How to wear orange, a fashion week guide
Thigh high splits at Versace, Milan fashion Week. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto
THE only shade of orange I can abide is the heavenly hue of a Hermes carry bag. Or a Birkin bag, if you really want to spoil me.
In all other respects orange is a definite challenge. It’s unflattering on many skin tones, so striking you can’t repeat wear with any frequency, and on that note it’s also frustratingly difficult to coordinate with other colours of clothing, unlike flattering fallback neutrals such as navy, cream and black.
But get ready to embrace Fanta fashion, because orange is back with a vigour not seen since the flares and Tang canisters of the 70s.
Gucci, Marni and Jil Sander are among the brands that have developed a serious orange crush during this Milan Fashion Week. From tangerine to terracotta, to pumpkin and coral, orange is everywhere.
Versace had orange goddess gowns and mini-dresses slashed with lace, Gucci worked orange into silk print dresses and trouser suits and Jil Sander went for orange bell skirts and cropped pants.
Even the front row is already working orange into their street style looks, with shoes, messenger bags, t-shirts and iPad cases in the look-at-me colour.
But unless you’re a construction or emergency services worker, introducing orange requires baby steps for the carrot averse.
Start with a shiny clutch or statement shoe, of which there are also plenty of orange options on the runway. Accessories will give a colour pop to your look, and are an easy way to mix and match it into your wardrobe.
Once you’re ready to go further, keep the colour away from your face and try an orange print skirt or trousers with a neutral top. If you have the complexion that can carry it of, an orange blouse or top looks terrific with denim jeans, navy shorts or anything black.
If even a little orange feels too much, try a peach or coral lipstick or an orange pedicure. I have my own sights set on an orange enamel Hermes cuff.