Step outside your comfort zone in cruise’s bold-hued pieces. By Lauren McCarthy.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Step outside your comfort zone in cruise’s bold-hued pieces. By Lauren McCarthy.


This season, orange is the new black. As are pink, blue, red, green, yellow and a whole symphony of bright hues that demand attention. For cruise 2017, designers drummed up a host of fresh styles (Flares! Ruffles! Crochet!) to take us through the coming months, with one overarching mandate: Now is the time to dare to wear colour.

Sure, skin-exposing cutouts may be the most risqué trend of the moment, and sequins are always the most obvious way to add a dash of glamour, but bold colour is unequivocally the most audacious. Look no further than the recent Venice Film Festival, where Emma Stone, lovely in lilac Atelier Versace; Naomi Watts, wearing yellow and floral Roksanda; and Amy Adams, in a vivid blue Fendi dress, stood out like beautiful peacocks on the red carpet with memorable, notice-me frocks. Would these outfits have been as enticing if they had been done in neutral shades? Doubtful.

The enduring and universal stylishness of black—not to mention overall ease—will always be alluring, but it’s time to break out of your comfort zone and get into a piece that falls squarely on the Roy G. Biv spectrum.

Colour-averse? Begin small with an exceptional accessory. Our advice is to turn to Gucci, where fashion’s current favourite maestro of eccentricity, Alessandro Michele, sent a parade of kaleidoscopic looks down the runway, all accompanied by extravagant bejewelled shoes; shoulder-grazing chandelier earrings; and a selection of wide-brimmed boaters. Speaking of hats, Miuccia Prada topped off her delightfully dizzying homage to ’90s rave culture for Miu Miu with satin bucket hats in gleaming jewel tones. Those pieces complemented the unconventional footwear, including knee-high wrestling boots and feathered slides. Lively footwear was its own trend this season, thanks in part to Marc Jacobs, who delivered leopard-print booties in hot pink and purple, which went with his neon tribute to the ’80s.

The temperatures may be beginning to dip, but it doesn’t mean that your style game has to dip too. Outerwear is a fun area to play around with the colour wheel. Take, for instance, the new yellow double-face cashmere parka by Hermès, which could be considered a stylish alternative to the usual canary raincoat. Or perhaps invest in Fendi’s sophisticated trench with an ivory collar. Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier played up the blues, featuring the shade in two diverse yet equally covetable textures: Slick leather and plush belted fur. Jason Wu proved that pistachio green can be completely ladylike with an oversize cocoon coat and corresponding sweater at BOSS. There is something for the jocks as well—Nicolas Ghesquière offered super-sporty options at Louis Vuitton with colourblocked windbreakers in sky blue and hot pink billowing by.

If you want to be an instantaneous hit, opt for a fiery red look. Powerful monotone suiting was seen at both Max Mara and Tory Burch; the former exquisitely tailored and layered over a silk blouse, the latter slouchy and relaxed in fit. The house of Valentino has made scarlet its signature colour, and Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri ensured that the shade was represented head to toe, with tights, shoes and bags. For more of classical femininity, slip into one of Dior’s ruched frocks.

Of course, for the absolutely daring, it pays to mix it up. For a foolproof plan to wearing multiple hues, nothing compares to a botanical print. Want abstract and watercolour-esque? Christopher Kane presented an entire collection based on pansies, which, as he explained, are a symbol of free thinking. Prefer ornate and ruffled? At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton made leather dresses romantic with hand-painted floral patterns—a veritable bouquet with carnations, roses, peonies, and poppies.

Which leads us to the ultimate illustration of unabashed sartorial bravery: The all-encompassing rainbow ensemble. It’s not for the faint of heart, but when done properly—as so many designers did this season—can be downright chic. Happy-go-lucky types will want to embrace Rosie Assoulin’s patchwork bustier top, paired with sky-blue silk pants; Carolina Herrera’s striped cocktail dress; or Chanel’s Cuba-inspired prints. The list goes on and on. Put simply, there is no wrong colour combo when it comes to the resort season. Go forth with confidence, the future is bright.

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