How to wear... rainbow brights
Add a splash of colour to your wardrobe with bold clashing hues, writes Meadhbh McGrath
The still-overcast May weather is doing little to lift our spirits, so we're turning to Crayola brights to deliver a hit of colour.
Pastels made a big impact on the catwalks for spring-summer, but designers were also tempted by a bold paintbox palette of primary shades. Roksanda Ilincic, fashion's queen of colour-blocking, paired azure trousers with a spliced red-and-blush pink gown, and teamed a rich gold satin blouse with magenta trousers.
Other designers preferred monochromatic brights: Versace's trio of tangerine, crimson and violet suits were a standout, while Tom Ford offered a showstopping hot pink tuxedo jacket and matching jumpsuit. Balenciaga layered a canary yellow dress over a top in the same shade and finished off with matching platform Crocs.
Crocs aside, bold shades are a great tool for mastering ageless style - while you run the risk of going full 'mother of the bride' in dodgy pastels, this season's mishmash colourways are foolproof, and can be mixed and matched in countless formulations: lime and ultraviolet, sunshine yellow and cobalt, emerald and tomato red, electric blue and orange...
Thought pink and red was a fashion sin? No more, thanks to Roksanda, Isabel Marant and Brandon Maxwell, who all championed the combination on the catwalk. Or try an off-kilter clash in zingy orange and pink, like Saoirse Ronan in Cushnie et Ochs. Older women can carry rainbow brights much better than they tend to think, and the saturated shades are an excellent foil to fading skin tones and hair colour.
So where to start? If you typically live in shades of grey, black and navy, there's no need to embrace a rainbow palette overnight. Instead, introduce colours gradually - bright totes, courts and statement earrings are all over the high street and will immediately liven up workwear, a little black dress or off-duty jeans and a T-shirt.
Ward off grey skies with a colour-pop coat. Whether you prefer a sharp biker jacket or a roomy cocoon shape, there are plenty of options in everything from cheerful citrus to statement-making fuchsia.
Head-to-toe brights are an instant confidence-booster. We love Naomie Harris's yellow Roksanda two-piece with bold blue pumps and clutch - for summer-ready suiting, Topshop's blue set with an acid-bright orange rollneck will easily take you from the office to cocktail night.
If that sounds like a step too far, you can dial down the look by pairing with neutrals or this season's pastels. A lilac bag is a cool counterpoint to Tara Jarmon's gorgeous orange jumpsuit, while spring's fresh white jeans perfectly offset Whistles' turquoise wrap blouse.