Ice Queen


Looks from the Chanel Autumn/Winter RTW show

The fact that white looks good in the winter isn’t exactly breaking fashion news, but nevertheless I would like to talk about ‘winter whites’ for a while because I simply love this look. And everybody else seems to do, too. Eva Longoria-Parker looked beautiful in white Chanel FW RTW on the cover of Tatler’s November issue, and Emma Watson looked oh-so-cool in white Valentino Haute Couture. At this point I might tell you about the cover of December Elle, but unfortunately I have not yet received it as the issue has been delayed to to an embargo (ooh er).
Anyway, this season almost everybody is jumping onto the minimalism bandwagon. What is more fitting to this trend than a plain, white, long-sleeved, fuss-free shift dress? As we all know, white is such a pure- clean, if you like- colour. Perfect, then, for a somewhat stripped-down look.

It was only last year when I was told by an American friend that some people see wearing white in the winter as a taboo because, apparently, one shouldn’t wear white after Labour Day (sorry, Labor Day). I don’t believe that many Americans- fashion-forward ones, at least- adhere to this rule nowadays, though. Good for them! What’s wrong with wearing white in the winter, though? I did a bit of Googling this afternoon and one of the conclusions for this bizarre no-white-after-Labour-Day idea is the issue of temperature. Fine if they’re talking about wearing a white t-shirt in the cold weather. But what if you’ve adopted a Chanel white faux-fur coat? How is that not going to keep you warm?

That brings me on to say that an important thing to consider when wearing white in the winter is texture. Think about the fabric and how it feels and looks. White fur, in various forms, graced the likes of the Balmain and Isabel Marant catwalks. You can’t deny that it looks good. However, my advice is to opt for a white faux-fur coat that doesn’t give the perennially undesirable yeti look (it only really works on Chanel models and actual yetis- let’s face it).

So, how do you wear white in the winter? I cannot stress further how much I like white fur coats. So that’s one idea; a versatile one, too, when you think of all the different things you can pair a white coat with. Or why not take a long sleeved, well-cut Gucci dress (which is a more ‘winter white’ kind of white… think less bright, more cream, still as chic)? Or how about one of my favourite ways to wear white this winter: on your legs? And I’m not just talking about white trousers (though I’d have those Isabel Marant ones any day)- I’m talking about white tights, which were shown in the majority of the looks at Chanel. You can wear white tights with anything, really, and they will look good. However, I have a penchant for the all-over-white look: white dress, white tights, white heels. If you can pull it off, then go for it. White will go with other colours, too. Black and white has a classic, timeless appeal. Hermes and Balenciaga showed us that white also looks good with the season’s camel/beige-y colours, too, and Balmain tried to sell us the idea of teaming white with gold (gold sequins, nonetheless), and it sort of worked. The last 13 looks at Chanel were almost entirely white, but earlier three gorgeous jumper dresses- in white and divine icy blue- were shown on the catwalk and they were as cool as the glacial setting of the show itself. And I’m just giving you a few examples of how white was shown on the catwalk. Do some research yourself and you will find that many other designers clicked with white’s never-ending charm and used the colour in many different ways this season.

Autumn/Winter 2010 RTW shows, from top, left to right- Balmain, Isabel Marant, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Rodarte, Reed Krakoff, Gucci, Hermes, Valentino.
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2 Responses to Ice Queen

  1. Interesting – I’d always wondered about the “no white after Labour day” rule. And you’re right, it looks really pretty, and texture would have so much more effect than colour!

  2. matt says:

    show me

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