If you want to set a soundtrack to AW17, make it Eiffel 65’s 1999 hit single ‘I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee)’. As the song goes: “blue is the colour of all that I wear”. Yes, blue is trending in a big way; from deepest navy and royal blue to powdery cornflower, any shade goes as long as it’s head-to-toe.
But why the sudden blue mood? The reasons were myriad but they stemmed from a similar emotion – reverence. Maria Chiuri Grazia was inspired by navy blue, one of Christian Dior’s favourite colours, and the Chevrier look from his 1949 Haute Couture collection. The result? A parade of navy. From the cropped trousers and belted, hooded jacket of the first look to the ballet-length velvet or floral dégradé tulle dresses, each look was rendered in deep shades of blue. The effect was at once elegant, powerful and egalitarian; what woman wouldn’t want to exude that?
"The effect was at once elegant, powerful and egalitarian; what woman wouldn’t want to exude that?"
At Roksanda, the hue was at its most poignant. To mark the passing of designer Richard Nicoll, a man famed for using a soft yet saturated shade of periwinkle blue, she employed the new Pantone created in his honour – Nicoll Blue. A tonal look using the colour opened the show – a loose dress worn with matching leather obi belt and boots. Blue popped up again later in the form of silken sapphire suiting, architectural shirts and cocooning coats – sometimes matching, sometimes contrasted with rich shades of claret and tan.
Blue punctuated a pink-hued procession of models at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s art-inspired collection. The runway looked like an installation in itself, James Turrell-esque sun and moon shapes appeared on sweaters and tees while looks were saturated in Yves Klein’s eponymous shade of ultramarine. Think cobwebby lace dresses, structured suiting and quilted coats. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, inspired by the idea of a young Elizabeth Taylor melded with the spirit of the Mods, used bright cyan blue sparingly but to bold effect. The colour, akin to Taylor’s iconic eyeshadow in Cleopatra, appeared on a vinyl coat and a belted houndstooth twinset (worn as a mini dress, naturally – this is the ‘60s). The effect was all the more striking for its sparsity amongst the monochrome.
Nina Ricci has been in something of a blue period for a while. Resort and Pre Fall 2017 doused trés Parisian looks with kingfisher, azure and sky blue, like someone had tipped paint over a French girl. For AW17, electric blue trench coat and flares were paired with a matching Mongolian fur bag. Plus ça change. But it was still compelling – there’s something so unavoidably arresting about bright blue that you can’t help but stare.
"There’s something so unavoidably arresting about bright blue that you can’t help but stare."
The take home message? Wear your blue head-to-toe or colour blocked with rich complementary tones. It’s a strong, powerful look that demands attention, so dive in with both feet. It’s time to go into the blue