Monday 26 June 2017

Blue is the warmest colour

Dubbed 'Melania blue', fashion has fallen in love with the cornflower hue and it's a colour that flatters, writes our fashion editor

Colour of the season: Lace dress, €265, Monsoon
Colour of the season: Lace dress, €265, Monsoon
Brigitte Trogneux in powder blue
Kate Middleton steps out in powder blue
Shoe, €105, Dune
Jumpsuit, €225 by Michael Kors, House of Fraser
Ruched-sleeve blouse, €47, Warehouse
Reversible Coat, €565 by Max Mara Embassy, Brown Thomas
Lace dress, €190, Hobbs
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

The fashion world loves blue-sky thinking but no one could have predicted the mania for 'Melania' blue after Mrs Trump wore a Ralph Lauren cashmere rig-out for her husband's date with destiny on Capitol Hill last January.

Unlike Donald's ill-chosen inauguration speech, Melania Trump's outfit was instantly memorable and has been at the forefront of a resurgent interest in the power of blue dressing.

The level of enquiries pouring into stores, to personal shoppers and to dressmakers underlines the impact Melania's outfit (left)had before she retreated back to New York.

Last week Kate Middleton chose a striking blue coat dress for her solo trip to Luxembourg. The flattering shade has been described here as 'Newbridge Silverware blue' and was designed by Emilia Wickstead, a royal favourite.

Just days after Kate wowed in blue, we witnessed yet more blue political power dressing at the inauguration of France's new president, Emmanuel Macron.

Many expressed surprise that France's new First Lady, Brigitte Trogneux reprised the exact colour Melania wore for her husband's big day. And not only did Brigitte opt for the same hue, she also stepped out in the same combination of dress and cropped jacket as Melania at the Élysée Palace last Sunday.

No one can accuse Brigitte of being a Melania copycat. She did her first day on the job on her terms with a shorter hemline to showcase those great legs and a jaunty tailored jacket with sassy military influences.

Powder blues piqued our interest in 2016 when Pantone introduced us to 'Serenity' blue, one of its two colours of the year. And it looks set to be a key tone for next season too, as designers like Céline, Miu Miu and Balenciaga presented powder-blue looks on the autumn-winter catwalks.

Colour consultant Joan Cashman has worked with Irish politicans to style their wardrobes and runs colourandimage.ie. The Cork consultant notes how Brigitte also chose the same bouffant updo as Melania "but they communicated two very different messages entirely". Compared to Melania in her buttoned-up jacket and Jackie O-style gloves, Brigitte showed more "French attitude".

"This is the time she has to distinguish herself from the other leading ladies. It's not just a colour; it's a symbol of what Brigitte will try to do as she represents the country. So your clothes really have to support your value system - you have to portray your message in this increasingly visual world, that's what most viewers are going on," says Joan.

The colour blue, she explains, is the colour of trust, loyalty, honesty and responsibility. From a psychological perspective, light blue reduces stress, creating a sense of calm and tranquillity. Joan adds that darker blue relates to authority, wisdom and intellect so people who like wearing blue tend to prefer one-to-one communication, such as a teacher or public speaker. There are different shades of blue that suit people best, based on their hair, eyes and skin tone.

"For Brigitte, this light, refreshing shade of blue is an excellent complement with her blonde hair and blue eyes."

Kate Middleton is also a lover of very icy blues but Joan says she prefers her in more jewel tones, like royal blue.

"For someone with dark hair and dark eyes like Victoria Beckham, a cobalt or lapis, which is a more intense shade of blue, is far more stunning.

"Red heads look fabulous in mid-tone blues, like aqua or turquoise and look out for Niagara, a classic denim-like blue and the Pantone blue for autumn-winter," she adds.

"Grey-haired women can look out for periwinkle, bluebell or marina which is a truly cool shade of blue."

Irish Independent

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