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The Power Of Red in Fashion: From Ruby Slippers to Louboutins

The Power Of Red in Fashion: From Ruby Slippers to Louboutins

Did you know that Dorothy Gale's slippers were originally silver, in Frank L Baum's The Wizard of Oz?  It's true. But when MGM created the movie, the brilliant designer Gilbert Adrian understood the power of red. He knew that ruby red slippers would make a much more memorable impact when contrasted with the now famous, yellow brick road. Those very same ruby slippers are now considered the most valuable items of memorabilia from the film.

Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers

Gilbert Adrian wasn't the first to recognize the power of red. Since red is the color of blood, it is associated the heart, so it has been used to represent emotion, passion, seduction, desire, romance and love. It makes sense that Valentine's Day claimed red as its signature color.  


Red Sonia Rykiel Vintage Crushed Velvet Ruffled Dress

Sonia Rykiel Vintage Red Crushed Velvet Ruffled Dress 

vintage 1980s cherry red pouf dress

1980's Neiman Marcus Cherry Red Vintage Pouf Party Dress


But, red is a contradiction! It is also the color of fire and has long been associated with domination, energy, war, danger, strength, and power. From cars to political affiliations and power suits, red refuses to be ignored!


1980s Roedean Landeaux Vintage Red Quilted Coat

Vintage Roedean Landeaux 1980's Vintage Red Avant Garde Quilted Coat

Escada Vintage Red Sweater Versace Jeans

1980's Escada Avant Garde Sweater Shown With Versace Vintage Jeans Couture

Norma Kamali Vintage Red Athleisure Pants and Sweatshirt

1980s Norma Kamali Vintage Red Two Piece Early Athleisure Sweatshirt Outfit


At Modig, we have found that red is one of our most popular colors, regardless of the era or style. If it's a shade of red or pink it is more likely to sell over every other color! Our vintage collection includes just about every shade of red.


1980s vintage 20s style beaded red dress

1980's Vintage 1920's Style Beaded Red Silk Dress

Jean Charles de Castalbajac Red Coat Vintage 1980s

Vintage Jean Charles Castelbajac Red Coat


The proof of the power of red is easy to quantify - Red artworks bring in the highest prices at auction, red is the color used in 77% of national flags, and red is one of the top two favorite colors of all people. 


Moschino Couture Vintage franco Jacket Italy

Franco Moschino designed Moschino Couture Blazer Italian Landmarks


It has been speculated that red was the first color, other than black and white, mentioned in history. In terms of fashion history, many famous fashion icons and designers have chosen red as their signature color. For some, red has become synonymous with their names!


Diana Vreeland Billy Baldwin Red Room

Diana Vreeland in a room decorated by Billy Baldwin in her favorite shade of red.

vintage red escada evening gown dress fur trim

Vintage Escada Couture 1980's Red Evening Gown with Mink Trim
There are hundreds of shades of reds, but they can be divided into two general types; yellow-based reds are “tomato” reds and blue-based reds are “berry reds.” Whether scarlet, wine, raspberry, garnet, crimson, vermillion, maroon, tomato, lipstick, cherry, or ruby, most people can find a red in fashion that works on them. 

Elsa Schiaparelli Pink Dress

Elsa Schiaparelli's Shocking Pink from the museum at FIT


Elsa Schiaparelli described her signature color "Shocking Pink" as "..all the light and the birds and the fish in the world put together, a colour of China and Peru.. a shocking colour, pure and undiluted." We would have to agree!


rare schiaparelli vintage coat and hat shocking pink

Child's Vintage Schiaparelli Shocking Pink Coat and Hat Ensemble

Bellville Sassoon Vintage Pink Black Dress

1980's Hot Pink Lorcan Mullany for Bellville Sassoon Evening Gown

vintage pink dress with pink bow

1980's Strapless Shocking pink Vintage Evening Dress (Sold)

Clare Potter Vintage Hot Pink Dess

Rare 1950's Claire Potter Satin Faille Hot Pink Dinner Duet 

victor-costa-vintage-pink-evening -gown

 1980's Vintage Victor Costa Black Velvet and Pink Satin Evening Gown


Garavani Valentino made his signature 'Valentino Red"  famous when he used it in the multiple styles of gorgeous evening gowns he designed throughout his career.


Valentino Red

Valentino Garavani's Signature Red

Red Randolph Duke Evening Gown

Randolph Duke Vintage 1990's Red Evening Dress


Victor Costa Red Vintage One Shoulder Chiffon Dress

Sheer Chiffon Vintage Victor Costa One Shoulder Tomato Red Evening Dress


And of course, the famous French fashion designer, Christian Louboutin, understood very well how important red can be. It was no accident that he chose to use red as the signature color in the shiny lacquer on the soles of his highly coveted, very recognizable shoes. The rest is history!


Christian Louboutin Spiked Silver Shoes Red Soles

Christian Louboutin Red Sole Heels

Christian Louboutin Just Picks Silver Spike Clear Slingback Shoes
So it is our hope, this Valentine's day, that you will embrace the power of your favorite shade of red. 


Fashion is just one small way to express the passion, strength and fierce energy inside of you.  We hope you will use what you wear to show the world the unique, one of a kind human being you are, not just on Valentine's Day, but every day of the year!

You can Shop Modig Valentine's Day collection  here.


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