Tuesday, October 4, 2011

a shot of chartreuse

Colour trends have been going off in 2011 and the latest to take over the red carpet and runways is chartreuse. For those not in the know, chartreuse is a fairly disgusting spirit which some people are crazy enough (or uninformed enough about decent-tasting but still strong alcohols) to shot the foul stuff. It’s greeny-yellow in colour and in my mind will always be the colour of bile – that stuff you throw up when there’s nothing left in your stomach to chuck.

The colour trend is wide ranging because the colour itself is hard to define – but somewhere from a slightly sick-looking yellow to a brighter pistachio green falls into the category. Not only is it hard to define, but it’s extremely hard to wear, and if you don’t have the right skin tone and hair colour I wouldn’t advise trying it. Trends are not compulsory!

I remember back in the late 90s when chartreuse was around, as were a lot of other pastel-type colours (which are just no good for me, but I wasn’t aware that people couldn’t wear certain colours back then). I had this favourite outfit which comprised a (what I called lime green but would totally fall into the category of) chartreuse zip-up polo and (what I still believe would be) a super-cute dark blue denim pinafore minidress. Despite the fact that the only colour-blocking I could have imagined would have something to do with Lego, I was totally working a contrasting colour block and I have very fond memories of thinking how modern, grown-up and fab I looked.

I probably wouldn’t go near chartreuse now, because I know yellow isn’t my colour and pastels (or “baby” colours, as we called them back in the day) wash me out. I can imagine it would look quite nice in contrast to my hair colour, but in between clothing and hair I would just look seasick. And nobody wants that.

Down in our part of the world we still seem to be working with burnt orange and mustard yellows, but it won’t be long before there’s a shot of chartreuse in the shops. Perhaps just in time for spring? But if you have any sense, before diving into this pool of colour hold it up to your face and take a good hard look in the mirror. If you suddenly look rather sick, I suggest you put it right back on the shelf. If you positively glow in this hue, I would think you have started working on the pre-summer tan, or are lucky enough to have a caramel skin tone, because that is where this colour is going to shine.

If you’re still tempted, play around with some cool accessories that don’t live next to your face, like a belt, handbag or clutch, or some daring heels.

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