Beyond the pale Neutrals put colour in shade
Published 17/09/2010 | 05:00
Every fashion season, someone wants to know what colour is the 'new black'. This time, the new black is no colour at all.
Among the scores of designers who unveiled their newest collections this week in New York Fashion Week, a striking number concentrated on looks with scarcely any colour.
The dominant tones for next spring and summer, in collections including those of Donna Karan, Alexander Wang and G-Star, were solid white, beige, ivory, khaki, olive, and oatmeal.
Such hues are an intrinsic part of the uniforms, or daily wear, in consumers' wardrobes, said Paco Underhill, author of 'What Women Want'.
In the fashion business, those daily uniforms provide the most revenue, he added.
But neutrals don't necessarily mean boring, and they can range from pale rose to deep russet, said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute which reports on the top colours each season. And neutrals appeal to a thrifty consumer, she added.
Some designers stayed predominantly with neutrals, but perked up their collections with splashes of bright colours.
Ralph Lauren adhered largely to cream, ivory, parchment and saddle brown tones, brought to life with glittering platinum lame and sparkling beaded fringe, as the photographs by Reuters show.
That's not to say some designers didn't burst at the seams with colour.
Diane von Furstenberg used rich gold and deep violet, and Vera Wang made folded dresses and coats in bright tomato red, poppy and chartreuse.