Colour Me Dubious

In case you didn’t know this, Pantone, the people who invented the paint colour chart, are also in charge of annual colour trend predictions for fashion. A few years ago, it was lots of Acai, Samba and Turbulence (the latter of which inexplicably is a kind of a blue colour – I would have expected turbulence to be more in the red zone, but I digress). In 2018, the colour of the year was Ultra Violet, a self-professed dramatically provocative shade of purple. For 2019, get ready to switch your allegiances to Living Coral, which is described as a “peachy shade of orange with a golden undertone.” Apparently, the iPhone XR is partially to blame for this abomination, because it is available in an insipid orangey pink. And in case you didn’t think colour trends affected you in any way you clearly have never watched The Devil Wears Prada. If you did, you will remember the speech about the trickle down from the runway to run-of-the-mill Walmart, where Meryl Streep’s unfortunate assistant purchased her cerulean blue sweater several seasons after that particular colour’s zenith.

You have also seen several cases in point in colour fashion if you have ever been shopping for houses in mature neighbourhoods. My previous house came into my possession with lots of aqua (courtesy of a 1955 renovation) and an almond fridge (just off-white enough to look off). And no one can forget the era of harvest gold and brown appliances because the trauma will always be with us. Anyhow, here are some of my colour observations.

Red is the new neutral. A neutral is something that goes with everything. Neutrals used to live exclusively in beige or black territory. If you are practical, all shoes, belts and bags fit into the neutral slot (unless, of course, you are Kim Kardashian and have an unlimited footwear and accessory budget). This is somewhat less of an issue for me than you might think as I don’t accessorize (my fashion statement is minimalist or in effect, no statement), however I do need to wear shoes for most of the year. Anyhow, I discovered few years ago that red does indeed go with everything (Black and grey? No brainer. Brown? Check. Blue? Check. Green? Go for it. Purple? But of course. Living Coral? Yes indeed, although who would wear it?). An unfortunate fallout from this trend is red luggage. When I was on the cutting edge of red power, my suitcase beckoned cheerily from within the sea of black. Now I need to embellish it with bling to be able to spot it on the carousel at 20 paces. I think I need to branch out to an animal print (which also, by the way, goes with everything).

Black is the new chrome. We all know the only acceptable appliance is a stainless steel one. If you watch the house hunter shows on TV you will be familiar with the shame of a house that has been inflicted with a white fridge and stove. I think that stainless steel is on its way out, but on second thought it’s got the shiny thing going for it and shiny objects tend to prevail. Anyhow, a new trend that I hope doesn’t go by the wayside soon (Mr. Pantone, are you listening?) is black. I just bought a black sink that isn’t shiny at all. It has no shine to lose like a stainless one and won’t turn black like my white one. I also bought black taps for the bathroom. You know that problem keeping chrome faucets looking bright? Gone, I hope. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Blue is the new red. The cosmetic industry is also a well-known purveyor of colour fashion. Red has always been a mainstay in lipstick and nail colour and it probably isn’t going anywhere soon. However, blue is giving it big run for its money right now. Hopefully we won’t return to the day of blue eye shadow and blue mascara other than when dressing up as Twiggy at Halloween, but blue nail polish is having a well-deserved day in the (literal) sun. The good thing about nail polish as opposed to appliances is we can swap it out on a whim without doing severe credit card damage. Keep that thought if you are ever tempted to buy an aqua or pink toilet. You’re welcome.

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