Red represents anger, passion, love, and fire—but this year, red is also the color of the season. It’s dominating the Fall/Winter 2017/18 fashion shows, and it somehow feels right, as though it’s expressing the current mood perfectly.
Right now, there’s rarely a winter runway show or collection that doesn’t feature it. In fact, we have found countless designers showcasing whole collections in vibrant red. So why is red so big? Do we subconsciously see this electrifying color as a way of sounding an alarm? Might it be a simple case of just wanting to get into the festive swing? Or is feminism playing a role? Is fashion using this arresting color to reflect the importance of the issues we’re currently facing? In the West, the color has long been associated with strength, both on and off the runway—there’s certainly no doubt that a woman in red is imposing. This may be a way of projecting a don’t-mess-with-me confidence, a rejection of “Lolita” look. Plus, of course, it’s a color that is never out of fashion. So look out for women dominating the streets in fierce red this winter.
Credits (left to right, from the top):
Embellished Mickey Mouse sweater by Marc Jacobs; Saturday beanie by Alberta Ferretti; red acetate shades by Pawaka; lace blouse by Balenciaga; Dancing Queen earrings by Erickson Beamon; PS1 bag by Proenza Schouler; knee-high boots from Isabel Marant; flared pants by Givenchy; Humorist Wow keyholder/bag charm from Swarovski; crystal-embellished ballerinas from Miu Miu; Rouge Ecstasy lipstick by Giorgio Armani; velvet dress by Alexa Chung; V bracelet from Versace with crystals from Swarovski; velvet Pussycat clutch by Charlotte Olympia; Baronessa cocktail ring from Rosantica. Runway looks (from the left): Balenciaga; Victoria Beckham; Fendi; Max Mara.
No one does fire red quite like Givenchy. It can be credited to the iconic creative direction of Riccardo Tisci, who left the brand this year. He was inspired by the dresses, pants, shoes, tops, jackets and all things red in the brand’s archives. Suits and outerwear also come in red this season—see the waisted Fendi coat and the down jacket by Balenciaga (Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia, has made puffer jackets cool again), or cozy up in one of Max Mara‘s coats, which are plush, floor length, and of course, red.
But we’re not talking only red-red—designers are exploring all its nuances: purple, carmine, cherry, brick, cardinal, burgundy and maroon. However, as opposed to designers such as Jil Sander, Givenchy and Chloé who are sticking to bright red, Fendi has instead chosen a deeper, more intimate tone. The color is not as alarming, yet it makes an equally successful statement, and can be combined easily with other fiery hues. This is another big trend that we can see at Paul & Joe, Victoria Beckham, Roksanda, and many more, who match up signal red with burgundy. Whether light or dark, glossy or matt, silk or knit-blend, combining tones is expressly permitted. You can put on monochrome looks in crimson from head to toe or you can go for a single turtleneck shirt, midi skirt, cigarette pants or thick cord culottes to follow the trend and feel the energy that red exudes.
Red is a main component not just in dresses, but in accessories as well. Choose from a wide range of shoes, such as boots (see Isabel Marant) or ballerinas, embellished flats (such as the ones by Miu Miu) or heels, as well as bags of every type, from clutches to totes, all in the signal color. Of course, lipsticks must be red this season too, no matter whether you prefer a light or a dark hue—when it makes a contrast with your clothes, even better! To round off your reddish wardrobe and finally get into the season’s festive mood, don’t forget the jewels that will enhance the show-stopping character of red—make sure they are lavish, bold, and sparkling. Go for a lush crystal collier or a chunky bracelet (such as the one from Versace), a glamorous cocktail ring (see the Baronessa ring by Rosantica) or pearls for a sophisticated understatement.