Excerpt via SSENSE
Emily Yoshida Catalogs The Chromatic Design Of Cautionary Tales
Bummer green is the shade that most aptly captures this uncanny, paradoxical state of arrest. Putting this color on one’s body feels like waving a distress flag, and there’s a subversive thrill to that. It provides its own unflattering fluorescent lighting, put it on and you’re instantly in a hospital hallway or in an underground lab, or in a mad scientist lab coat, scowling about how the scientific community does not appreciate your groundbreaking genetic experiments. The wearer looks at least a touch unwell; nearly every skin tone looks sapped by it, which makes it particularly ironic in athleisure. It’s Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes’ Safe (1995) nearly keeling over in aerobics class as she becomes increasingly convinced that the very air she breathes is killing her. Nature cannot coexist with Bummer Green, it needs its own sealed-off pod and a HEPA filter. Bummer Green hails from a future where the trees have all dried up and the storm drains have been clogged with clumps of plastic Easter grass and the idea of “real” green is theoretical at best.