From the beauty truism that a slick of red lipstick detracts from the dreariest, spottiest of complexions to romantic notions of Little Red Riding Hood’s special cape, shades of scarlett are less a one-season wonder thing and more an enduring fashion classic which could barely ever look “wrong”. But as with all these things, there come times when we seem to have a collective moment of renewed red obsession. Perhaps it’s the impending creep towards darker days and festive thoughts which combine appropriately with some gorgeously rouge looks in AW14 collections from the likes of Prada, Dolce and Gabbana and Valentino. Or could it be that the colour of creativity, danger, daring and glamour feels suddenly right in a world where so much is going badly wrong, like an armour? Whatever the explanation, there are a few gorgeously red themed things happening right now which feel just right for a Monday dose of power.
1. Kurt Geiger’s AW14 campaign
Kurt Geiger has good reason to channel a red obsession. Somewhat surprisingly, their red shoes regularly sell far more than black versions of the same styles. “Yes it’s true!” says Rebecca Farrar-Hockley, Creative Director of Kurt Geiger “there is something magical about red shoes and our scarlet signature stiletto ‘Britton’ is always top of the list”. The brand has worked with appropriately redheaded Karen Elson- “I love a fiery-haired English rose”- for a second season, styling her surrounded by bags and shoes in poppy shades, her cascading curls almost blending in with the bags around her. The tagline is, of course, “Red is the New Black”.
The red vibe at KG was inspired particularly by Don’t Look Now, the chilling 1973 Nicolas Roeg thriller about a couple who lose their daughter in a tragic accident.”(The film) has one of the most beautifully constructed opening sequences. A girl in a red raincoat, the red hooded figure and not to mention Julie Christie’s incredible red boots!” says Farrar-Hockley of the film’s intensely symbolic use of red. The Elson campaign images are much more fairytale than the sinister edge of the film and make me want to immediately swap anything black in my wardrobe for something gorgeously, sumptuously red.
2. Christian Louboutin Beauté
You’ve heard the legend of the Louboutin heel, right? The one where Christian the heels maker is toiling away in his workshop attempting to create the perfect heel. It’s 1993. He finishes a beautiful sample but something is not quite right. It just doesn’t seem finished. Out of the corner of his eye, he spies his assistant surreptitiously painting her nails with a vibrant shade of red in the corner of the room. It’s a lightbulb moment. He pinches the bottle and coats the heel of his creation in the shining bright varnish and so a fashion legend is born.
Fast forward to now and the Louboutin sole story has come full circle. Having achieved worldwide recognition for the flash of red sole and taken major retailers to court over infringement of intellectual property rights, Louboutin Beauté has recently launched with a quite magnificent glossy cherry colour which comes in a bottle like none you have ever seen before. It’s the same height as the fetish heels, the Ballerina Ultima, which Louboutin made for a David Lynch project. I was lucky enough to have a manicure with Louboutin Rouge last week and can confirm that it is just like having mini Louboutin soles as nails. The Objet d’art bottle made me think it was just the thing Maleficent might have on her dressing table so it’s appropriate that Louboutin has actually collaborated with Angelina Jolie on bespoke shoes inspired by the film to raise funds for SOS Children’s Villages.
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3. Red on the catwalk
And here’s a tumble of divine red-ness from the catwalk evoking every mood from Bauhaus cool to fairytale loveliness, these images prove that red is a great way to start off your AW14 season…