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Fashion / Style File

The Red Revolution

Fashion’s Color of the Year Will Leave You Scarlet Faced

BY Erin Davis // 08.11.17

Black, white and camel colors are the very essence of classic and timeless style. Much of 2016 was dominated by a steady parade of neutral garments that defined the cool effortless look of a minimalist work uniform. Saturated hues made an appearance, but only as a climax on the black and white dominated runways that marked Valentino and Dior’s Spring 2016 collections.

The red ensemble of last spring was strategically placed as a visual high point — an accent to more utilitarian colors and forms. The occasional red lip is safe. It always looks acceptable. That said, an entirely neutral wardrobe is the gluten-free diet of fashion, and like any diet, it’s not sustainable.

The color red can be much more than a guilty pleasure though. This is not some cheat breakfast donut.

Red, a long time staple in my summer palette thanks to forgotten sunscreen applications, is no doubt the most passion-inspiring primary color. What was once considered an accent color reserved for lipsticks and handbags has fought its way to the front and center of fashion.

The modern color red is a scarlet, unapologetic, shocking red that refuses to be treated as an afterthought and instead demands a head-to-toe ensemble. Comme des Garçons features a structural red for Fall 2017 with multiple looks that appear to be living sculpture. Call it an artistic interpretation of red’s explosiveness.

Valentino, while sticking with classic and feminine gowns, has layered harmonic reds in shades and textures as if it is a neutral all its own, accentuated by pink. Gucci’s signature extravagance features bold combinations of patterns as well as hues, brought together by texture and silhouette.

Red on red on red is making an unforgettable statement as it aims to redefine the standard for neutral garments.

Off of the runway, New York Fashion Week brought less of the monochromatic, head-to-toe red. Instead a number of high-profile show goers did their own thing with red. Model Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner came out in their own personal interpretation of the red trend. Hadid shamelessly wears all-red ensembles, but she also tempers the shock factor with the occasional black trouser or top.

Jenner takes a more conservative approach, wearing a single bright piece such a red coat, top, or hat.

Stores such as H&M and Topshop have been rolling out a stream of scarlet shoe and garment options, easy and affordable pieces to sprinkle in among all that black and denim.

Neutral monochrome styling day after day has become monotonous. The shameless pursuit of red is a walk on the daring side — a visual manifestation of excitement and anticipation. Everything in you may be screaming to ditch the regimen of Breton stripes and black leather, and instead indulge in variations of pugnacious scarlet with wild abandon.

Red on red forever… until, inevitably, it is deemed yet another staple.

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