Paint it green

It’s a jun­gle out there, and it’st’s time to dress ac­cord­ingly.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - TREND REPORT WITH MELISSA SINGER -

Green n has al­ways ays been n one of my favourite colours, ours, so when the colour gods at Pan­tone de­clared it the 2017 colour ur of the year, I shouted: “Yay!” But then I waited, and waited and still no green jumpers pers or jack­ets or shoes are in my favourite e stores.

You see, dear reader, fash­ion can n some­times take its sweet time to trickle down to the level where you and I spend most of our dol­lars. It’s one e thing for Gucci to re­spond al­most im­me­di­ately with a pair of rac­ing stripe track pants in the most sub­lime bot­tle green, but it’s a whole other thing for the brands mere mor­tals can af­ford to get them on to the shop floor, fast fash­ion not­with­stand­ing – and let’s not even open that can of worms.

So that’s why ev­ery­where you look, it seems green has been the colour of win­ter, sprout­ing like a newly planted lawn.

And yet, noth­ing in fash­ion hap­pens by ac­ci­dent, as we learned last month when Me­la­nia Trump boarded a flight to visit chil­dren in im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion wear­ing the now in­fa­mous “I don’t re­ally care, do u?” Zara jacket, which hap­pened to be green. Mov­ing on.

For a more pos­i­tive celebrity ex­am­ple of green’s pop­u­lar­ity, you only need to look at the Queen’s re­cent lime green tri­fecta: at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on her trip with the Duchess of Sus­sex to Cheshire and at Royal Ascot.

The pop­u­lar­ity of green may be a di­rect re­ac­tion to most of us liv­ing in an ur­ban jun­gle sur­rounded by shades of grey and rel­a­tively lit­tle sun­light, sug­gests Vanessa Man­ning, of Man­ning Cartell.

“In a world in­creas­ingly lived through screens, the urge for first-hand con­tact with na­ture be­comes strong and vis­ceral, there­fore green has be­come such a colour fo­cus for our lat­est col­lec­tion,” she says.

With so many greens on the spec­trum, from khaki to pea, bot­tle and emer­ald, how does a de­signer choose which shade to hero?

“We loved the idea of in­ten­si­fy­ing nat­u­ral colours to be more fu­tur­is­tic – con­vey­ing a re­gal na­ture,” Man­ning says. “Green rep­re­sents con­fi­dence, power and bal­ance. In our cur­rent cli­mate we feel it also rep­re­sents mind­ful­ness of our en­vi­ron­ment and por­trays calm­ness, truth and se­cu­rity.”

And where some colours pop in and out in a mat­ter of mo­ments – char­treuse or mus­tard, any­one? – green will stick around for a while. But that’s not to say it won’t evolve.

In Paris in June, Kenzo showed printed leaf green, while at Thom Browne, mint and moss popped up in blaz­ers and even shoes.

“Against a back­drop of global change, sooth­ing and en­er­gis­ing colours like green tap into our emo­tions and aid well­be­ing. Green will be present for some time,” Man­ning says.

So pour your­self a green smoothie, buy a new plant for your desk and spend a few min­utes of your week­end hunt­ing for the per­fect green jacket on­line. It’s not quite the same as spend­ing a day in the great out­doors, but it may leave you feel­ing in­spired to get back to na­ture. And that can only be a good thing.

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