Hot red, power red, tomato red, scarlet, crimson or grenadine – call it what you like, but bold, vivid red is THE must-have shade for autumn/winter 2017.
In truth, the red spectrum for the season is wide-ranging and eclectic, including all the fiery shades just mentioned, but also deepening to rich wine shades such as burgundy and claret.
Red dominated the international autumn/winter 2017 runway shows, as labels including Max Mara, Givenchy and Preen showcased head-to-toe burgundy, wine and cerise looks, from luxurious wrap coats and oversized knits to red shoes and boots.
The Pantone Fashion Colour Report, which each season selects and analyses catwalk colour trends, picked out from the London runways a shade called Flame Scarlet, a strong classic colour which teams beautifully with Otter Brown or Primrose Pink, also from the London AW17 palette.
Pantone also highlighted dynamic Grenadine Red in New York as the powerful, evocative, confident and attention-seeking shade for right now, pairing especially well with its other New York selected tones of Autumn Maple and the paler Butterum.
Red featured on the catwalks of Victoria Beckham, Proenza Schouler, Monse and more in New York, while in Milan, all-over, completely matching, one block, head-to-toe red, really was a thing. Givenchy unveiled an all-red collection; at Fendi, Kendall Jenner’s scarlet coat was teamed with a matching red bag and boots; and at Max Mara, Gigi Hadid wore a crimson high-neck top with matching skirt, coat and shoes.
These are bold statement looks to be taken seriously and copied unashamedly – the Duchess of Cambridge and Melania Trump have both been sporting power red for public engagements.
So, how to channel red effectively for the new season? First, you could swap your beige trench for a red one (Burberry’s Kensington trench coat comes in red for this season).
And/or you could invest in an opulent red wool coat, either sleekly tailored (there’s a new Autograph one in at Marks & Spencer) or a luxurious belted wrap style (check out J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams, where head-to-toe luxe red looks abound).
Then, make sure you seek out a red skirt (Cos has a neat tomato red one, while Topshop has a gorgeous midi length soft wrap style); a red pair of culottes or loosely tailored trousers (slim crops, if you like, but wide has the edge for the coming season); a red oversized sweater (see H&M, Asos and New Look); and, finally, a red blouse (high necked and gently frilled is good).
Then mix and match at will, understanding that texture blending and clashing is all-important here, for example, teaming gloss and leather pieces with knits, chiffons and wool suiting.
As the season progresses and we move towards Christmas, a red dress should be at the top of your festive style shopping list. There are some rather chic styles making their way onto the High Street featuring clean, easy-to-wear tunic shapes adorned with judiciously placed ruffles and pleats, adding contemporary interest and a welcome move away, quite frankly, from red lace, which always looks tacky.
It doesn’t have to be head to toe, of course. Black and nude are safe but effective partners for red, while this season, navy gives a rich contrast.
Finally, accessories, which offer an easy route into red, especially for those who prefer to add just a touch. A red hat, especially a beret, is a chic nod, while red ankle boots and burgundy knee-high slouch boots are key seasonal footwear trends.
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