Talk about Purple Rain. Saturating the sartorial landscape lately, celebrity style has been awash with the color purple. Lady Gaga blew our minds in a cascading royal purple Gucci gown at the London premiere of House of Gucci. Anya Taylor-Joy made a campy statement at the CFDA Awards in a bold purple Oscar de la Renta peplum mini dress and matching purple pumps. Gal Gadot rocked a sleek and chic Sergio Hudson deep amethyst pantsuit to the Late Late Show with James Corden to promote her new film Red Notice. Cardi B raised the bar as an extravagant showgirl at the 2021 American Music Awards, clad in a Jean-Louis Sabaji plum velvet figure hugging gown, complete with crystals and feathers. Hailee Steinfeld epitomized diva glamour in a tailored, grape-toned David Koma pantsuit to the Hawkeye premiere in NYC, completing the look with a plush matching purple fur.
The power of purple has been associated with extreme wealth and royalty for centuries. In ancient times, the Phoenicians referred to purple dye as “Tyrian purple,” with it originating in the Phoenician city of Tyre (modern day Lebanon). The dye was extracted from an incredibly rare sea snail dubbed the Bolinus brandaris, and its extreme scarcity was in direct correlation to how expensive the coveted dye became. Due to its unattainable price point, the color became entirely exclusive to royalty. It has been said that some Roman emperors even forbade the commonwealth from ever wearing the color, as did, apparently, Queen Elizabeth I of England.
While still considered a luxe and sumptuous hue, purple has been associated with a new form of royalty in modern-day pop culture. When Sandra Bullock appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week to promote her upcoming film The Unforgivable, the actress donned a rich plum Temperley London velvet pantsuit. As soon as she sat down, Bullock declared, “I look like Prince. And I’m okay with that.” Not many can look at a monochrome purple ensemble and not immediately think of the iconic “Purple Rain” rockstar.
As the color choice of royalty and rockstars alike, purple has most certainly cemented itself as the trendiest color of the season. As our favorite celebs continue to opt for the lush grape hue, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for who rocks purple next.