Cleopatra used it for her sails and sofas, Empress Eugénie sported it in most every portrait she commissioned — the color purple has long been associated with royalty and power. Up until the mid-nineteenth century the color could only be procured through a complex and costly process, which meant it was exclusively reserved for the elite. Courts from Ancient Rome to Henry VIII had laws prohibiting anyone other than the imperial from wearing purple.
Thankfully, those days are long gone but, while purple is available for all to enjoy, it retains a regal allure. We’re particularly fond of the softer, desaturated hues: lavender, lilac, mauve, which have found their way into recent fashion collections — Brock, Markarian, Valentino — and art exhibitions, from the Etel Adnan exhibit at SF Moma to the Franz Marc and August Macke show at Neue Galerie. The palest shade that is visible to the human eye, gentle purples offer a refreshing counterpoint to stronger tones and add a lovely hint of color to the autumnal palettes of fawn and burgundy. At Larkspur & Hawk, we always love the way lavender-foiled stones play with light, emanating a delicate, dulcet glow that makes the wearer radiant.