Viewers of the docuseries Wild Wild Country are in awe of the coloured clothing sannyasins in Rajneeshpuram were wearing. It is presently even trending!
Here’s the ultimate colour guide to what the fashionable woman (and courageous man) is wearing.
Many writers and reviewers have mentioned the ‘sunrise colours’ that sannyasins wore in a myriad of hues until October 1985, when Osho told his people to drop the outer symbols of sannyas completely.
Emilia Petrarca wrote in the New York Magazine, The Cut, on March 28, 2018, after watching the docuseries Wild Wild Country:
What follows is real-life video footage of hordes of people, all dressed in head-to-toe red, marching through the town of Antelope in slow motion like a monochromatic zombie army. They wear red puffer coats, red turtlenecks, red jeans, and red sneakers. They look a lot like me, or you, or this Mansur Gavriel model. But they’re not. They’re members of the Rajneeshpuram cult, and they’re devoted to a slender Indian man with a long white beard who calls himself the Bhagwan.
[…] Wild Wild Country tells the story of what happened between 1981 and 1985 in Antelope, Oregon. It includes, but is not limited to, mass poisoning, wire-tapping, immigration fraud, sex, drugs, and attempted murder. But despite all the show’s mind-blowing details, what I can’t stop thinking about is this cult’s clothes. Why do they dress this way? Has a cult ever looked this good? And can I copy their style in my own life?
When visitors arrived at Rajneeshpuram, they were instructed to leave not only their names but also their civilian clothes at the door. Instead, they wore clothes “of the colors of the rising or setting sun” — red, orange, or purple — as well as beaded necklaces with a locket containing a picture of Bhagwan’s face. Rajneeshpuram even had a monochromatic clothing boutique where members could shop.
According to posts on Reddit, items sold at the boutique seem to be sourced from all over. One user reports that Meier & Frank, a popular department store chain in Oregon, even had a “dedicated buyer” just for red items at one point. In other words, “one person in charge of making sure one of the biggest department store chains in the area had enough red towels, bed sheets, T-shirts, etc.”
The impetus behind the group’s color coordination is not made clear in the documentary. (Saffron is the most sacred color of Hinduism, and the Hare Krishna wear all orange.) But whatever the reason, the results feel oddly on-trend for 2018, which perhaps explains why the look has garnered so many responses online. Personally, I’ve been dressing like a Rajneeshee for years without even knowing it.
Monochrome has been bubbling up as a fashion trend for the past few seasons. Givenchy, for example, did an all-red collection for fall 2017, and Dior showed an entire navy-blue collection that same season. The spring 2018 runways were particularly monochrome-heavy as well, meaning the trend will soon make its way to the streets — now almost certainly with the help of Wild Wild Country’s influence.
Images in slide show:
Photo of Mandy Moore’s party courtesy Elle
Photo of model in red from The Cut
Photos of soft furniture from Architectural Digest
Colour visions by Cosmopolitan Magazine UK, November 2017