkata had better roads, I'd buy a red Ferrari. Red can be classy, it can be slutty and it can be somewhere in between. Audrey Hepburn got it right when she said that "There is a shade of red for every woman."

My favourite colour pairings with red are navy blue, anthracite grey and old gold. Of course then there's the classic bridal combination of red and white. Not to forget shades of soft tomato coral red and the deeper ox blood.

A lady in red is strong willed, dynamic and attractive... just my kind of girl.

Valentine's Day brings out both the romantic and the jaded cynic in me. The romantic says, what's not to love about love? The cynic understands that it's a marketing gimmick and just another way for our businesses to make quick buck.

So when did it all start? One of the coolest theories on the origin of Valentine's Day dates back to the time of the Roman Empire during the reign of Claudius II (268-270 AD). Claudius didn't want men to marry during wartime because he believed single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret wedding ceremonies. For this, Valentine was jailed and then executed by order of the Emperor on February 14. While in jail, he wrote a love note to the jailor's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine." Sound familiar?

Another nugget about Valentine's Day - did you know that the Tuesday before Valentine's Day is known as Red Tuesday? Apparently the nickname comes from the large number of people who break up with their significant other on this day.

And one more pearl of wisdom that is doing the rounds on the internet - Girls who wear red lipstick and casually pull it off are the most dangerous.

Red is an interesting colour to correlate with emotion. It's on both ends of the spectrum. On one end you have happiness, love, infatuation, passion and all that. On the other, you've got obsession, jealousy, danger, fear and anger.

The colour red became entwined with love because it's associated with warmth, emotion and passion. It's the colour of the heart, which, in the early days was considered the source and centre of love and affection. No colour evokes the enigma of love like red. Its amorous connotations go back to Venus, the goddess of love, whose blood when she stepped on a thorn apparently gave the rose its deep red blush. Yet in this day red roses are extremely boring. So... how is one supposed to associate that with love?