Sartorial Spaces: The colors of love

Students paint a portrait of love at SHHO’s Color Theory event


In the center of the dance floor was a girl dancing freely. Her burnt orange velvet two-piece absorbed and reflected the lights around her.  

Ariana Gueranmayeh | Cavalier Daily

The theme was love and the colors were warm and the people were dancing. In a dark room with a stage, a colorful projection of shades of baby blues, golden yellows and fuzzy pinks stood behind the DJs. On the dance floor, people moved with a freedom nostalgic of a 1970s disco club party. There was energy, and there was love.  

This past Valentine’s Day weekend on Feb. 15, the Student Hip Hop Organization invited students to join them at the Southern Café and Music Hall in Downtown Charlottesville. “Color Theory: Love” was a ticketed event offering students a space to dance, listen to music and socialize. The theme — both color and love — was captured in the warm palettes of the posters and translated into a collection of colored lights and projected montages onto the walls of the Southern. The warmth of the colors coupled with the warmth of the music sets curated by student DJs left the room feeling just cozy enough to dance without losing the energy. 

During the first set, a projection of a baby blue montage of movies such as “Moonlight” and “The Truman Show” established a deep atmosphere — a collision of cool and warm, inviting movement and immersion. When disco classics like “Got To Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn or “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross were cued, the crowd jolted to the floor and sang, swayed and bopped.  

In the center of the dance floor was a girl dancing freely. Her burnt orange velvet two-piece absorbed and reflected the lights around her. With each flip of her hair and bounce to her dance, she shimmered. A smile seemed to never leave her face. 

“Once a month, when I actually leave the house, I flex on the fit,” she said about her outfit. The top was a cropped tank-top with two silver, metal circles linked at the strap. Her pants, with a lightweight denim over-shirt tied around the waist, were reminiscent of the 1980s and 1990s style of loose joggers, most famously worn by MC Hammer. On her feet, she wore fluorescent white Skechers, adding to the comfortable and nostalgic ‘fit.’ 

The warmth of burnt orange was scattered throughout the crowd, appearing in knit crop tops and silk button downs. 

With pink hair and golden undertones, another student danced with her friends in the crowd. Her colorful hair fell lightly onto her shoulders, meeting her brightly colored, Mondrian infused geometric shirt. Like many others, she wore black plants — a staple for nightwear. 

Matching the warmth of the yellow projection and colored lights, a student DJ wore a red, silk, embroidered button down that moved with his body as he danced on the stage. Over the shirt, he wore a yellow statement necklace that fell like a soft chandelier from beneath the color of the shirt. The red shirt, contrasting with the bright yellow background behind him, permitted a new color experience of the night — golden. 

As students continued to sing and dance to songs like Frank Ocean’s “White Ferrari” and Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Drunk in Love,” the golden lights reflected off of shimmering faces who were hugged by the warmth of the room. 

The night concluded with shades of pink — the same hue that blinds two lovers at the first glimpse of falling for the other. 

Students dressed to express whatever they needed to express — love, individuality, companionship, freedom. As they all danced, the movements of their bodies were echoed by the movements of their clothes. The constant motion of energy and bodies kept a flowing stream of love in the air and on the floor. 

That night, SHHO painted a portrait of love with a palette of warm lights, intoxicating soundscapes and a room filled with friends, strangers and lovers. 

The takeaway — dress warm and love more. 

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