Angoori blue saree designed by Sanjay Garg.
Some might associate serene blue with the white sand beaches of Boracay, for others it is the colour on the can of a popular cola. If classic blue was to be described in adjectives, then perhaps it would be termed dependable and resilient. For the Pantone Color Institute, it is the colour of the year 2020. “A timeless and enduring blue hue, Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era,” read a statement from Pantone, which in 2020 will mark 20 years of announcing its colour of the year. We spoke to experts on how the colour could be incorporated in your wardrobe.
Sanjay Garg, textile revivalist
I don’t believe in trends but it’s an absolute co-incidence that I have used this shade a lot in my latest collection. Though classic blue, which is bright, lends itself beautifully to Indian aesthetic, it is not essentially an Indian colour, as we never had a culture of using vivid colours in India, and used vegetable dyes. This classic blue is a variant of indigo, which can be traced to ancient civilisations across the world. Even our red is not the bright scarlet red, but brick warm red. Likewise, we had syaah, not jet black.
Classic blue has always been in my subconscious. When I think of it, I think of water, the world around us, and the looming climate change emergency. The monotony of the grey monsoon in Mumbai is broken by the bright blue tarpaulin used in most slums.
Recently, I created an Angoori navy blue saree, paired with a classic blue blouse with brocade inlay border and bootis. Similarly, I have paired a plain blue lehenga with heavy gold brocade blue kurta and a sheer dupatta — it will work well for any wedding function.
Must-have blue: Plain classic blue saree, with a simple zari border. It will work wonderfully well with a white or black blouse. To make the outfit more elegant and festive, pair it with a rani pink or parrot green blouse.
Ujjwal Dubey, menswear designer
Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza twinning in classic blue suits designed by Ujjwal Dubey.
The colour is vivid, western, and depending on how it is used, it can be feminine or masculine. In the west, classic blue is used for men’s jackets and suits, as it lends itself well to sharp silhouettes. We have created this traditional Indian jacket, with an androgynous twist — it is perfect for men and women. The colour has an internal conflict, which works well for my label Antar Agni. The rich vibrant hue has an innate softness, but when made into a structured jacket it exudes a sense of strength. It’s a dependable colour, which works well with raw fabrics — cotton, linen and other organic ones. I think, we should stay away from sheen and brighter fabrics while using this colour, but we should definitely use it more; we can never go wrong with it.
Must-have blue: A classic blue suit.
Ragini Ahuja, designer
Ragini Ahuja’s ensemble.
I call the colour ‘non anxiety-blue’, as it inspires a deep sense of calm and serenity. I use a lot of variants of blue in my work, and what stands out for me as a designer is its sheer versatility. In my latest collection, Quwa, where I used indigo and navy blue as the base, I used this classic bright blue to embellish and highlight the outfits. The colour really makes things pop. It is a good way to break the monotony of winter, when we are otherwise only wearing greys and blacks. Classic blue is a good replacement for black. We can wear this for weddings and other celebrations, especially for occasions where black is not considered auspicious. This shade also blends really well with the Indian aesthetic, as we wear so much colour.
Must-have blue: Classic blue pantsuit.
A classic blue eyeshadow: In the winter months, when everything is dark and grey, a classic blue eyeshadow can probably make one’s make-up pop. It could be paired with a black eyeliner, and will work well with dark trench coats and bulky sweaters.
A classic blue nail polish: If eyeshadows are too risky for you, then paint your nails in this vivid shade of blue.
A classic blue scarf: A classic blue scarf could jazz up any outfit. A woollen one will keep you warm. Wrap it around your neck, or let it hang from your shoulders. It will work well with a white, black or red outfit.