The Colors of FW14 – 10 Ways to Kick Out Black, Grey and Beige

FW14 was pretty much like it always is, with colors being toned down and muted. Black and grey were dominant, which, from a color theory perspective makes absolutely no sense at all. Black, grey and beige are the last colors you need in fall and winter, especially here in Scandinavia.

There are two reasons for why you should ban black, grey and beige from your winter wardrobe:

  1. The shallow one: They make you look drained, washed out, enhances wrinkles and bags under your eyes. They’re crap colors for pale winter skin. So unless you have a stylist or pack on the makeup, or photoshop yourself, these colors are a big no-no for 98% of us.
  2. The meaningful one: It may sound absurd, but especially black and grey, does nothing good for you mentally. They’re both negative colors, and effect both you and your surroundings in a negative way. Colors = energy, and during winter, you need as much as you can possibly get, because of the lack of daylight.

So what colors are ok for winter? The thing is, all «real» colors does something good for you, so just choose the ones you like, and makes you shine. Although the catwalks were filled with black and depressing colors, there were plenty of both bright and calm colors to choose from. Lets start out with the neutrals:

1. GREEN – NEUTRAL

So, green is actually a neutral, which means that you can basically pair it with any other color, and there was plenty of it, in many different shades on the runways. The good thing with green, is that research shows that you appear friendly and knowledgeable when you wear it.

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Balmain, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Valentino

If you’re not used to using «real colors», army green can be a good color to begin with. It works well with all eye colors, and is super easy to combine with other colors. It’s like the green version of camel.These looks are pretty monochrome, but if you buy an army green piece of clothing, you can style it with anything.

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Burberry Prorsum, Dior , Delpozo

Army green wasn not the only version of green I saw. Burberry did this amazing yellowish green, and paired it with blue. As did Dior and Delpozo. You see, blue is also neutral, and works well with all other colors. My favorite nuance of green, is the emerald green in the middle photo, by Dior. It’s such a classic color, will last forever in your wardrobe, and makes all skin types and eye colors radiate like crazy (in other words, it makes you more beautiful ;) ). The apple green to the right is another favorite, but can be more difficult to pull off (it doesn’t work with my complexion during winter, but is perfect for summer). But on skirts – doesn’t matter, it will work if you use a color that’s good for your skin tone «on top».

2. BLUE – ALSO NEUTRAL

Another neutral that’s a perfect alternative to the old ones. Wearing blue, you will appear more conservative and honest. Research has shown that defendants that have worn blue during trials, get lower prison sentences than if they would wear other colors.

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Gucci, Burberry Prorsum, Dolce&Gabbana

This particular shade of blue is a shade that I’m seeing more and more of, and I absolutely LOVE it! It’s much easier to pull of than the strong and saturated indigo that’s been hanging around a bit too long. This shade of blue can be paired with any other color. It’s almost sky blue, and you know the sky, no color (seriously NO COLOR) looks bad towards the sky. So it’s another easy neutral that can replace your black, grey or beige winter coat. Blue (like green), also enhances all eye colors, so it’s another slam dunk-color for beautifying you. Remember that your eyes are your most important communicative tool, so it’s important that you show them off.

3. COGNAC – NEUTRAL-ISH

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Blumarine, Givenchy, Chloé

Cognac is another color I’ve seen a lot of, and I love it! I could never pull it off though (blonde hair, blue eyes), but it’s AMAZING if you have green or brown eyes, and it’s also practically a neutral. Items in a cognac color will work with a lot of the other colors in the color wheel, and most of the old neutrals (black, beige and grey)

4. CORAL – NOT NEUTRAL, BUT ALMOST

Coral is not really a neutral, but it does work well with many other colors, and it’s a color that will give you a real energy boost (which many of us need during winter).

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Dior, Sonia Rykiel ,Opening Ceremony

It’s interesting to see how close the coral nuances of all three designers above are. Looks like they’re working with the same forecasters for sure ;) The army greens were also extremely similar, but not as surprising, since it’s a popular neutral that pops back almost every season. This shade of coral though? Not so much. It is a fun color though, and the coat on the left could be a wardrobe staple with real longevity.

5. LAVENDER – NEUTRAL

Lavender is another neutral color, that’s relaxing and incredibly easy to combine with other colors (these particular shades are also perfect for walls! Think bedroom)

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Giambattista Valli, Marc Jacobs, Sonia Rykiel

Lavender is already the talk of the town, and some magazines have claimed for it to be the most important color of fall. Not an easy color to pull off for nordic complexions, but I expect to see a lot of it from the street style mafia.

6.PLUM – so not a neutral

But AMAZING if you have blue eyes (and green). And does work with a huge number of colors (as most colors do, you know, colors make colors shine). Plum shades give you a sophisticated look, but will also make you seem more creative. It’s not a common color for corporate dressing, but should definitely be used more.

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Chanel, Giambattista Valli, Donna Karan

7. ORANGE (NOT NEUTRAL IN ANY WAY)

Orange, is, according to some, the happiest color on the color wheel. It’s super energetic, and will give you a real boost. It’s a wise color to wear during winter.

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Tommy Hilfiger, Delpozo, Chanel

Orange is one of the MAJOR colors for FW14, and was seen in what felt like every single collection. It was shown in monochrome looks, like Chanel to the right, or on a single element, like the vest from Tommy Hilfiger. Delpozo showed a stunning LOD (Little Orange Dress).

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Balmain, Missoni, Louis Vuitton, Dries van Noten

More examples on how the color was used. Top, bottom, scarf, hat, shoe.. The list is long. Very long. Fun to see such a bright color being so dominant!

8. PINK – COULD BE NEUTRAL

Pink is a color with lots of positive traits. It can be both calming and energetic (depending on the nuance), and is FUN to pair with other warm colors (like red, orange and yellow, which we will se more of in resort/pre spring 2015). There were two groups of pink that were standing out.

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Chanel, Marni, Fendi

Bubble gum pink. I wouldn’t wear this color (left and right) to the office, at least not for full monochrome looks, like Chanel. Fendi is pairing it with army green, which gives a more «adult» look and feel to it (especially if the green is the biggest item, and not the smallest, like here). Many designers are working further with this color for pre spring, and will be showing a lot of both fun and interesting combos.

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Acne, Valentino, Burberry

Blush is the other group. Totally different look and feel, isn’t it? Much more sophisticated and toned down. Blush with brown was popular (notice the same colors in all three looks!).

9. RED – not for the faint-hearted, but to me it’s neutral (so close to beige, right?)

Red is the strongest color in the color wheel, and can be powerful, sensual and energetic. People will definitely notice you more when you wear red, so it’s not a good color if you’re a «foot-in-mouth» type of person. But if you’re not, it’s perfect. Just remember that people will hear the words that are coming out of your mouth better than if you wear any other color.

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Prada, Dior, Moschino

These bright and saturated reds are super fun, and so so good for the dark winter season. It can be a little bit more challenging to pull of than the second group of reds (below) that has a little bit more blue in it (these are leaning towards orange).

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Giambattista Valli, Prabal Gurung, Donna Karan

A more sophisticated palette, which gives a more classic and «grown-up» vibe. Prabal Gurung’s combo in the middle is simply to die for. I LOVE IT! All of the colors used here (in all three pics) are super classic, and will last a life time. Good investment colors.

10. YELLOW (not neutral either)

Did you know that yellow is the color that most people dislike? It is however, also a color that makes us happy and feel welcome. So, a perfect color if you want people to like you. (even if it is a color many dislike (especially as wall color), it does have a positive effect on us. I think it’s particularly good for jackets and  outerwear.

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Pucci, Burberry Prorsum, Jeremy Scott

And yellow coats, were 13 a dozen. And they look good! Yellow started this summer, and it’s continuing it’s wave during FW14, which is super positive, yellow to the people! We need more happy colors :D

all photos from style.com