The fashion colors for Spring 2013 reveal an overwhelming "desire for self-expression, balance and the need to re-energize," according to the color-trend experts at Pantone. "The expression 'balancing act' is something we all relate to as we strive to find harmony in the frantic pace of our everyday lives," adds Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "The same can be said for fashion as we look for balance between light and bright, classic and new. This season's color palette emphasizes this need for balance, while at the same time allowing for individuality, self-expression and excitement."
One of the really interesting choices is exotic AFRICAN VIOLET (Pantone 16-3520), a statement color that introduces intrigue - characteristic of the color purple. "Purple is very complex,” continues Eiseman. "It's not a straightforward primary color like red, blue or yellow. You mix two colors to get it, so instantaneously there are opposing feelings. It’s the calmness of blue, with the excitement and dynamism of red." The thrill of negotiating this very knife-edge is probably why this hue "is often chosen by very creative people, or those who are just a bit different.”
This shade already made a chic splash during the Fall 2012 Fashion Week at the ode to Mother Nature & her way with crystals that was the Chanel runway. "Nature's the greatest designer," notes Herr Pulse-of-the-Zeitgeist Karl Lagerfeld, who, like many designers, is once again finding inspiration in the great outdoors. "These shapes are millions of years old." Particularly ethereal & lovely was the amethyst-hued crystal Chanel clutch PLUS accessories are such an easy way to incorporate this mystical hue into your wardrobe.
The word itself, purple, is of ancient Greek descent (porphura, from which came the Latin purpura) and named for the snail - found on the shores of Tyre in what is now Lebanon (Phoenicia) which was made from the mucus secreted by a snail. So costly to produce, it was worn only by the extremely wealthy and became known as imperial purple. Heads of State from Alexander the Great to Egyptian kings wore Tyrian purple, as did Roman Senators, trimming their white togas with a strip of purple. (Even today in the casinos in Nevada, the $5000 poker chips come in purple.)
Purple in both its full-strength and more muted current variation, violet, are believed to have a calming influence and are also associated with imagination, dreams & the future. (The third-eye chakra is said to be violet.) "Both contain the energy and strength of red with the spirituality and integrity of blue," explains Judy Scott-Kemmis, an expert in the psychology of color & co-author of *The Colour of Sex*. "This is the union of body and soul creating a balance between our physical and our spiritual energies. Purple or violet assists those who seek the meaning of life and spiritual fulfillment - it expands our awareness, connecting us to a higher consciousness. For this reason it is associated with transformation of the soul and the philosophers of the world are often attracted to it...Violet encourages creative pursuits and seeks inspiration and originality through its creative endeavors. It likes to be unique, individual and independent, not one of the crowd. Artists, musicians, writers, poets and psychics are all inspired by violet and its magic and mystery." (image)
Even if you're not inclined to step out in head-to-toe violet ...or perhaps the amazing Chanel quartz-clutch is a lil' outside (as in *somewhere-in-outer-space* outside) your budget this season, there are still lot of fun, different - and easy! - ways to add the intrigue and drama of African Violet to your look. A great place to start is the runway...why Chanel of course:
TO ACCESSORIZE A LA CHANEL (clockwise starting top left): as a cardigan; in a statement cuff; on your feet (muted shades of purple look awesome with nubby tweeds in shades of gray & rich hunter green); as a scarf & paired with a bright-red jacket; as a clutch; as leather gloves. (runway images via style.com)
HERE ARE SOME FUN VIOLET-PURPLE ACCESSORIES TO TRY:
1. sunglasses - Illesteva Leonard; 2. gloves - Missoni; 3. tasseled loafers - Charles Philip; 4. cocktail ring - Chan Luu; 5. tee - T by Alexander Wang; 6. hand-painted clutch - Bottega Veneta; 7. scarf - Swash - all NET-A-PORTER
MAUVE MAKEUP: Sephora suggests you "seize the mood" with something from its sumptuous collection of Nouveau Purples, be it a dramatic eyeshadow, the Lip Luster lipstick in Raspberry Radiance or Jewel Lacquer in Parachute Purple.
PEACEFUL IN PURPLE AT HOME: Why not bring the trend home with a few fun pieces in violet for a subtle but standout way to add some panache a casa.
1. picture frame - Argento; 2. 17-month agenda - Jonathan Adler; 3. glasses - Kiss that Frog; 4. pillow - Blissliving; 5. earbuds - Incase Design; 6. soy candle - Archipelago Botanicals - all NORDSTROM.com
- Lesley Scott
[Note: The links to Net-a-Porter, Sephora & Nordstrom are all affiliate links, but you should know I only partner up with retailers I really like & I carefully handpick only stuff I love & hope you will too!]