Trending in fashion: the colour green

Go green with shoes, bags and dresses


VIt doesn’t look good for fashion when the leprechaun hats come out again, but it is that time of year. The St Patrick’s Day Babylon of lurid green merchandise and excitement around ministerial neckties is one thing; while in rugby the love-in continues as world record-breaking Brian O’Driscoll wears the green for the final time abroad this weekend (did anyone miss that news item?). Green wasn’t always the colour of patriots. Blue was Ireland’s national colour until the mid-19th century when the verdant spring fields of the “emerald isle” became part of nationalist insignia and now there’s no getting away.

Off season, the wearing of green isn’t for everyone, as its absence or dilution at gala events such as the Oscars usually tells us. Green is loud, stagey and dominant. This year tweed is making a big comeback (in Chanel suits, for instance) while green has been deployed in the latest collections effectively, if sparingly. Nigella Lawson has just appeared on the cover of UK Vogue ’s April issue in a jade emerald green lace Burberry Prorsum dress slipping off the shoulder. The title of the cook’s first print interview shoot since her divorce case is “Fresh Start” and the colour’s double message of new life and old world opulence works very well.

At Paris fashion week, Christian Dior revealed blocks of pure green vibrancy for autumn/winter including a startling floor-length gown and a double-breasted buttoned dress with a definite debt to Aer Lingus livery. In marshy, safe, olive greens, just when we’d seen one too many of the khaki parkas that everyone seems to own, Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent bring out more. Sandro have gone native with the colour for spring, with drop-waist mini “swing” skirts in lush grass green and pleated minis in a devilish reptile print.

Karen Millen’s limited collection of luminous green calf leather jackets, quilted on the shoulder and kitted out with biker zips and hardware, are something exquisite, as is the glut of soft knits, tapered trousers and structured dresses in Joseph’s spring range, all in the same crisp apple green. Add a pair of block-heeled bottle green sandals by Orla Kiely for Clarks, or a sizable Michael Kors tote bag with silk “jet set“ scarf and you have the Paddy’s Day outfit of a national hero. Now let’s see what Eamon Ryan can do for the Greens in Europe.


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