Fashion Exploring Critical Issues

  • Victoria Jackson (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Phantom Red: Colour, Fashion Film in the 1920s In 1925 a new shade of red called Phantom Red was introduced to the American fashion trade. Regularly described as scarlet with a hint of yellow it was inspired by the red cape worn by the Phantom in the Technicolor II sequences of Universal Film’s new production The Phantom of the Opera (Julian, 1925). Technicolor II was an early colour process produced by the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation that, although enjoying some commercial success in the mid 1920s, could not capture the full colour spectrum. Whilst the process was unable to record blues it could capture vivid and eye-catching reds as in the case of the Phantom’s cape. In this paper we examine some of the various meanings, which circulated around the shade Phantom Red from its introduction in 1925 through to the mid 1930s. Once a colour is introduced into the cultural sphere it is open to interpretation and changing meaning. We will argue there could be multiple meanings attached to the colour phantom red, some even conflicting, for the consumer to negotiate with and identify or aspire to. As we will demonstrate, where at first Phantom Red was defined by its association with the film it later developed new meanings and connections for the consumer as she interacted with it, meanings that were not standardised but fluid.
Period12 Sept 2013
Event typeConference
LocationOxford, United KingdomShow on map


  • Fashion
  • Colour Film
  • Colour
  • Technicolor
  • Phantom Red