The Royal Wardrobe – Dressing the Courts

This post takes a closer look at the outfits worn by the courts in Nine Lives playing cards. Find out why the Knight of Spades is dressed in blue & why the Queen of Clubs is wearing yellow…

spades small hearts small diamonds-small clubs-small

Colour brings us together

If you are familiar with tarot or playing cards, you will know the importance colour plays in connecting suits and related cards.

Some of my early favourite playing cards dressed the courts in matching colours: spades in  green, the clubs in purple, the hearts in red and the diamonds in blue …. Others incorporated the colours worn by the royal families of the time. In tarot, the minor suits often use colour to enhance the symbolic meaning of each realm. While there are variations (i.e. different schools of thought or methods), the use of colour can provide instant visual cues about the cards in front of you.

Artwork by Annette Abolins

Colours in Nine Lives Illustrated Playing Cards

In this deck, I have used colour as a subtle reference to the tarot suit each playing card suit is connected to, adopting the colour scheme I used for Nine Lives Tarot. In designing matching outfits for the Queen, King and Knight of each suit, I wanted to portray their royal fashion sense while introducing some of their tarot persona to the cards. Playing card symbols hold centre stage in the wardrobe design, which consists of tailored capes, tunics and dresses – embellished with spades, diamonds, hearts or clubs.

  • Hearts = Red – the colour of blood, symbolising matters of the heart and emotions
  • Clubs = Orange/Yellow – the colour of fire, symbolising free spirit, passion and innovation
  • Diamonds = Green – the colour of growth, symbolising foundations, prosperity, home & hearth
  • Spades = Indigo – the colour of midnight sky, symbolising clear thought and the wisdom of the mind

Characters of the courts – accentuated on coloured background

ninelives-court-detail_hearts_aaThe Royal Hearts – dressed in accents of red with the element water in focus

Royal Clubs - dressed in yellow and orangeThe Royal Clubs – wearing orange and yellow to symbolise their Fiery element

Royal Diamonds dressed in greenThe Royal Diamonds – dressed in accents of green to reflect the element Earth

Royal spades - dressed in blueThe Royal Spades – wearing shades of Indigo to reflect the element Air

I hope you enjoyed this close-up look at the royal outfits – and thank you for visiting!
Annette :)


1 thought on “The Royal Wardrobe – Dressing the Courts”

  1. That was all so interesting and beautifully presented. Thank you. Your interpretation of the colours parallels those interpretations used in numerology, which gave your explanations yet another layer of authenticity. I really look forward to your extremely engaging posts.

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