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8th February 2017

Mellow yellow

The colour with just about the worst reputation in fashion gets a moment in the spotlight

It is now widely accepted that no colour will ever be the new black; however, every season there is one colour that takes command of our sartorial imaginations. Spring/Summer 17 is set to be dominated by yellow. ‘Why?’ I hear you cry — because just about every designer of note sent it down the runway: Tibi, Lemaire, Emilio Pucci and Prada all gave a nod to the sunshine colour.

Yellow can be perceived as a daunting colour: it is overtly bright, but at the same time can be pale, which as a result can make the fabric quite sheer. Not the easiest set of qualities in a colour. As fashion and technology advance though, the pigment of yellow fabrics manages to diminish the sheerness and create a broader spectrum of shades. Fantastic news for those whose skin tone doesn’t scream ‘I will look alive in yellow’ (that’s me).

For some people yellow is an undoubtable showstopper, dark skin sets most shades of yellow alight, giving the colour the real star power it can muster — and lets be frank, drawing all eyes to you. Paler skin often fails to lift yellow; instead the pink undertones of pale skin leave both the clothes and the individual looking rather flat. This is where skin tone and shades of yellow must mingle together to find their perfect match, and this year’s Golden Globes gave a veritable fashion lesson in how to wear yellow.

Viola Davis offered a masterclass in her yellow asymmetric Michael Kors dress: this was yellow at its very best, the colour was the statement, no fuss or detail was required, the yellow did all the talking. Reese Witherspoon donned pastel yellow, perfect for the fairer skinned, whilst Maisie Williams and Natalie Portman dabbled in classic canary yellow. Emily Ratajakowski showed how a subtle change of hue can liven yellow up, as the warm, soft yellow of her Reem Acra dress gave it a more boudoir, soft lighting feel. Even the most hotly-tipped film of the award season La La Land pays special attention to a yellow dress.


Translating these subtle shade differences into reality means embracing yellow in all its forms. As the weather remains drab, mustard is the easiest shade of yellow to transition from winter into spring, as daffodils begin to peak from thawed ground, the warmer hues of yellow start to seem more fitting. If a full block colour yellow piece is too daunting, embrace spring florals, where you are always certain to find splashes of yellow: Nobody’s Child has some gorgeous floral pieces with varying amounts of yellow.

Although fashion flits and changes with seasons, colour trends do tend to repeat themselves, and yellow often rears its head in the Spring/Summer season — so while there’s plenty of choice on offer, it may be the best time to invest.

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