Modern Neons: Majorelle Blue

majorelle

Bright neon in fashion is something you either love or hate. Many people dislike the colour, perhaps reminding them too much of the bright neon styles of the 80s a little too much. But neon colours are popping up everywhere now, from some of the most stylish fashion houses to your everyday yarn supplier. One […]

Bright neon in fashion is something you either love or hate. Many people dislike the colour, perhaps reminding them too much of the bright neon styles of the 80s a little too much. But neon colours are popping up everywhere now, from some of the most stylish fashion houses to your everyday yarn supplier.

One of my favourite combinations of neon is a bright yellow with an electric blue. This bright blue is actually known as Majorelle Blue, and it’s history is quite interesting.

The History of Majorelle Blue

Why “Majorelle”? The Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, Morocco feature some of the brightest neons you’ll see in Africa. In 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the gardens and see the electric-bright painted walls myself. The Majorelle Gardens were created by Jacques Majorelle, son of an art-nouveau designer, in the 1920s. It took him nearly 18 years to complete the gardens, which surrounded his home in the heart of the ancient city. He decorated the gardens with the bright, exciting colours of the exotic North-African culture. The neons of the Majorelle Gardens may seem ahead of their time, which bright orange, yellow and blue flowerpots scattered throughout the gardens, along with the bright blue walls of the building which would come to be known as Majorelle Blue.

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Yves Saint Laurent

In the early 1980s, Yves Saint Laurent bought the gardens from an unwell Jaques and reconstructed it. The gardens were open to the public for a small entrance fee and have acted as an escape from the dusty, dry and arid city of Marrakech ever since. The ashes of Yves Saint Laurent are scattered here in the garden oasis.

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Influence of Majorelle Blue

The bright blue of the main house in the gardens became incredibly popular in the local area. It is not uncommon to see tiny sections of wall in the back streets of Marrakech painted in this colour. It is a beautiful jewel in the middle of all the dry, orangey walls inside the medina (main city walls). The combination of the bright yellow with the Majorelle blue has now found it’s way into fashion as a clean and fresh summer palette.

Majorelle Blue in fashion

I am in love with this dress from Max Mara Weekender which features a neon yoke and Majorelle blue floral print. This would be so easy to create by using a yoked pattern and finding complimenting florals, I find neon has a really premium feel when done right. This pleated dress from Nordstrom has a distinctly 30s silhouette and features Majorelle Blue with it’s classic neon yellow pairing. What do you think of the combination? Fresh and exciting for summer or belongs in a disco? Let me know!

maxmara

nordstrom

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Francesca Haselden

Francesca is the owner of EatSleepKnitUK, she also works for Toyota Home Sewing and is a web developer 9-5!

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