The new power palette
Greens, yellows and purples are everywhere. But if that fills you with dread, let Pandora Sykes allay your fears
It the last round of fashion weeks, a few items of street style caught my attention and held it: a pair of saffron crushed-velvet trousers by Céline (worn by Yoyo Cao); a dusty purple Cos suit; a pair of sparkly emerald Vetements sock boots; a Jacquemus knit, half in navy and half a zingy, sunshine yellow. The stylist Ada Kokosar nailed possibly the best palette of the season: bright yellow and rich claret. The fashion blogger Helena Bordon proved that green and purple are not unhappy bedfellows, while the ever chic Diletta Bonaiuti leant cool to a purple pencil skirt with tan boots and savvy layering in winter whites.
Why, you may ask, am I detailing these outfits in lascivious detail? Because this is all new and exciting to me. Never before have I longed to wear things that are green, yellow and purple — indeed, until recently, I owned nothing in green or purple, and yellow only in the form of a sundress. And never have I seen so much of it in the shops.
To most people, including me, these colours are the most unwearable. “Can’t wear it,” said Style’s deputy editor, Laura, when I spoke of seeing yellow everywhere. “It’s impossible.” That was until I showed her a bright yellow Gucci Dionysus bag worn with crisp blue pinstripes. And a long yellow overcoat, worn over black trousers and a denim shirt. She weakened, as I knew she would. By the time I showed her purple, done right, she was putty in my hands. Because that’s the thing: these shades only seem impossible when they aren’t colour-matched or get taken over by print. They are best done in solid blocks, and invest in texture if you want a bit of a kick.
The first inkling was Johnny Coca’s debut AW16 collection for Mulberry, filled as it was with yellow (punctuated perfectly with the aforementioned claret) and purple, paired with chunky white boots. But things really took off, as so many things do, with Céline. Its pre-fall collection included an entire grape-coloured tunic-and-trouser outfit, complete with plum courts (which I may or may not have bought). There was a full green look, too.
Purple blouses? Green trousers? Yellow coats? I’m not trying to scare you, I promise. Just remember that colour matching isn’t hard if you stick to two out of these three colours at any given time. If you are pale, yellow can be hard, until you add a bright red lip and then it looks fantastic. If you have dark skin, purple is glorious. And emerald green, I’ve realised, suits every skin tone.
Joyfully, the high street has taken note of this new palette. J.Crew has tailored trousers in both bright yellow and emerald green. Pair with a white shirt or purple crewneck jumper. Lindex has a yellow cable knit, and Finery has a draped lilac top that would look brilliant with its fuchsia wrap skirt. And you can work them with other colours. Navy, for instance, is excellent with yellow.
This is no flash in the pan — there are masses coming for next season, too. A new dawn is beginning. Give it a go!
Stand out from the crowd at festive parties in an elegant red velvet tux suit. Add sparkle with a shimmering gold top and drop earrings. Patent heels lend a feminine touch and make your legs look even longer. Result.
Earrings, £7, H&M
The party top
Gold high-neck, £130, PS Paul Smith
The velvet suit
Jacket, £239, and trousers, £225, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, from Fenwick
The patent heels
Shoes, £39, Dune
Photograph: Ophelia Wynne. Styling: Flossie Saunders. Hair: Lewis Pallett using Tigi Bedhead UK. Make-up: James O’Riley at Premier using MAC. Photographer’s Assistant: Rory Ronnie. Stylist’s assistant: Harriet Elton. Model: Sam Gold at Mrs Robinson. Location: Dalston Heights
Bling it on
Feeling indulgent? Then why not splash out on some pre-Christmas sparkle?
1 By Kilian Moonlight earrings, £250, Kilian Boutique, Burlington Arcade, London W1
Spritz the ceramic part of these earrings with your favourite perfume and they will release a subtle scent throughout the day. Magic!
2 Estée Lauder Bright Owl powder compact, £170; harrods.com
Upgrade your plastic compact for a case with a bit more sparkle. Lauder has teamed up with the jewellery designer Monica Rich Kosann to create a Christmas compact with this cute owl design.
3 Giorgio Armani The Holiday Palette, £99
For two foundations plus 10 eyeshadows, including everyday matts and festive glittery shades, this is a relative steal at £99.
4 La Prairie Caviar Spectaculaire skin cream, £1,350; selfridges.com
La Prairie has upped the ante on its Caviar skin collection (yes, it is made with the real stuff) with this limited edition. Do you need a face cream in a handcrafted Baccarat crystal “caviar server”? Probably not. Will it look spectacular on the shelf? Absolutely.
5 Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Miss Loubi, £65; selfridges.com
Louboutin heels too spendy for your Christmas wish list? Try its gorgeous new winter lippy collection. Choose from coral, fuchsia pink and red to banish the winter blues.
Words: Lia Jordan
Sarah Jossel picks her favourite beauty products for November at style-beauty.co.uk
1 Twenty-4 gold and diamond watch, £30,380, Patek Philippe. 2 Première Double Row gold and diamond watch, £19,750, Chanel. 3 Reflet gold watch, £8,500, Boucheron. 4 Lady-Datejust 28 gold watch, £19,900, Rolex, from Watches of Switzerland. 5 Cadenas Sertie gold, diamond and mother-of-pearl bracelet watch, £35,800, Van Cleef & Arpels. 6 Tank Anglaise gold and diamond watch, £42,500, Cartier
Shake your booties
Over to the Royal Academy for a dinner to celebrate the opening of the shoe designer Stuart Weitzman’s new flagship store. Cultured types — yes, fashion has a few — were gushing about the abstract expressionism exhibition currently showing, while super Gigi Hadid told folk about the boots she designed for the brand (proceeds going to charity) and played ping-pong, as you do. We spent the evening chatting to Vivienne Westwood’s granddaughter Cora Corre, who told us all about her “gap yah”. “I’ve been interning at the charity Reprieve, but I can’t wait to start at UCL to study sociology next year,” she told us. “All of my family left school really young, so they don’t understand why I want to go.” Mr Weitzman chimed in, telling us he wants to lecture at London College of Fashion next. Later we bumped into Suki Waterhouse and tried to persuade her to watch the new Sky show The Night Of, a crime thriller told from the point of view of a murder suspect. Rock’n’roll, and then some.
The boys are back
Another cap for David Beckham as he launched his latest venture, a reboot of the menswear brand Kent & Curwen. We tipped up for dinner at the Little Social in Mayfair to celebrate the launch (the label is available on Mr Porter from Tuesday) and sat next to pop svengali Simon Fuller. Who’s your favourite Spice Girl, we pestered him. “Couldn’t possibly say.” Founded in 1926, Kent & Curwen has been given a new direction “while still maintaining the heritage and history”, Becks said. Guy Ritchie, Dave Gardner and Noel Gallagher downed whisky cocktails and ate steak — very manly — while Jake Chapman debated politics over dinner. He may be in the fashion biz now, but Becks was as charming as ever when looking back at his own style history: “I’ve worn some OK stuff, and I’ve worn some not OK stuff,” he laughed. You and us both, babes.
Last stop, one of our favourite dos of the year: the opening of the Somerset House ice rink with Fortnum & Mason. The heavens opened shortly before the bash, but loyal fans including Daisy Lowe still made it onto the rink. Now, Daisy, we hate to sound like your mum, but put some clothes on, love. You’ll catch your death. It’s freezing on that ice.
Words: Michael Hennegan
Italian jeweller Carolina Bucci and Audemars Piguet have created a ladies’ watch with boldness, bling and sparkles
When it comes to women’s watches, the majority can be, quite frankly, uninspiring. The approach to designing watches for women is known in the trade as “shrink it and pink it”: take a man’s watch, make it smaller and add some diamonds for good measure. Thankfully, there are exceptions, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is one of them.
The groundbreaking women’s version was originally designed in 1976 by Jacqueline Dimier, whose task it was to adapt the men’s Royal Oak for the female market. Dimier, a rare female presence in an industry of men, didn’t attempt to overly feminise the original design. Instead she capitalised on its masculinity and — shock — didn’t add a single diamond. “I wanted to keep the watch big, which was not at all the trend at the time for ladies,” she says. “We kept the masculine codes of the original design and its size, but adapted it to fit a different wrist.”
Over the past 40 years, the Royal Oak has found many fans — jeweller Carolina Bucci, 40, among them. Her collections use techniques her family has perfected over four generations in its workshops in Florence, where the jewellery is still made today. Bucci herself sports a 1982 yellow gold, 36mm Royal Oak — a gift from her husband. “Given my profession, he usually gets me other things, typically watches or art,” she says. “But a few months before my 35th birthday, I was in New York and I spotted a woman wearing a watch I liked the look of — so I followed her across the street, into Bergdorf Goodman, up four or five floors, trying to get closer to see what the watch was, and finally I managed to see that it was an Audemars Piguet.”
Despite a personal collection to choose from, the watch has hardly left Bucci’s wrist in the five years since. Fortuitously, three years ago, François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet — and a man so obsessed with Star Wars that his Royal Oak is engraved with an image of Yoda — and Bucci met through a mutual acquaintance and quickly hit it off. “I am very direct and honest, and when they asked me what I thought of their watches I said, ‘Generally, I don’t like your women’s watches — my Royal Oak is actually a man’s one.’ That’s how it started. At first, it felt a bit like dating. We kept on seeing each other and talking, learning.”
Eventually, the friendship turned into a design partnership. The master craftsmen at Audemars Piguet’s workshops in Le Brassus, Switzerland, made seven attempts before successfully executing what Bucci had in mind. The Florentine finish, which Bucci is known for, uses an upturned, pointed diamond tip to repeatedly dent the surface of the gold on the casing, which takes about 30 hours per watch to execute. The result is fantastically sparkly — yet without a diamond in sight. The Royal Oak Frosted Gold comes in white gold or rose gold in two different sizes (33mm and 37mm) and is cool, bold and with just the right amount of bling.