We love red


Santa in furs. Santa in short pants, argyle socks. Santa in a tam, a capelet on his back. Santa in a black oilskin coat with a black floppy hat. I’m looking through ads in the Montreal Gazette. Old issues from the end of the 19th century. Santa’s depicted in a slew of styles. Large-Large-SVDG-liz-nilssonLarge-redslippers Among the ads, an ensemble stands out: a suit with fur trim, black boots, and a broad black belt about the belly. Who created this suit? Who knows? But it cropped up with frequency across Canada and the States. In catalogues, on greeting cards. In colour cuts, the suit was scarlet. It became ubiquitous, “the orthodox costume,” a newspaper called it. Large-Christmas-Stocking-Detail-Selvedge-Magazine-470Large-Christmas-Stockings-Selvedge-Magazine-470 So why did the red suit stick? Cultural critic Karal Ann Marling calls it a “highly decorated business suit.” It appealed, she argues, to an American idea that Santa was a businessman, an entrepreneur overseeing a toy factory. I don’t know if that’s true. What I do know is ‘Santa’s a winter’. Scarlet suits his complexion. Large-SVDG-khadi-blanket-740Large-kc2013-11-04-Selvedge-2578 If you're a regular Selvedge reader you may have gathered that we're pretty keen on the colour red. Whether it is vermillion, chartreuse, cochineal or scarlet – if it's done well – we're a fan. In anticipation for Christmas we're having a red special - shop online for 10% off all red items, including felt slippers, blankets and stockings. Please note discount is applied at checkout. This post includes an extract from Derek McCormack's article in the Dress Circle issue of Selvedge. Large-Khadi-red-small-stripe-ScarfLarge-red-2

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