ITS ALL ABOUT RED
WRITTEN BY FIONA INGHAM
The latest from our House of Colour blogger Fiona Ingham
Red will take centre stage for Winter 2020, according to the recent Paris fashion shows, but in reality, red is always in fashion. Diane Vreeland, legendary editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, expressed her enthusiasm for this colour stating ‘I have spent my life searching for the perfect red.’ Sometimes I wonder if I’m red’s second greatest fan, but I guess Coco Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Armani are way ahead of me!
Blue is the colour most loved globally but red tops the league for visibility, excitement and extreme reaction. Teams wearing red win more. Red Sale signs make us buy. Red energises.
As a Colour Analyst I find that many clients fear wearing red, but when encouraged to try it, they love it, as these emails following colour analysis show:
‘I’ve bought a red coat. I get loads of compliments. You’ve given me a new lease of life! PS I’ve got on my poppy red lipstick too, in my pyjamas!’
‘I’m wearing my geranium red top this morning and already have had three compliments!’
Times have changed
In the past a long-lasting red dye was difficult to acquire so the colour was worn by only the rich and those considered of high status; royalty, nobility, the church. The introduction of synthetic dyes in the 19 Century made red available to all, but associations of authority, and confidence still cling to it.
I try hard not to sigh when people tell me ‘Red only looks good on people with dark hair’ or ‘Red only looks good on blondes’ ‘Red heads can’t wear red’. All so wrong! Everyone can wear red. We just need to find the correct hues for our skin tones.
Primary red can be worn whatever your colouring. Yes really! The reason is quite logical. It sits right at the centre of the colour wheel and works for each colour season. You will see it called middle red, poppy or scarlet. The very different colourings of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex both looked stunning wearing it recently.
If you have warm based skin tones (Autumns and Springs) tomato, geranium and orange reds are for you. Or go richer to terracotta or rust, brighter to orange and tangerine or deeper to chestnut.
If that range doesn’t appeal, consider the blue based equivalents which work for cool based skin tones (Winters and Summers) Think delicious cherry, carmine, berry, raspberry or go deeper into burgundy, plum, fig.
If you’re tempted by red but eschew a head to toe Lady in Red look, then go for accents : knee or ankle boots, loafers, a cashmere scarf, gloves, belt or bag, A red necklace enlivens any neutral coloured dress and a red top works under every neutral jacket.
Don’t rush in
Maybe just dip your toe in the water with a fashionable red lip which adds glamour to that LBD or for me, as an Autumn my LND (little navy dress).
Whether you want to look cool or hot, choose red. Banish the Blues and brighten everyone’s day with a splash of red. Cheers!
Consistent holder of the House of Colour Star Consultant award each year since 1991 plus the new Double and Triple Star Consultant award for 2020. Winner of the Business Development Award and Team Productivity Award and also a 2017 Livewire Innovation and Excellence Award.
Colour Analysis can be a private, Individual session or Duo session where two friends attend together in the Primrose Hill studio.
Personal Style can be an Individual session or a Duo session for two friends in the studio OR an Individual session on Zoom for clients who live further away.
Please email or call for full information.
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