April 25, 2015

So Apparently Christopher Palu Doesn’t Realize Blood Orange Is a Real Thing?

It is almost 6 a.m. and I am still working, watching the season finale of Project Runway, which has been my background noise during these late night sessions following our acquisition.  All season, one of my favorite designers has been a guy named Christopher Palu.  But then … in the final episode, one of the other designers brought in a color sample that was blood orange.  He makes a big deal out of her being pretensions saying, “Shut up … it’s red.”



No wait … here is the video.

I realize that the men in my family have a weird genetic quirk that makes us see colors like women do.  I get it.  There aren’t many males who have perfect color hue matching … take the test for yourself.  It was necessary in the industry in which we grew up, being one of the biggest varsity jacket award businesses, because if we couldn’t do it, we would have gone bankrupt and been driven out of the trade.  Leather colors.  Melton wool colors.  Yarn colors.  Even slight variations in a single dye lot could cost you a lot of money if you didn’t notice it but a picky customer did.  But seriously?

I mean … seriously?

My sporting goods business produces untold quantities of both Scarlet Red (“red”) and Blood Orange materials each year.  They are not even remotely similar.  How the hell can someone not tell these two colors apart?  I love scarlet red.  Blood orange makes me feel … slightly sad.  I don’t know why.  It’s a depressing color, unless it’s put against a black background, then it’s great.  Melissa’s material was quintessential blood orange.  There was nothing red about it.


Red. This is red.


Blood Orange Material Project Runway Christopher Palu

Actual Screenshot of Melissa’s blood orange material … this is blood orange!

They are … seriously, WTF.  What is he talking about?  How in God’s name could anyone call those two colors comparable or mistake them?  This isn’t even hard – they’re pretty far apart on the spectrum.  If you think that is anything close to red, you need to get tested for color blindness or examine your hue accuracy because your eyes are broken.

This is what I am talking about when I wrote the essay on how we all see, hear, taste, and feel the world differently.  People don’t even consider, though, that they may have a deficiency in an area that others don’t.  Instead, they immediately think the problem is with the other person.  Train yourself to invert that.  Always start from the premise that you might be the shortcoming and it’s a lot easier to catch errors.

I may dislike blood orange because, even though they aren’t similar, something in it reminds me of a whisper of coral.  I loathe coral.  It’s the ugliest color God ever saw fit to put on the spectrum.  I’d like to think he was drunk when he invented it.

No seriously … look at coral … doesn’t it immediately make you think of horrible 1980’s Sandals resort commercials and women with giant hair?  It’s such a sad color.  I wish I could wipe it off the color wheel.

It’s like clown fish vomit after eating a white cream sauce.  Disgusting.


No wonder women get so angry at men when they get dressed.  It’s like being in a world where people can’t smell things or taste things.  If someone brought back those textiles and ran an order wrong, costing us thousands of dollars, they would be corrected.  If it happened again, they would be fired.  Even worse if they embroidered it on a leather product because there’s no covering up those mistakes.

Blood orange … it’s not red.  It’s not pretentious.  That’s the name of the color!  It would be like calling someone pretentious for referring to an automobile as a “car” or a Steinway as a “piano”.  I suppose you could use the Pantone designations.  Here’s the thing … the color this other designer had, actually was blood orange!

Actually, to be entirely accurate, my companies use a specific type of blood orange that looks like this, which is even further down the hue chart, always requiring us to send samples to new clients before we run their orders because many call it by a different name and swap it with New York Orange, which looks nothing like it, but that’s a regional thing):

Blood Orange II

I’m exhausted … I really should be in bed, but I have one more contractual thing I need to go over.  I’ve been working for almost 24 hours straight.

That’s the business owner manufacturer in me … hearing someone say something like that normally is followed by a very large check that needs to be written because a screwup was involved.  Thank God it’s never happened on a large batch of custom dyed wools.  That wouldn’t be fun.

Anyway, even though he’s been kind of mean in this episode, which is a weird shift, I still hope he (Christopher) or Fabio wins.  I have 45 minutes left on the episode so I’ll wait around here and approve the final publications for my monthly About.com content.

… I just realized I’m supposed to be at Easter dinner in a few hours.  I’m going to be exhausted.

I’m so tired I probably shouldn’t have posted anything.  Oh well.  I’ll see the damage in the morning, I suppose, when I can actually read what I am writing, not going cross eyed, and come to my senses.

Wait … now he’s mocking the poor girl, Melissa, as they drink champagne.  Dear Lord, he’s falling apart.  He’s too talented to fall apart.  What is happening?  Why is this happening?

Maybe I’m jaded.  I can’t even remember how many times I stood on the stage at Lincoln Center and preformed between the times I was 18 and 22 years old.  The Brahms Requiem with the visiting Dresden Philharmonic … God that was beautiful.  I still can close my eyes and feel the music going through me as we hit the crescendo on the second movement.  That was one of the most powerful experiences of my life.  But I’ve done it so it’s just Lincoln Center.  It’s old hat.  Maybe I’m too blasé about the whole thing.  By 24, I knew what it was like to have done that; I knew what it was like to walk into a Barnes & Noble and see my own book; I knew what it was like to be successful.  I knew what it was like to publish an article and reach tens of millions of people.

You can do this Christopher!  Pull yourself together man.  Don’t screw it up!  I want you to win!  Or Fabio … he’s good too, even though I don’t understand the eating food out of the trash thing for environmental reasons.  Grow a botanical garden or something.  But whatever.

Yeah … I’m going to bed.  I’ve lost all semblance of filter.  I can’t make it 39 minutes to see the ending.  But now everyone is referring to it as the “red dress”.  No … I can’t.  I’m too tired to care.

*** Update: Spoiler Alert ***

It’s so close … I haven’t gone home, yet.

Though I’ve finally forgiven Nina Garcia for that horrible year Gretchen won.  I still don’t understand it.  Everything she made looked exactly like the outfits the old hippies around here wore.

… agh … Christopher didn’t win.  I’m so sad.

I hated his runway show but all season, he is so clearly better than everyone else that he should win.  He makes beautiful clothes.  I want to see his name in Bergdorf.

Damn it.

Do not agree.  Do not agree at all.

I’m sad.

I’m sad.

This is bull crap.

Whatever.  I hope Christopher makes an obscene amount of money.  And that he learns to handle stress better.  He was so put together and then he just fell apart.  And he got mean when he fell apart.  What people remember about you is how you make them feel.  When times are stressful are when you need to hold it together most.  He’s young.  He’ll grow out of it.

I also hope Fabio is successful because he seems like one of the kindest people I’ve ever seen on television.  I normally don’t even watch television, but judging from what I hear about the state of reality tv, I think it’s pretty rare.

Bedtime.  Or at least naptime.  Easter dinner soon.  But I got everything done!

I am happy for the winner, though … he did have a great story about coming to America and starting a new life.  I just don’t like such … harsh … aesthetics.

  • FratMan

    Hey Joshua. Happy Easter! Have a good one, man. You deserve it.

  • weixiluo

    Joshua, you seem to not sleep a lot but still manage to get extremely productive, so I’m just wondering, are you what is called a “natural short sleeper” or “sleepless elite” ?


  • crabhooves

    Happy Easter Joshua! Thankyou for saying that about blood orange – I’ve always felt it was a horrible depressing colour.

  • Ian Francis

    This is definitely the ramblings (meant in the kindest sense) of someone running on caffeine alone. Hope Easter went well.

    • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

      Here was a portrait of the scene:

      • Ian Francis

        I do not know how you come across such absurd internet art. This almost looks like you went out of your way to draw the appropriate image in Microsoft Paint just for this post, but I’m guessing that is not the case.

        • Alexis C

          Gah, lack of attribution for cartoons on the internet, kind of a pet peeve of mine. The artist is Natalie Dee.

  • Amanda

    Blood orange… It’s fucking red

  • Emily Varno

    Too bad that’s not at all the color of an actual blood orange.

    • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

      I know, that’s the crazy (and frustrating) thing about the manufacturing side. The textile companies that dominate our particular niche refer to a maroon-like color as “cardinal” and the color you’d think was cardinal red as “scarlet red”. All because that’s how it was 100+ years ago from a naming scheme that made no sense.

      Internally, we use Hex codes. That way there can be no disagreement about potential colors.

  • Sam

    Did you really just write a how article about this? Lol wtf

  • StrongNan

    EVERYONE at the fashion show called the dress red. “I loved that red dress!” over and over. NO ONE said “blood orange” Chris is hilarious and that just backed up his point 😛

  • plmnbvcxzaq

    shut up it’s red