I have always had a favorite color, for as long and far back as I can remember. That color is blue, all shades of it (if that's not cheating). The color of the sky when you first walk out of the house on a crisp autumn day and look up, and don't see a single cloud. The color of duck eggs, mottled and flecked. The color of the sea in Croatia, that incredible azure that I couldn't believe was real -- I thought it was somehow a trick of the light, a mirage. It wasn't.
The color of the plates in my grandparent's house, the chintzy design dark in blue and covered eventually by gravy and meat. The color of the patchwork quilt my Nan made me as a child, the hexagons of material all linked with varying shades of blues.
Elvis sang about his blue suede shoes, Bob Dylan was tangled up in it. My Aspinall keyring and the "N" my sister gave me years ago. My favorite precious stone, the sapphire. My favorite flower, the bluebell. Forget-me-nots. All blue.
The Jardin Majorelle in Morocco is the place to go if, like me, blue makes you really feel. I went there last year with some girlfriends during a 5-day holiday in Marrakesh, and I was blown away by it. The Majorelle Garden is a 12-acre botanical garden, designed by French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s. Majorelle used a palette of yellows and blues throughout the garden, and the amazing bright cobalt is named after him -- "Bleu Majorelle."
In 1980, after the gardens had lain largely unloved following Majorelle's death in 1962, designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé bought it and painstakingly restored it. Saint-Laurent loved it so much that after his death in 2008, his ashes were scattered there.
After visiting the gardens, my love for blue was reignited -- my desire to own everything in that deep, bright cobalt went on overdrive. I'm not alone in my love for the shade, though, as surveys in the U.S. and Europe show that it is overwhelmingly the most popular color, chosen by almost half of both men and women as their favorite color.
Also, this year Pantone have decided that the color to be seen in for Spring 2014 (they get these in early, it's FASHION, darling) is "Dazzling Blue," a "peppy shade of cobalt," which you are most likely to recognize as the color used by Facebook for their logo.
Pantone always releases their "Color of the Year" in December, but also announce a "Color of Spring" in the preceding autumn, which usually ends up being the hot new shade in the shops. Designers are certainly on the blue train of thought, with the NYFW 3.1 Phillip Lim show on Monday throwing up serene hues and the occasional brighter piece.
The great thing about Dazzling Blue is that it's probably a shade you already have in your wardrobe -- a slightly less bright version of Yves Klein blue, but slightly brighter than navy.
As someone who loves a bit of blue herself, here are a few things I think you should definitely go and buy, because it's IN FASHION! And we're all victims, honeypie.
SKIN: Let's start simple, with Nivea Creme.
This handbag staple can be used to quench dry, thirsty skin, as night cream, excellent in the winter months when heating and winds can chap your skin. This multi-purpose moisturizer has been a favorite of millions since NINETEEN ELEVEN! Do your self a favor and chuck one in your handbag. You'll be totally on-trend.
MAKE UP: Topshop Liquid Liner in Nightfall.
This Topshop liner (their make up range is THE BEST, you guys, go and buy it all) is a real make up bag staple for me. It has a really thin brush, so you need to be steady-of-hand, but offers fab precision. It lasts all day without smudging or running in the slightest.
PERFUME: DOLCE & GABBANA - Light Blue
This classic scent from the Italian powerhouse is a light floral with fruity notes: apple, bluebells, jasmine, bamboo and white rose and subtle hints of cedarwood, amber and musk on the dry down. It's a real head turner, and will look endlessly chic on your dressing table. Plus, can we talk about the ad campaign? I die.
CLOTHES: Zara's Polka Dot Scarf
I LOOOOVE THIS SCARF. It's not cobalt, but this is my article so I am using artistic license. Zara always nail it. May favorite blouse, the one I'm wearing up there in the Nivea photo, is one of their sheer button-ups with an oriental flower design (in cobalt, of course). This scarf is not only utterly swoonsome, but only $25.90! Because it's not a heavy fabric this will totally transition into Spring '14. Transition! That sounds totally fashion-y.
NAILS: Essie Mesmorize
In my collection of many, many, many blue nail polishes, I'd say this was my most "Dazzling Blue" shade. It's got the trademark Essie wide brush, so applies like a dream and gets fully opaque in two coats. I wear this whenever I am not testing anything new -- it's my go-to favorite.
So those are my top picks of DAZZLING blue items to stock up on. Do you love blue too? What's the bluest ocean you've ever swum in? What's your favorite color and why? Think this whole Pantone "Color of Spring" thing is a crock? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
Dressed all in blue on Twitter: @Natalie_KateM