Green Day

November 6, 2018

 

 

 Throw the beige taupe colour chart out said Kelly Hoppen, never.

 

 

I noticed her green coat first - it was a rich bottle green, bobbly, like one I used to have at uni except mine was toilet blue - a shade remnant of the skirts on those weird knitted doll loo roll holders (looking back I realise there was never any male versions).   I always wished my bobble coat had been green but the Topshop palette back in 2000 deemed otherwise.  Its form reminded me of a very neat and tidy sheep although actually sheep are only neat and tidy from a distance because they're ever so messy up when you get up close, especially from behind.

 

 

I got chatting to the lady in the jewel green calf length coat because she began to openly admire my daughter's forest green faux fur jacket and almost in unison, unannounced we both blurted out to the universe, 'I love green.'  And there in an instant was a connection.  I've never in my life spoken to a total stranger and declared my love of green almost immediately, ever.   I doubt she had either.  But of course, I instantly liked her because we had something in common.  But then just as quickly it was over, I grabbed my bacon butty and I went on my way.  Looking back, two strangers were utterly united, created a happy glow and then in the next moment, moved along to the next life thing.  The revolving door of life continually in motion. 

 

 

 

 

Then this morning my daily Vogue update has informed me that there's a wildcard colour hitting the fashion world -  'spearmint is painting itself as the desirable hue of the season.'  The equivalent of a syrupy hit in your 7am coffee' and then goes on to showcase the 'mintiest street style stars' of the moment. There's no denying they look great.


But of course I knew this ages ago because I just love green. I have pipe dreams of a shop that just sells green things.  That's the object's only requisite.  Can you imagine the spectacle.  So many shades to devour.   Although that wasn't always the case because as a child I never liked the colour. Mostly because it wasn't that fashionable then.  There was an intense superstition that green cars should be avoided at all costs (and several stories to support this motion when bad crashes happened and underneath the paint was found to be green) and then the silly, lazy phrase, 'blue and green should never be seen.'  Why not? I think they look great together.    Although there is a connotation of being green with envy and now of course the green sick emoji, generally as a rule, it is considered today to be more of a peaceful colour with a symbolism for anything environmentally friendly or the buzz word for now, plant based.  It's appeal therefore in today's climate will only grow.  Of course there are other meanings such as green (marjuana) and being green (naive/new to something). 

 

Emerald Green is one of the spearhead colours in the combat against the 'griege' movement (in particular in interiors).  And in fashion there is a definite theme forming named CLASH.  This is not that surprising - the bar was set in January when the Pantone Colour of the Year was unveiled as ULTRA VIOLET * (a dramatic shade of purple). Ensuing runways ensured there wasn't a taupe in sight (cue Kelly Hoppen palpitations) - rich jungle hues, minty greens, verdigris*, bubblegum pink, camel browns, blues, sunshine yellows and vibrant mustards everywhere.  A veritable 'playing with palette' was at full pelt everywhere.  And we can expect more of the same when the SS19 collections appear - already there is talk of fiesta and jester reds, corals, turmeric, aspen gold and pink peacock.   And the rule book doesn't state you can't have them all at once. Fashion and interiors are set to get very 'Picasso' - a notorious colour aficionado who blended thousands of shades with microscopic adjustments. A man after my own heart it seems as he once spoke of a thousand shades of green, 'Veronese and emerald green and cadmium green.' For a modern take on Picasso, check out the amazing Allison Zuckerman who uses elements of Picasso's style and whose colour palettes are truly mesmerising.

 

 

Courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery and the Rubell Family Collection

 

So why now? The taupe/beige narrative has gone on long enough and the future is naturally looking elsewhere - and so to colour. Imagine eating white bread all the time or how boring and 'send you around the bend-ish' it would be to forever sit in an all white room? After some time you become numb because there's nothing to compare and contrast it to or that perspective can bounce from. Think how life affirming a splash of colour is - how a cheery bright something can instantly lift your spirits.  Even in food, it's true.  How pitiful  porridge looks until you dollop a round pop of red jam on top, how plain and dull the side profile of a Philadelphia sandwich is compared to a ham, cheese, pickle and lettuce one say on a rich wholemeal bread popping with pumpkin seeds.  You've got the SS19 palette right there on your plate.  Maybe it's because women are feeling braver - with the onslaught of the MeToo movement, there's a more assigned feeling of strength and boldness -  a sense of 'I've had enough of tiptoeing about blending in being the backdrop colour.  I'm stomping around the room now in neon brights and I'm not going anywhere.   

 

Maybe we should start a movement championing 'cattle brown....'.

 

If like me you find the news that brown is key this season remember that brown does not always mean you have to regress back to the shade you wore at brownies (with yellow, omg).  Think beyond just the colour -  there are other more appealing shades of brown such as terracotta, camel and if it is flat brownie brown then what you pair it with to shine will be critical. A dark green or a purple (I still could not face twinning it with yellow).   Also there are textures that look better in brown such as cord or suede and do not forget the absolute universal appeal of anything animal print that has brown in it unless you're channeling zebra.


This week I as an ode to the wonderfulness of green, I will leave you with some shades of green - 

absinthe, emerald, forest, woodland, olive, lime, Kelly, Scheele, Terre verte, avocado, kiwi, grass, celadon, leaf, mint, bottle, jade, turtle, moss, olive, khaki, neon, pear, chartreuse, viridescent, shamrock, seaweed.

 

*Verdigris (literal translation from the French language is Green from Greece) -  a naturally occurring carbonate that forms on copper when exposed to oxygen, water and CO2. It is this green patina that forms on old copper pipes and which gives the Statue of Liberty her colour. 

 

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