RED ALERT

HIGH-VOLT­AGE FASH­ION

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JAN SHURE

IT WAS Valentino’s sig­na­ture colour; Vivi­enne Westwood al­most in­vari­ably uses it some­where in each col­lec­tion (one of her ready-to-wear ranges is called Red La­bel); the high street’s new­est su­per­star James Lake­land never fails to put at least a half-dozen red pieces into each line; and Alexan­der McQueen’s au­tumn 09 col­lec­tion for Dior, Karl Lager­feld’s for Chanel and

wun­derkind Frida Gian­nini’s for Gucci, all promi­nently fea­tured red.

Red Car­pet has be­come a metaphor for glam­orous dress­ing, and red is the colour of blood, the colour of pas­sion and even a stim­u­lant — stud­ies show that it can in­crease the rate of res­pi­ra­tion and raise blood pres­sure.

So it is hardly sur­pris­ing that if you re­ally want to in­ject some va va voom into your win­ter wardrobe, a flash of red is the way to do it. It could be a state­ment piece like a red coat or a red dress, or a top, cardi or skirt. But if even a red skirt or cardi feels ex­ces­sive, a red hand­bag, bold neck­lace, cuff or chunky, ca­ble-knit scarf, can add volt­age to an all-black out­fit — though not all at once; far too matchy-matchy.

For the cur­rent sea­son, red was a state­ment colour for de­sign­ers, from the dar­ling of Paris, Al­ber El­baz at Lan­vin, who did a sub­lime col­lar­less belted coat in red washed felt; to our own Nicole Farhi, whose clever, cov­etable au­tumn col­lec­tion in­cluded a slouchy, red tweed over­coat, a drop-dead sim­ple pil­lar-box red shift dress with draped skirt and — for those a bit pho­bic about all-over-red — the sea­son’s ab­so­lute must-have ac­ces­sory, el­bow-length leather gloves… in scar­let.

Not all of us suit all shades of red — in fact most of us suit just one shade, which is why even the most vivid red can some­times drain rather than boost — but the good news is that most women can look fab­u­lous in red, pro­vid­ing they choose the right shade for skin, hair and eye colour­ing.

Cyndy Less­ing, an im­age con­sul­tant who spe­cialises in colour, notes: “Gen­er­ally, if your skin tone is ‘cool’, then go for reds that have a blue-based un­der­tone — cherry red will look amaz­ing. If your skin tone is warm (you are some­one who suits gold jew­ellery), then seek out or­angey or earthy coloured reds that have a yel­low un­der­tone.”

Blondes — nat­u­ral ones with light coloured eyes — will look fab­u­lous in clear, light reds, while for those with dark eyes, dark hair and a more olive skin tone, Less­ing sug­gests deeper reds such as bur­gundy or aubergine.

And if you are wear­ing a big, state­ment piece of red, keep ac­ces­sories sim­ple and low-key — black bag, black shoes, black shades, big, bold black or gold cuff.

WHERE TO FIND PIECES IN RED

DRESSES Power shift dress, £32, Dorothy Perkins; pleat shift dress, £68, Kew; ruf­fle front dress, £65, Oa­sis; Nicole Farhi long-sleeved silk dress with side drap­ing, £549, Fen­wick, W1; slouchy jer­sey dress, £410, Preen ( www.browns

fash­ion.com); long-sleeved, draped dress, £169, Vivi­enne Westwood An­glo­ma­nia; red fit­ted dress, £35, Marks & Spencer Lim­ited Col­lec­tion; belted, roll neck sweater dress, £35, Wal­lis.

COATS Tara Jar­mon cash­mere/wool swing coat with high col­lar, £399, Fen­wick, W1; short mil­i­tary coat with gold but­tons, £95, Dorothy Perkins; curvy, cropped jacket, £392, Vivi­enne Westwood An­glo­ma­nia; fun­nel neck coat, £74.99, River Is­land; curvy coat with big col­lar, £69, Marks & Spencer Lim­ited Col­lec­tion; nipped-waist, cropped mil­i­tary jacket, £15, Pri­mark.

SKIRTS Heart Pocket Skirt, So­nia by So­nia Rykiel, £209, Fen­wick, W1; wool pen­cil skirt, £340, Dries van Noten ( www.browns­fash­ion.com).

KNITS AND TOPS Frill sided 80s top, £205, Paul & Joe 134 Sloane Street, SW1; over­sized wool jumper, £335, Co­op­er­a­tive De­signs ( www.browns

fash­ion.com); Long knit­ted cardi­gan, re­duced to £300, Fendi (www.browns­fash­ion.com); clas­sic roll neck sweater, £15, Marks & Spencer; “vin­tage” beaded cash­mere cardi­gan, £45, Tu at Sains­bury.

AC­CES­SORIES Dark red patent an­kle boots, £120, Carvela at Kurt Geiger; strappy shoes, £140, L K Ben­nett; Nancy bag in aubergine, £595, Smyth­son; peep-toe suede plat­forms, £70, Faith; patent plat­forms with curly bows, £580, Valentino, 174 Sloane Street, SW1; Blondie gaunt­let gloves with but­tons, £89, Fen­wick, W1; enamel cuff with dia­mante, £45, and dark red state­ment neck­lace, £60, both Adele Marie ( www.adele-marie.com) and at Har­rods, SW1.

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1. Mil­i­tary coat, £95, Dorothy Perkins branches

2. Long-sleeve drape-side dress by Nicole Farhi, £549, Fen­wick, Bond Street, Lon­don W1

3. Silk dress, £115, Rene Derhy at John Lewis, W1

4. Fit­ted dress, £35, Marks & Spencer Lim­ited Col­lec­tion

5. Coat with tulip hem, £69, Marks & Spencer Lim­ited Col­lec­tion

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