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Emerald: 2013’s Colour of the Year

17 Jan

Take a page out of Kermit’s book and go green for your New Year’s fashion resolution. Emerald was selected as Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2013. A global leader in manufacturing colours, Pantone sets the standards for the design industry. A shade is chosen for Colour of the Year after observing trends in fashion, art and interior design.

Emerald lace trench coat at Burberry Prorsum’s spring show.

Emerald lace trench coat at Burberry Prorsum’s spring show.

Emerald made a splash at a number of recent spring collections. Burberry fashioned one of its illustrious trench coats using a lace version of the green hue. Stella McCartney sent a few of her models down the runway in sporty, oversized emerald outfits. And though the colour spectrum was fully embraced at the shows of Vera Wang and Akris, it was the emerald pieces that really stood out. The luxe shade was even included in a few of the pre-fall collections that were just revealed, such as at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Gucci and Oscar de la Renta.

These emerald wide leg trousers are definitely not for the shy.

These emerald wide leg trousers from Ruche are definitely not for the shy.

A vividly lush green, emerald represents renewal and growth — perfect for a fresh start to the year. Compared to previous Colour of the Year winners such as tangerine tango, a bright red-orange, and honeysuckle, a cheerful reddish pink, emerald is more versatile and easier to incorporate into daily ensembles. Emerald green is known as a universal colour, meaning it’s flattering towards all hair colours and skin tones. So break out those pieces usually reserved for St. Patrick’s Day and work them into your wardrobe rotation.

Depending on your love for the colour, emerald can be worn as an accent piece or layered with other green tones, such as the ever popular mint, for a bold trendy look. When it gets warmer, try an emerald skirt with a pale mint blouse for a cool outfit that screams springtime. To prevent going overboard with green layers and looking like a leprechaun, find printed or patterned pieces with green shades in them. It’ll help tie the look together without being a green overkill.

Turn some heads with this verdant embellished dress from TFNC.

Turn some heads with this verdant embellished dress from TFNC.

Jewel-tones such as emerald, ruby or sapphire, are always great options for evening outfits if you want to veer from the traditional black. To bring out the vibrancy, go for fabrics with sheen like silks, satins and velvets — emeralds will look more luminous. Just think of Keira Knightley’s slinky emerald silk dress in Atonement or Viola Davis’ green Vera Wang number at last year’s Oscars. For even more flash, opt for an emerald sequined piece.

Emerald will also go wonderfully with the neutrals that will be trendy for spring (black and white, in particularly, were huge on the runways). Michael Kors mixed black and green together in rugby striped tops and geometric dresses for a polished elegance. To make a bolder statement pair emerald pieces with bright, complementary colours such as cobalt or a deep purple.

Add some subtle glam with Simon's emerald earrings.

Add some subtle glam with Simon’s emerald earrings.

If adding emerald clothing to your style is too extreme, ease into the trend with accessories. Emerald is a great colour for bags and shoes, since green is a standard colour for croc or snakeskin accessories and easy to find in stores. Plus the shade stands out even more against gold or silver hardware. Emerald costume jewelry is also a classic and nice to have for cocktail parties or dinners.

Brighten up your fingertips with green polish, such as Essie’s Pretty Edgy.

Brighten up your fingertips with green polish, such as Essie’s Pretty Edgy.

Another simple way to wear emerald is on the nails. One of my favourite polishes is China Glaze’s Emerald Sparkle, a deep green jelly with glitter. For the daring, try emerald liner or eye shadow. Green eye makeup was used on the models at Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Derek Lam this season. The colour provides a modern balance to peach or pink cheeks and lips. Use a cream or gel liner for a more intense look and pencil for a softer one.

Daytime or evening, there are a variety of fun ways to include the Colour of the Year into your fashion repertoire.

[Article first appeared in the Jan. 16 issue of Richmond Review.]

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Take your style to the next level: Fashion resolutions for 2012

24 Jan

As the end of January approaches and I’m in the midst of celebrating the lunar new year, it’s somewhat fitting that shops have also begun to get their spring collections in. The beginning of the year has always been an ideal time to start fresh and set new goals to improve your life. And there’s just something about the spring season that reminds us to blossom and reinvent our look. In keeping with the theme of resolutions, I’ve come up with a few suggestions for fashion and beauty goals to ensure you’ll be looking your best for 2012.

When to splurge and when to save

If you’re going to spend, splurge on classic pieces and save on the trendier items. Apparel such as peacoats, beige trench coats, black pants and white button-ups are basics and never go out of style. Invest in high quality, timeless pieces that can handle frequent wear and is cut in a simple style that will flatter your figure for years to come. Also, this time of year is great for coat shopping, as most stores will be having sales in order to get rid of their winter stock to make room for spring arrivals. For trendier items you’ll only wear for one season, shop at less pricey stores. It’ll save more and help reduce buyer’s remorse — it’s never pleasant to realize you paid too much for that tribal print maxi dress only worn twice.

Leather jackets from Mackage are always a fun splurge.

Pile on the layers

Perfect the art of layering. Not only is it a good way to make your look unique, but layering is completely practical for our climate. You don’t want to overdo it and end up bulky or looking like you’re including multiples styles into one outfit. The trick is to take into consideration colour, texture and proportions. Pair silks and satins with thicker fabrics like cottons or wools. Think about lengths: long, simpler tops underneath shorter, more elaborate pieces. One of my favourite go-to office looks is wearing a button-up underneath a cardigan so the shirttail and cuffs peek out, and then layering with a variety of necklaces. Explore what’s already in your wardrobe. If there’s a shirt you never wear because it’s too low-cut, layering solves that problem. And with the abundance of lace and sheer pieces available in stores now, your layering techniques will become effortless in no time.

Layering at play on the runway of Milly's spring/summer 2012 show.

Play with colours

Experiment more with colour this year. Pastels are going to be hot next season — they’ve been spotted on most of the spring collection runways from Milan to New York — so now’s a good time to play around with different shades to see which complements you best. If muted colours aren’t your thing, then incorporate some red-orange pieces into your closet. Pantone revealed that the colour of the year for 2012 is Tangerine Tango, a vibrant shade that works for clothing and cosmetics. The colour-blocking trend that was all the rage last year is continuing strong into this year too, so expect to see bold contrasts of colour in one ensemble.

Corset dress from ASOS featuring an adorable pastel skirt.

A combination of layering and Tangerine Tango presented at Jean Paul Gaultier.

Experiment with new styles

Go outside your comfort zone. It’s easier to rely on old standbys, but make it a goal to frequently change up your usual outfits or makeup look. If the majority of your wardrobe is solid colours, add some prints. You’re usually a jeans and a t-shirt gal? Then switch out your denim for a skirt or dress. If you don’t think you can pull off a particular trend, test it out for a day — you just might be surprised when the compliments start rolling in. Add more accessories into your daily look. I know I’ve fallen victim to applying the same makeup every day, so my main resolution this year is to experiment with different eyeshadows. One reason for fashion is for us to express ourselves, so we should have fun with it this year and try new looks!

I need to find a pair of comfy pastel pants to emulate this 3.1 Phillip Lim look.

[Article first appeared in the Jan. 18 style column of the Richmond Review.]