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WATCH OUT PEOPLE, RED IS ON THE WAY!   Suddenly, top fashion designers are embracing this spectacular color like they have not done in years!  Red is IN.  It sizzles.  It dazzles.  It overwhelms.  And it is rapidly becoming one of the most important colors fashion and accessories has seen in a long time.


Will we ever be able to deal with all of it?  Because red is elbowing its way into almost every corner of the field.  In May, for example, New York’s Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute will unveil its newest Celebration of Women Exhibit and red, needless to say, will be the Exhibition’s color! And what a red it is!  Call it deep, wild, brilliant.  Sensual. Red tomatoes, red raspberries, red roses. Whew!


Red is fiery.  It is the color of volcanoes erupting.  It is the blazing new earth-being-born lava racing to the sea.  Red is hot.  Scorching hot.  And it is impressive.  It affects everyone. 


                                                           Seeing Red


Versace has been one of the first designers to jump into the Red fray with a long slither of a dress in crimson red.  It features a low cut bosom and a long languid slit up the right leg.  Fantastic!  It is being advertised by Neiman Marcus, which proclaims: “We’re seeing red.”  No kidding


Of course, no one has ever done real-red quite like Valentino.  It’s as though his reds vibrate and sizzle and move.  One extraordinary street-length piece just off the runway is a “Valentino Red” sleeveless and magnificently draped dress with a criss-cross skirt for better leg movement


Valentino shows it with matching dead-on red lipstick and nail polish and terrible-looking reptilian-styled black and dark grey bracelets.  Sort of a classy or luxurious take on yesteryear’s TV special, the Munsters!







                                             Almost Lethal!


SO, AS YOU CAN TELL, this new red coming on the fashion scene is anything but sweet or preppy.  It isn’t a Hilfiger red or a Lauren red.  It is far more serious.  Almost lethal!


This intensely saturated red is also unusual for Spring, so expect it to either calm down as the winter months start to wane, or to move into an “evening look” only. After all, how much can simple humans take?


Realize that red is strong.  Very, very strong!  Accessorizing it can be interesting, but not always easy.  On one hand, you can stay with red itself, developing an entire look based on the power of the color.  The problem here is to match the reds.  You have to stay with the intensity at an overall equal pitch.  That’s breathtaking.


Think red dresses, red hats, red jackets and red coats, red makeup, and anything else red you can imagine.  Pouty red lips from the Forties.  Red, red nails.    Red hanging earrings actually work with this story.  So would garnet or ruby-red CZ rings and a bracelet with a few more red gemstones sprinkled about. Red with red works.


You might also pile on some interesting gold-plate necklaces with a modern twist, like the red infusion itself.  Silver also works well here, and surprisingly gives a totally different look to the red from gold.


But to really make things pop, we suggest working opposite colors, no less aggressive, but different.  Like black handbags and shoes.  Or brown croc wallets, and other small leather goods.  Black patent leather is a riveting accessory look. Play with it! 




  • Winter cozy red fedora with look of wool felt.





  • Hemitite chunky bracelet with high luster.  Sophisticated!



                                                     A Profile


WOMEN WHO WEAR RED most successfully generally have a strong sense of self and are not afraid of being self assertive. Don’t suggest it for a shrinking violet.  Color expert Leatrice Eiseman, author of More Alive With Color (Capital Books) points out that because of its intensity, red is not the best color to wear for a job interview. 

   —On the other hand, if you’re the Chairman of the Board, it couldn’t be better!


Mrs. Ronald Reagan gave special meaning to the color red during her husband’s two Presidential terms, wearing it for a wide variety of state affairs and always looking phenomenal in it. Her use of red  was so fashionably powerful, it has been documented in the Smithsonian and will doubtless represent her memory far, far into the nation’s future!


In China, red symbolizes good luck and celebrations.  Back home, red to the Cherokee Indians has long meant success or triumph.  Of course, with all of its dynamism, red has not always vibrated in positive ways. 


As Eiseman points out, its symbolism runs from passionate love to violent warfare.  It is anything but quiet. Or passive.  It affects the mind.  It affects the body.  Studies show that red stimulates a faster heartbeat and speeds up breathing. Approach it carefully!


But don’t miss it.  It won’t stay on this high hill long, it’s too strong for that.  But while it’s here, well….WOW!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, December 24th, 2009

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