Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen my YouTube link to an old Harper's Bazaar video. Titled "The Fashion Message for Fall 1971", the video featured China Machado interviewing Bill Blass, Halston, and the like for their thoughts on Fall fashion for 1971. When Machado asked Geoffrey Beene for his color forecast, he mentioned teal blue and "a color the French call prunelle". Prunelle? That would be a plummy, prune color. At first I thought how very Seventh Avenue to use the French word for this color, but then again, wouldn't you prefer to wear a prunelle dress rather than a prune dress? It reminded me of an interview I saw with Vera Wang in which she described the color of her living room as "moutarde" rather than mustard. And I'm guilty of slapping fancy names on colors. Have you ever heard me say that I adore an eggplant lacquered room? Nope. I always say aubergine. I suppose it just sounds more exotic than it really is. Pretentious? I think it just might be.
Anyway, I started to think about prune in the home. I wonder why this color is not seen more often in interiors? Are we biased towards the color because of its name? Do we shudder at the thought of its medicinal effects? (When I see the word prune, I immediately think of the prune juice that was on the menu for years and years at The Cloister. I bet when they decided to go after the glamorous set a few years ago they got rid of that item on the menu!) Or, is it just an ugly color?
I don't think I would want a prune colored room. Instead, I'd choose either brown or aubergine. I mean eggplant. But, what about a chair seat covered in prune colored leather or mohair? The chair frame would need to be something other than brown wood, perhaps a creamy ivory or even a smoky gray would be pretty. Or, I could see a glossy ceramic lamp in prunelle. And prune might look pretty smashing mixed with glints of gold and hand rubbed brass. I'm certainly not trying to sell you on coloring your world prune, but it's not that bad of a color. You only need it in small doses- like prune juice.
Do a search on Neiman Marcus for prune and this Ferragamo shoe pops up.
What do you think? Is Farrow and Ball's "Pelt" a shade of prune?
This Calvin Klein fabric from Kravet is Ligne in Prune.
A prune commode by Cote France via Decorati
Image at top: Good luck finding a room with prune accents in it. Perhaps there's a reason for it. This room is kind of pruney, although perhaps it's more plummy. And guess who's responsible for it? Billy Baldwin.