The color is to me the air I breathe: it reflects my personality, explains subtly to the world surrounding me the way I feel every day, and makes me feel unique in a sea of black-dressed people.
A suitcase bursting with color, pic by Simone Martucci.
So how exactly do I mix and match colors, and what makes me go for certain combinations?
Welcome to Fifty shades of Lady V – The Basics
For this post, I will be using my Instagram pictures mostly because they are the ones that explain the best possible way how I put colors in my everyday life. And the easiest way is to put things into categories: so buckle up, here we go – with the very staples!
Runaway bride, anyone? 😀
Dress by Dolce&Gabbana
A true canvas to me! White is my whole-year-round, 12 months, 365 days staple. (It is not a coincidence that I get called la dame blanche!)
Dress by Dior, delightful off-white
I am sorry, my dear American friends, I don’t believe in “no white after Labour day”, if that’s still a thing. Since I was a child I admired the sights of ladies of the so-called “good society” wearing their immaculate trousers and cachemire sweaters, furs and hats, all white, all reminding me of winter travels and snow. That image never abandoned me all the way through my adult years. Yes, white is a difficult thing to maintain: requires precision, constant care and frequent cleaning. The worst fashion crime I can imagine in this color is letting it become any other shade than white: if you commit to it, you need to know it’s high maintenance.
Dress by Dolce&Gabbana, clutch Saint Laurent and Oscar Tiye shoes
Skirt by Pierre Balmain, bag & scarf by Dior, Chanel jacket
Also, do not be fooled: white does not make you fatter, the most common worry and the most ridiculous one. If nothing, it will give you a refined look: in summer, you will feel more at ease than in black (there’s nothing attractive in sweating in the effort to look fashionably slimmer) and in winter you can do white in details, adding light to dreary days.
An example of how I wear white in winter: coat by Moschino, dress by Azzedine Alaïa, shoes by Charlotte Olympia, bag by Hermès.
That being said, to me white is the fashion equivalent of a blank canvas. You can use a white dress as a base for color pops with accessories, or just look polished while you showcase shoes or a wow bag.
I’ll never say no to a good statement necklace – but it has to be modern: that’s why I have always liked Shourouk. Here, a dark blue necklace on a PVC base and Dolce&Gabbana laser-cut dress.
When the attention is not on the dress, it’s shifted towards crazy shoes and a bright-colored bag. Dress by Dolce&Gabbana, bag by Chanel and sandals by Sophia Webster.
Casually lounging in a big tulle skirt by Ashish, Manolo Blank shoes and an ancient black cashmere turtleneck 😀
I was never a slave to the cliché “blonde woman looks good in black”. And I find that head-to-toe black is excruciatingly boring and lazy! However, even I cannot deny the seductive power of a black lace dress, or of black heels: it’s a complete given, so I periodically give in.
Black can be taken as the above mentioned canvas in reverse: for me is a must to bring light into it with costume jewelry, or eccentric shoes, otherwise it is way too much of a funeral feeling.
The fact that I just mentioned funerals is purely casual 😀
Veil by Dior, dress by Dolce&Gabbana.
A curious thing is that I own black bags, but I rarely wear them.
A definite favorite when it comes to black bags: Be Dior. Worn here with a Gucci cashmere sweater, Dolce&Gabbana skirt, Balenciaga leather jacket and Christian Louboutin shoes.
I see women reach for the classics such as the Chanel flap, or any kind of black bag really, using the same excuse: “it goes with everything”. First of all it is not true: we could say that about almost any color. A safe choice such as black can be considered as putting the basis for your collection, of course: yet I started mine with purple, and never regretted my choice. So when I get asked: “what color would you advise me to get?” I always ask back: “what color makes you happy? what color represents you?” You have a lifetime for essentials such as beige and black, but good colors are always a good choice, as they are seasonal collections and rarely come back.
My black usually involves some detailing: golden and silver keys? Bring it on!
Dress by Dolce&Gabbana, shoes by Christian Louboutin.
This could also be explained as playing it safe: if you go through life wearing only safety zone items, can you seriously say you express yourself fully? And mind you – before I get accused of endorsing luxury items only – I would say the very same thing about any spending level. Aside from work attire that can be restrictive depending on your line of business, we all have time to play with fashion, with any budget. It is just a matter of if you want to.
Another example of how I just couldn’t wear black, or resist color. Dress, coat and bag by Dior, belt by Alexander McQueen, shoes by Christian Louboutin.
Busy bee attitude all mine.
Another favorite of yours on Instagram: coat by Dior (oh, how I love to brag about sales super-finds… and a 80% discount in an outlet is an absolute gem, so indulge me and bear with me!!), bag by Paula Cademartori, dress by Dolce&Gabbana, shoes by Manolo Blahnik.
Black NEEDS, begs of you to be charged with color. Your pick: statement jewelry, shoes, bags, scarves, anything. And while we are at it, let’s destroy another absurdity I keep hearing even in 2015: “black is the most elegant option”. No, it is not, and often it’s occasion inappropriate. I stopped counting weddings where people dressed in black (that is a serious faux pas in Italy, or at least it is suppose to be) and seeing endless armies of all-black people in the city has made them invisible to me. Who wants to be invisible?!
To shorten it up: unless you are grieving – and in that case, fashion is the last thing on your mind – or you are an eccentric artist, all-black is just sad and uninteresting.
Remember this shot? 🙂
Well, here is my answer to the question I ask people: red makes me happy, red is 100% me. It has become my trademark color in dresses, and could be described as my own staple. It is sexy, smart and rich in vibes: who could ever ask for more?
Yes, I wore red in the desert and I’m proud of it.
Red will always be your jolly: it is easy to accessorize, allows insane and eye-catching combinations (have you ever tried red and purple? red and pink? red, pink and yellow? there is no limit to what red can do!) and suits almost every skin tone. However, beware: exaggerate and you’ll go overboard on sexy. Underperform, and you’ll look drab.
Winter memories: coat by Dolce&Gabbana, bag by Dior and shoes by Christian Louboutin.
Red to me requires polished perfection, balance in hair, makeup, accessories. Red rarely allows improvisation in my case. In fact, as I am curvy, blonde, and certainly cannot be described as “discrete”, choosing this color is already a statement enough and needs to be calibrated. (perhaps this is a good moment to say also that I am a fan of the rule “either cleavage or legs”: overexposing yourself is never a classy idea, but after a certain age even more so. Shoot me, I’m classical that way.)
Play it up! Dress by Dior, coat by JCrew, bag by Paula Cademartori, shoes by Christian Louboutin.
As a Virgo I am prone to going overboard on precision. One of my manias is to match the lipstick to the tone of red I am wearing, for example. And nail polish too. Weird much?
Budapest summer memories: dress by Dolce&Gabbana, jewelry by Anton Heunis.
Do you have any questions? You agree/disagree? Give it a shot with the comments section below!