COLOUR TALK

Written by Donna McCulloch aka Sulky Doll

“I prefer living in colour” – DAVID HOCKNEY

Every year, at around this time, the colour prediction company, Pantone announce the colour of the upcoming year, and fashion buyers within the industry use this information to inform what is going to appear in your closet…because colour talks, it has its own language and when we wear a certain colour we make a statement about how we are feeling or how we want to feel.

Now I work in fashion where the myth is that everyone pretty much lives in black, but they don’t just wear black…they accessorise with a different coloured shoe, bag or piece of jewellery and add statement to what is considered a neutral colour and we call this a pop of colour. But black in itself is a colour and it can be a powerful choice, a passion for black can be exhilarating because it is a backdrop to something that you want to show off and it really isn’t “the safe choice”. Take for example a simple pair of black jeans, worn with a coloured heel (short girl problems) this simple wardrobe staple is transformed.

One of the great things about colour is the seasonal element, if you were to ask those in the industry what their favourite season is, they would all hands down tell you it is Autumn/Winter… in these seasons, the richness of the colours, textures and fabrics are all at our disposal, it’s the season of layering where we can wear a pair of purple trousers with a luxurious cashmere cream sweater, add a beautiful scarf with a gorgeous coat…and so on, summer is more about losing the layers and is, by definition, more exposing.

“Now, here comes the science bit, if you only take away one piece of information from me, let it be this, you are either a pink (cool) tone or a warm (yellow) tone and once you know which of these you are, then you will learn which colours work best to flatter your skin tone.” – DONNA McCULLOCH

Photo courtesy of Pantone and the main hero image is courtesy of Vogue Runway

Now, here comes the science bit, if you only take away one piece of information from me, let it be this, you are either a pink (cool) tone or a warm (yellow) tone and once you know which of these you are, then you will learn which colours work best to flatter your skin tone. I am a warm (or yellow) skin tone, so I suit warmer colours, white doesn’t look great on me, but if I wear a white shirt with a coral scarf, the warmth of the coral will detract from the cooler white or even a rose or yellow gold chain will suffice. Once you understand what colours work best for you the colour options are endless and you will understand why I am so passionate about colour.

Interestingly, the one colour we can all wear is purple, we call it universal purple as it suits all skin tones…Queen Elizabeth I made it law that only those of royal birth could wear purple, fortunately, the current Queen Elizabeth is much more relaxed and we can all wear it now. The last thing to say is this; if you love a colour you will rock it whether it really suits you or not, because confidence is everything, but if you love orange for example but don’t like wearing it near your face, you can always incorporate it into your capsule wardrobe through an accessory or, wearing it as a bottom (skirt, trousers, jean!)

One of the great things about colour is the seasonal element, now we are experiencing an absolutely glorious autumn and if you were to ask those in the industry what their favourite season is, they would all hands down tell you it is Autumn/Winter… in these seasons, the richness of the colours, textures and fabrics are all at our disposal, it’s the season of layering where we can wear a pair of purple trousers with a luxurious cashmere cream sweater, add a beautiful scarf with a gorgeous coat…and so on, summer is more about losing the layers and is, by definition, more exposing.

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