Purple Brain: Unraveling the Mystique of Purple in Fashion History


Did you ever wake with something on your mind—with an image as strong as it is indelible?  Even a song can send it from the back of your mind and into sharp focus.  For me at this very moment, it’s a color.

Not just any color, but a spectacular attention-grabbing one.  I’m seeing it all over the place, from cosmetic packaging to crystals, and in stones, glass… simply everywhere.  I was even tempted to purchase a vintage purple Glass Carnival Lamp at an auction, although  I had no idea where I’d put it, as it doesn’t match the decor of my home (but I seriously considered it).

Let’s unravel the captivating secrets of purple color psychology in the realm of fashion, including the origins, symbolism, and historical significance of this mesmerizing color.

As a theory-turned-truth, this article invites you to an intimate exploration of the regal beauty and timeless elegance of purple.

Starting with its amazing fact—purple is not a single hue, and some would argue it doesn’t exist at all. For us to perceive the beautiful chromatic wonder of this spectacular “non-spectral” color (which does not exist in the visible light spectrum so it must be produced by a combination of wavelengths). Our brains help to do the work of processing and recognizing it.

Purple Brain Psychology - Creating Purple Light
Violet and Red Light Combined to Form Purple

That’s right, for purple to exist, your eyes and brains must do a bit of purple brain computing.

With that, my ‘purple brain’ becomes instantly flushed with stories of the color, and the images of its dazzling hue.

The story begins with the visible light spectrum, consisting of a shorter wavelength (we perceive as violet), together with a longer wavelength (we detect as red).

Through the scientific magic of our eyes and brains, we process the combination of these colors to create—and see—the resulting color.

This magical color dates back as early as 25,000 BC. The result of a dye made from the secretions of Europe’s Murex Brandaris sea snail. The dye’s creation, used for Tyrian purple, graced the fabric of nobility, producing the robes of priests and kings. Because the dye required a very specific process of extraction from the snails, drying, rehydrating, and application—and because the process produced relatively small quantities—the products it yielded were rare and correspondingly expensive.

Why This Color?

  • Purple accessories, associated with style, influence, and elegance, have a long history as a fashionable power color.
  • Amethyst and Kunzite are two gemstones that add mystique and elegance to fashion.
  • Purple gemstones symbolize, nobility, wisdom, and enlightenment.
  • The color never goes out of style as an ever-present inspiration in fashion, influencing trends and designs.

The Origins of Purple Gemstone and Fashion Jewelry

At major points in human history, we’ve seen incredible purple color symbolism, from religion to royalty, and from haute couture to workout wear, the spectacular hue commands the attention of royals and rock stars.

The color has long been a major chromatic symbol in the design arsenal of influencers who use purple color psychology to make a high-impact statement.Its regal associations throughout history have assured its place as an icon of authority and boldness, only intensifying with each design progression, making it a bold choice in today’s fashion trends.

The color also has a fascinating range of influences, from the calming effect some of us receive in its presence, to the creativity, imagination, and spirituality it triggers for many others. For me, I’ve always loved the color for jewelry (Amethyst, of course). In fact, based on the depth of my fascination with it, you could make the credible argument that it’s become part of my DNA.

Symbolism of Purple in Fashion

Purple Color Psychology
Purple Color Psychology In Fashion

In fashion, its symbolism has achieved an ascendency that has claimed a position of beyond any other color.

Purple’s regal connotations place it high on the list of distinguished color choices for both designers and consumers. Its sense of luxury maintains a special place in the world of color psychology, representing power, wealth, and extravagance.

Purple Color Symbolism - Royalty Attire
Color Symbolism – Tyrian Purple In the Monarchy

From the deep and mysterious amethyst to the fluorite and captivating ametrine, purple gemstones imbue a sense of mystique and elegance to any wardrobe. The color’s historical significance in fashion represents a rich tapestry of influence on haute couture.

Historical Significance of Purple Gemstones in Fashion

Historical Significance of Purple
Historical Significance of Purple – Tyran Gemstones

Along the same historical timeline, the majestic hue’s presence in royal circles is equally matched by its significance in theological circles. Treasured for its values of philosophy, wisdom, and enlightenment, many continue to be drawn to the color’s ability to promote spiritual balance.

From Lepidolite to tourmaline, these gemstone colors continue to captivate and inspire, infusing a touch of majesty into the world of fashion.

Purple Fashion Trends

The Psychology of Color – On The Runway

Two emerging fashion trends, pairing lavender with metallic accents and incorporating rich plum hues into unique fusion designs, are captivating the industry with modern elegance.

Murano Purple Bubble Necklace
Murano Purple Bubble Necklace | HerMJ

These trends have been connected with celebrity fashion, highlighting the brilliant allure of purple in high style. Inspired by runway shows, fashion designers experiment with accessories, adding the bold color to enhance their creations with a dazzling blush of sophistication.

Amethyst Moon and Stars Pendant Necklace
Amethyst Moon and Stars Pendant Necklace | HerMJ

Whether it’s a lavender dress paired with metallic heels or plum-colored jeans, purple dominates the fashion scene with its dramatic color.

Fashion connoisseurs are captivated by the regal allure of purple gemstones, as they add a touch of opulence and glamour to modern-day ensembles. The enchanting hue of amethyst, tanzanite, and lavender jade has become a favorite among designers and celebrities alike. Here are five reasons why the color dominates the fashion scene:

  • Celebrity endorsements: A-list stars have been spotted wearing unique purple jewelry gemstone jewelry, setting trends and influencing fashion choices.
  • Sustainable fashion: With the rising demand for ethical and sustainable fashion, purple gemstones offer a perfect solution. Many designers are opting for responsibly sourced gemstones, ensuring minimal environmental impact.
  • Designer collaborations: Collaborations between renowned designers and gemstone experts have resulted in exquisite collections that showcase the magnificence of purple gemstones.
  • Gemstone mining: The process of mining purple gemstones supports local communities and ensures fair trade practices, making them an ethically appealing choice for conscious consumers.
  • Custom jewelry: Purple gemstones offer endless possibilities for creating unique and personalized pieces of jewelry, adding a touch of individuality and luxury to any ensemble.

Frequently Asked Questions

Without question, we’ll always marvel at beautiful purple statements at red-carpet events, as well as in high fashion. This majestic color will continue to play a role in regal creations within the luxury industry, as well as eye-catching garments in relaxed everyday wear. And by all means, you should include a few purple statement pieces for your wardrobe, too.

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