How Berry Delightful...

The Berry Trend

by Sarah Billingsley

For thousands of years, the colour of an individual’s clothes has been used as an indicator of their wealth, status and their place in the world. The robe of the Virgin Mary in medieval art, for example, is typically azure blue. The dye used by painters to create the luminous hue had to be imported across long distances at crippling expense and as a result clothes in this colour were saved only for those of the highest social order. Similarly white has long been associated with purity and virginity; a wedding dress is white for a reason. A green dress, however, implied that the young ‘maiden’ had been rolling around in the grass with a lover, so green was firmly out of fashion, while the pharaohs of Egypt wore cloaks of gold to identify themselves with their Sun God. The list goes on.

Only one colour is associated with A/W12 chic, however, and it’s much easier to get a hold of than a cloak of gold. That colour is berry. From claret T-shirt dresses at Chloe to chunky knits in grape at Christopher Kane, the berry shade was splashed all over the catwalks of the A/W 12 collections.  Kenzo experimented with texture, creating beautiful oriental style suits in velvet and tough leather jackets and skirts while maintaining the burgundy tone throughout as Carven showcased elegant cap-sleeved dresses in merlot. Luckily for us without a designer budget, the high street is bursting with different shades of berry. Zara offers a tantalizing range of pieces including leather trousers, perfect to dress up and down, knee-length skirts of lace and chucky-heeled ankle boots. Oasis, too, stocks some stunning red-wine dresses in multiple styles and length while H&M, Topshop and River Island are also worth a visit; it totally depends what suits you and your budget. 

The berry shade is very versatile; it works for most people and is incredibly wearable. Since you can get pretty much any item in this colour it can be quite difficult to create style advice but one thing to remember is the trend is deliberately subtle so no loud, printed accessories please. Experiment with texture rather than colour; velvet black shoes or a quilted handbag complement perfectly. Gold jewellery works best with berry shades, and this doesn’t have to be understated; roll up your sleeves and pile on the bangles if you like but a simple gold necklace would also do the trick. This trend allows you to go heavy with the lipstick; dark and moody shades work well, as long as the shade suits your skin tone. 
The berry trend is one for all. I might even go so far as to say it’s delicious.         

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