What She Wears: Purple

November 9, 2009

Daily Digest

What She Wears: Purple

By Linda Gallagher

From lilac to lavender, violet to plum, purple has emerged as the hottest colour for Autumn/Winter 2009. This season every major designer has featured this key trend in their collections, prompting fashion editors to declare purple ‘the new black’.

A huge fan of purple is Carla Bruni Sarkozy who wears the colour on many state occasions. Accompanying her husband on a visit to London last year, she brought a touch of Gallic glamour to Downing Street in her violet Dior coat (pictured) .

You can replicate the French First Lady’s style in the amethyst wool lantern coat from Savida, a bargain at just €60. With its sculptural collar and thick waist belt, this vibrant coat would brighten up any dull November morning.

As purple is such an intense colour, you need a neutral shade like grey, navy or black to balance it out. The easiest way to wear this trend is through accessories. Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Penneys currently have a great range of gloves, belts and purple coloured hosiery in stock.

Regarding footwear, Office come up trumps with their grape Minky Linky wedge ankle boots.  There is quite a retro feel about these, (very Spice Girls 1990s), which are great value at £85 / €95.

This summer, The Hills star and designer Lauren Conrad was rarely seen without her magenta Balenciaga First handbag. I found a great Berry toned suede shoulder bag with a patent fastener in LK Bennett. Pictured here far right, it costs €360 in Irish stores but is available to purchase online from their UK website for £195 (€218).

With the party season approaching there are plenty of gorgeous dresses available on the high street. Among the new arrivals to Coast is the Yasmin Jersey Dress (€175). It is bang on trend with its magenta colour and asymmetrical neckline and is a classier version of the dress that actress Megan Fox wore to the Transformers movie premiere in Tokyo last June. Complete the look with strappy sandals and a metallic box clutch bag. A perfect dress for those blacktie functions that November and December bring!

If, on the other hand, you are wondering what to wear to a winter wedding,  look no further than Oasis Rapture dress (pictured). At only €88, this iris satin shift dress is both sexy and sophisticated. Accessorise with a chocolate coloured faux fur shrug and some killer heels.

Purple Makeup

The purple craze has also filtered down into cosmetics. It was actress Natalie Portman who started the trend when she wore lilac eye shadow to this years Oscars.

My own personal favourite eye shadow is the Night Butterfly 5 colour palette from Dior (available in Arnotts and Brown Thomas).Consisting of five colours that include steel grey, charcoal and 3 shades of purple (pale lilac, mauve and plum), this versatile palette retails at €53 but you are getting a top quality product and can create a number of looks from subtle to dramatic with it.

Purple eye shadow
is suitable for all eye colours, particularly green and brown eyes, but you need to add a little more concealer under the eye to hide dark circles as purple tends to highlight this area more.

A more economic alternative to Dior is the new Bourjois Violet Romantic Smokey Eye Trio; you get 3 shades for €10.99. Bourjois also have their cute Little Round Pot range, an individual eye colour in a compact case that can be applied either wet or dry – my favourite for autumn is No.17 Prune (€8.99).

Purple Nail Polish

As we predicted in our ‘Spring Beauty’ feature last March, purple nail polish is a huge trend this year. Grazia and Instyle magazines are raving about Revlon’s Plum Night Nail Enamel (€9.04). All the models were seen wearing this backstage at the Luella, Jason Wu and Cynthia Rowley shows and it is the MUST-HAVE product for your beauty bag this winter.

So if you are thinking about investing in a colour this season, let purple reign!

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