I Wear Purple Every Day

Non c’è niente che non indosserei di color viola. Ormai ho perso il conto di quante cose di questo colore ho acquistato negli anni. Fin da piccolo il viola esercita una sorta di azione magica su di me.

Peter McCormack

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Alex Warner

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When I was five, I fell in love with my granny’s purple bedroom carpet. Every weekend, I would bring all my toys and luxuriate on it. I can still remember the exact colour: a lovely deep royal purple. Mum and Dad saw how peculiar I was with it, and when I got my own room, a year or two later, they put the same carpet in there. I was absolutely thrilled.

Later, Mumbought me a Goofyjumper that had a white body with purple arms and a purple detail, and I loved it with a passion. At school, the lining of my blazer was royal purple; no one else had secret flair inside their uniform, although I used to get bullied  horribly for it. I always wore purple socks and a discreet purple badge somewhere, too.

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In my twenties, dressing entirely in purple became my thing. As my career as a set designer and artist took off, I felt a pressure to keep up my signature look. People would say, “Oh you must meet Gary – he’s hilarious, he only wears purple,” and then I’d arrive at a meeting not wearing it and realise I had disappointed them. It was helpful to have a memorable quirk, but I also think it stopped me from getting some jobs, perhaps because people thought I would make everything purple. I do use it in my work, but only as a highlight, because I genuinely think it brings stuff to life. It’s an interesting colour. It’s hot and it’s cold at the same time; it’s red and it’s blue. It is mystical and yet carries a feeling of grandeur.

These days, I wear purple underwear, as well as purple socks, and usually a purple shirt or purple trousers, but rarely both together. I’m thirty-seven, and I stopped wearing head-to-toe purple in my early thirties; I guess I felt a bit like a parody of myself. Even so, I have lost count of how many purple items I have – I couldn’t put a number on it.

Purple is always there, in fashion. Although it is said to be the hardest colour to sell, it’s usually easy to find. Raf Simons used to do a lot of purple stuff. Kim Jones’s latest collection for Dior has a lot of gorgeous purple silk. I had to limit how much Paul Smith I was buying, because there is a lot in his collections – I have three of his purple suits. I like other colours, such as oxblood, and am a sucker for petrol blues and cousins of purple, such as lilac or violet, but they are shades that complement the mother colour. I don’t think there is anywhere I wouldn’t wear purple. My dad always said wear big colours to his funeral; I did him proud.

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It’s not only clothes. I have purple bedding and a purple sofa, and until recently I had a purple toaster. The most expensive things I have are my two purple portfolios: one in purple leather, the other in purple suede. I had them made when I first got igned to an agent, to show my work. They make me look like a touring hair salon owner, but I love them.

It’s super easy to buy me presents. Mum bought me thirty different purple toothbrushes for Christmas; she’d been collecting them all year. One time, my friends went to different corner shops and bought me every purple cleaning product they could find and presented them to me in a bin bag – it was funny and brilliant. A lot of people give me Prince stuff, which makes me happy as it’s purple by default. I do love Prince, but not because of purple.

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I’m readinga lot of Prince biographies at the moment and the books tend to be purple, so sometimes I’m a purple guy reading a purple book. This combination has proved
irresistible to some commuters: people covertly take pictures of me. I see their phone slowly rise as they try to take
their shot – and then they look away quickly. I’m like, “Dude, I know what you’re doing.”

Maybe it’s because I am in tune with it, but quite often I will see another purple person out on the street and get a tingle of kinship kinship and purple envy. I wish I could be more of a purple
maniac.

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