Street style models at Haider Ackermann Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear show in Paris (left) and Ingorokva Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear show in Georgia. Photographer: Marie-Paola Bertrand-Hillion/TNS
From millennial pink to Gen-Z yellow, some of the most prominent colour trends to have emerged from fashion in recent years all have one thing in common: they are bright, bold and unashamedly command the attention of onlookers.
So, it may come as a surprise to learn that this season, fashion’s must-have shade of the moment is decidedly more understated: beige.
Thanks to designers like Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci the muted hue is no longer a byword for bland and instead being spotted on the well-dressed backs of Parisian street style stars and high-powered fashion editors.
In fact, the trend has proved to be such a hit with fashion fans since the spring/summer 2019 shows that the hashtag #beigeaesthetic now boasts more than 40,000 posts on Instagram.
Tisci, stands at the vanguard of the colour's revival having showcased a parade of looks that were dominated by beige tones for his debut collection at the luxury fashion house.
Here, Tisci took a typically uninspiring shade and transformed it into symbol of classic refinement.
“Beige is the colour that belongs to the house — we own it — and I wanted each photographer to have a different way of interpreting it,” Tisci said of his debut Burberry ad campaign.The standout collection was closely followed by similarly neutral offerings from a host of other designers, including Balmain, Tom Ford, Dior and Kenzo.
“Rich and luxurious hues from toffee to vanilla, the neutral trend oozes effortless chic
But, why now? What is it about neutral tones that is really getting people’s hearts thumping?
According to Alex Longmore, founder of Style School — an organisation that trains future fashion stylists — the rise of camel could be a reaction to current affairs and the rise of inconspicuous consumption — when a brand or person avoids outwardly displaying their wealth or social status.
“I think beige is such a fashionable colour because it’s understated and conservative which translates to being ‘timeless’ in fashion,” Longmore tells The Independent.
“Women want classics that are going to last and wearing beige is one sure way to achieve just that. I think it’s also partly because beige has always been deemed a functional colour and that women are really thinking about what they invest in.”
Fashion stylist and costume designer Rebecca Lockwood agrees, adding another reason beige has seen such a surge in popularity is because it’s so versatile.
“Rich and luxurious hues from toffee to vanilla, the neutral trend oozes effortless chic,” Lockwood tells The Independent.“It really is a stand out trend for me because of the vast array of options available and it suits all ages, shapes, sizes and skin tones.”
And they’re both right. While creamy hues might not be the most exhilarating, they are timeless and offer endless styling opportunities.
The kind of no-brainer shade that goes with absolutely everything, beige tones promise to slot into your wardrobe seamlessly but it’s still important that you invest in the right pieces.
For Lockwood, this means spending your money on items that can be worn year in, year out and take you easily from day to night.
“If you want to invest in a key piece for this trend you could opt for a classic trench coat,” Lockwood explains.
“They are amazingly versatile and will take you through this transitional weather all the way to spring/summer. This will soon become your ultimate wardrobe staple.”
Alternatively, she suggests a boyfriend cut caramel blazer as a fantastic office to party piece.“Wear in the daytime with a crisp white T-shirt and for the evening swap for a satin camisole and nip in your waist with a contrasting belt. I really love the understated appeal of a boyfriend blazer and jean combo,” she says.
Street style models at Olivier Theyskens and Stella McCartney Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear shows in Paris. Photographer: Marie-Paola Bertrand-Hillion/TNS
Lockwood also reminds us that beige doesn’t have to mean boring, so don’t forget to contrast fabric textures and experiment with different patterns.
“You don’t have to wear this tonal trend plain,” Lockwood explains.
“Why not mix and match your shades or even incorporate snake print to add another dimension. Gold accessories are also a great stylish addition to any tonal look.”
If an all-beige outfit doesn’t suit your style, you can also use the shade to temper the drama of colourful brights.
For example, offsetting a bright green jumper with a camel coat and satin skirt in a coordinating hue will instantly make both shades feel more wearable.
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