“Colour, Colour, Colour”, is always the cry from my boutique customers, and rightly so. Nothing heralds summer has arrived as much as the explosion of tones available in the stores and online as we shed our winter black colour wardrobe. The choice of colour is critical when dressing and even the most delicate of hue changes can date a garment. The key to looking on trend, is to know these subtleties and also to understand which palettes and shades work best against your personal colouring. So to help you I have put together a Spring Summer 2013 Colour Palette!
Spring Summer 2013 Colour Palette
Left: L.K.Bennett jacket $165 / Orla Kiely Zip Wallet $99 / Hobbs Phillipa Skirt $129 / Urban Decay Eye Shadow $50 /Essie Sand Nail Polish$9 / Middle: Tara Jarmon Wrap Dress Was $621 Now $434 / Planet scarf $50 / Just Fabulous Vegan Sandals $62/ Hat Attack Tote Bag $170 / Right: T By Alexander Wang Top$150 / People Tree Pants $91
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For this summer we see a subtle but key move on with regards to Neutrals. They have been barely there pink/blush based for the last few seasons but they now look newest with yellow undertones that have a more organic straw like feel. These new Neutrals look particularly fresh when adopted in a more structured garment, whereas the pinky cosmetic shaded ones from last summer tended to be offered in feminine and softer styling. Complete the look with warm tan toned leather accessories, and highlight with spicy tones of cinnamon and get in early on the trend for warm oranges which will be big news for winter 2014. This palette suits all complexions, but avoid too much of it if you are a blonde.
Left: Victoria Beckham Shift Dress $440 / A|X Armani Exchange Sunglasses $73 / Dorothy Perkins Necklace $10 / ALDO Proa Clutch$34 / Middle: Topshop Nail Polish $12 / Chloé Crochet Knit Top $2405 /Current Elliott Roller Boyfriend Jeans $95 / Right: 18 and East Button Down Too $35 / Salvatore Ferragamo Blazer $880 / Miu Miu bag $1780 / Gucci Scarf $285
A delicate pastel palette is always on offer in a summer season, so what is the new twist this year I hear you ask? It’s all about saturation; the new tones are tranquil and sophisticated yet strong. The colours are not diluted, sugary toned ones, but they have a pure sun-drenched filtered effect. Lilac is the most popular shade to adopt, and it will work well alongside the before mentioned neutrals. Obviously the delicacy of the shade lends itself well to soft, wispy items such as strappy dresses, but don’t be afraid to try out the tones with leather bags, sparkly gems or more masculine shapes in clothes with iridescence. This palette suits all colourings, but the contrast of dark hair/skin will make the colours pop.
Left: Diego Reiga Ruffle Blouse $215 /Michael Kors Tote Bag $255 / Cole Haan Sandals $190 / Middle: Wallis Silver Leaf Necklace$13 / The Glossary Shop Scarf Was $25 Now $9 / Madewell Blanca Jacquard Dress $120 / Right: Rag & Bone Pocket Tee $285 /Armani Jeans Skinny Jeans $115
Cool, crisp and clean. White is simply a winner this season and it’s best when worn head to toe. White on white, and then add some more! Keep the styling slick. Mix textures and layer shapes for interest. Alongside this is the strength of the monotone palette. In reference to my Print trend analysis previously published, you will not be able to avoid the White and Black combinations that have flooded the market.
So if dressing all white is not an option (as a mother of toddlers, it’s not for me!) then this is the most relevant and on trend way to go. It’s also a great stepping stone into spring dressing as you have the comfort of the black. Everyone looks great in White, and in the workplace you can’t go wrong with a great white shirt, just ensure that you maintain the clarity of the shade even after laundering your clothes.
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Left: Amrita Singh Nello Earrings $84 /Adrianna Papell Ruffle Shift Dress $210 /ASOS Jewelled Cuff $36 / Middle: Macys Ruby Earrings $120 / Monsoon Harleen Dress $155 / Tabitha Simmons Ruby Shoes $560 / Right: Hobbs Invitation Nieve Jacket $92 / Stella McCartney Brocade Trousers $940 / Mulberry Willow Clutch $1230 / Look by M Come Full Circle Scarf $22 / Rimmel Lipstick Kate Moss Collection $5.60
Traditionally a jewel palette is not shown in a summer season, as the depth of colour often appears too heavy in garment form. However across the catwalks, red especially was prevalent and the tones have taken on a sumptuous ruby effect. Emerald Green has been a major colour statement for the last two seasons, and will still be relevant for at least another. If you adopted the shade early, move it on with teal tones by lifting the yellow content. This palette works best on darker/olive skin tones, but could be utilised for pear shape blondes and redheads in a fantastic pair of tailored pants.
Left: Bardot Bilson Jacket $100 /Kate Spade Pyramid Bangle $43 / Mauro Grifoni Skirt $315 / Middle: Rosie Fox Earrings $43 / Clarins Jolie Rouge Rhubarb Lipstick $31 / Banana Republic Scarf $67 /By Malene Birger Blouse $129.87 /Mollini Palmer Shoes $110 / Right: Blu Bijoux Three Row Necklace $32 / Luxe Deluxe Cruiser Essential Top $229 / Kate Spade Maryanne Bag Was $390 Now $270 /
A fruity spectrum is the newest fashion palette to emerge, and it’s the move on from last summer’s rather scary attack of Neon. Now the tones are much more commercial and sophisticated, but they still carry the depth of colour. Melon, Lime, Orange, Olive and yellow were all shown. Invest in Melon shades primarily, as they will be the most complimentary across complexions.
Left: Giglio Lace Earrings $82 / Dorothy Perkins Lace Band Dress Was $100 Now $77 / Acne Studios Olivine Clutch $435 Middle: Dsquared2 Zip Dress $398 / Diavolina Jess Apine Strappy Heels Was $140 Now $42 / Right: The Glossary Shop Necklace Was $19 Now $12 / Zara Dress $89 Alexander McQueen Heroine Tote Bag $2645
If in doubt, buy Blue! The entire blue spectrum is important this summer. Think Navy through to Aqua. Navy is the big new rival to black, and will freshen your tailoring instantly. Shown at designer level now, this will increase in importance as we move into winter 2014. Good tones to watch out for have an almost purple effect. Cobalt should only be purchased for casual and trend fashions, so don’t investment buy as this tone is on its fashion decline now. Icy aquas will be bang on trend as we get further into summer and work really well in accessories especially.
There is a blue tone to suit everyone, but my general advice would be to wear bold if you are fair, and diffused if you are dark.
If you are in confusion over what colours suit you best, think back, has one particular shade garnered more compliments than another for you? People notice colour and gauge your personality and emotions against it. For me, it’s hard to bypass pink, whether it’s on trend or not.
Alison Lennard is the Designer of women’s wear label Philosophy Australia and event wear label Drama, and has been designing these labels since she moved to Sydney from London in 2007. She has over twenty years experience designing for stylish women and specializes in creating versatile, commercial pieces at affordable pricing. She is also the “Style Queen” at TheGlossaryShop.com.au a website aimed at time poor women, who want to be able to buy with confidence styles to suit every segment of their lifestyle.