The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - STYLE -

We’ve had pri­mary colour block­ing and sec­ondary colour clash­ing but, for au­tumn/win­ter, de­sign­ers are ex­plor­ing a ter­tiary pal­ette. They’re fus­ing more sub­tle hues us­ing dé­gradé, an ef­fect where sim­i­lar colours are shaded to­gether. It’s akin to when your two-scoop or­der of rasp­berry and vanilla ice cream slowly starts melt­ing into one. And in its sar­to­rial form, it’s al­most as de­li­cious.

The first recorded use of the word as a dye­ing tech­nique oc­curred in 1841, when spe­cial “rain­bowed” print­ing blocks were used on tex­tiles. Dé­gradé, some­times called om­bré, is reg­u­larly used in cou­ture, but this sea­son it also ap­peared on the ready-to-wear run­ways. At JW An­der­son, egg-yolk or­anges flowed into sunny-side-up yel­lows on silky two-pieces; while at Lan­vin, mid­night black turned into mid­night blue on full-length gowns. Sies Mar­jan, a New-York-based de­signer, has de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for his chro­matic aes­thetic, and for au­tumn/win­ter upped his use of dé­gradé. A faux fuzzy coat flowed from rasp­berry to pis­ta­chio, twisted whorls of mer­cu­rial hot pinks and blues ap­peared on sleeve­less dresses, while silky trouser suits merged jade and the palest of blush. At Bluma­rine, se­quins faded from sil­ver to ivory, while Acne Stu­dios cre­ated more of a boho feel with gra­di­ent-hued knitwear.

Any­thing that fades from dark to light or vice versa is go­ing to have a widen­ing ef­fect, so those who pre­fer their clothes to make them ap­pear taller and slim­mer would do well to look to Is­abelle Fox, who used the tech­nique ver­ti­cally on her “Veron­ica” silk dress. An­other way to in­cor­po­rate dé­gradé into your wardrobe is to choose just one piece. Roland Mouret’s draped back top in blue and grey would look chic paired with dark trousers, while Reiss’s blue and lilac metal­lic skirt would look great with a chunky knit or a white tee.

There are plenty of ac­ces­sories that nod to the trend too. Try Fendi’s square-shaped sun­glasses in gold and pink, while a grad­u­at­ing cash­mere scarf from John­stons of El­gin can’t fail to please.


The Ital­ian fash­ion de­signer Valentino Gar­a­vani takes a bow with the Cana­dian su­per­model Yas­meen Ghauri, who is wear­ing a gown be­decked with tulle dé­gradé roses.


Zoe Sal­dana may not have won an Academy Award in 2010 for her role in Avatar, but she topped many of the best-dressed lists in this par­mavi­o­let-hued chif­fon gown from Givenchy.


Sies Mar­jan cre­ated head-to­toe dé­gradé looks for his au­tumn/ win­ter show, with ev­ery­thing from buck­et­shaped hats to slinky dresses get­ting the dé­gradé treat­ment.

BRITTA CABLE-KNIT COT­TON SWEATER £460, Sies Mar­jan (match­es­fash­ GALA GLIT­TER POINTY TOE FLATS £425 (jim­my­ IF IT BLEEDS, IT LEADSA full-skirted ball gown in pink om­bré silk, pho­tographed by Ce­cil Beaton for Vogue, 1951

£245, Fendi ( OMBRE CASH­MERE SCARE£380, John­stons of El­gin (


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