Nude and blush tones add romance to summer fashion
As the countdown to the official start of summer begins, the fashion wheel currently pointing to the power punch of bold spring colour begins to turn to include the barely-there hues ready for romance.
Enter the palest sheer and milky tints of pink, peach and beige in a palette that some refer to as nude and many call blush.
"Blush is a perfect tone for summer. It grew from the need to balance season after season of bright colours on the runways," says Jeffrey Thorpe, a New York-based creative director for Jones New York.
An entire range of light and airy blush and nude-toned clothes, accessories and makeup cut a wide swath down nearly every designer runway, including those of Stella McCartney, Marchesa, Armani, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and Celine in Europe, while on this side of the Atlantic, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, DKNY, Calvin Klein and Canada's own Eve Gravel also recommend blush.
Some, like Gravel, Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen plied blush with hits of black and floral trim to add edge to the otherwise purely pristine tone. Others used texture in the form of pleats, lace, floral appliqués, laser cutouts and crochet work to add textural notes to their pale canvas.
"I built my spring summer 2012 collection around flower prints and as my flower print included a shade of blush, I decided to include blush styles in my collection, always mixing it (blush) with black for a perfect blend "¦ that brings more romance to the season," says Montreal-based Gravel.
While blush tones look great with black, they also pair well with soft beiges and can help balance out bolder colours such as red, coral and duskier shades such as taupe, mauve and brown.
"Blush has become our updated natural, a nude that brings a feminine edge with it. Pair a blush-coloured blouse with a dress pant for work and it softens the look, the same goes with a skinny jean," says Jessica Kaplan, a Toronto-based brand director for Mendocino and M for Mendocino.
"If the piece is structured or not overtly feminine, the colour blush really helps to update and add dimension to an outfit, whether worn monochromatically or paired with the bold colours that are also a huge seasonal trend," adds Kaplan.
If you're not used to wearing pale colours like blush and aren't certain if it suits you, it is widely considered that blush is universal and because there are so many variations on the shade, there's a colour of blush to suit every skin tone.
If your skin has pinkish undertones, pale pink almond and rosy shades of blush are likely to suit you best, whereas if your skin has more yellow undertones, you may wish to seek out blush tones with an ivory, beige or peach base.
"The great thing about blush tones is that everyone can wear them because there are so many variations in shades. Blush is really the newest neutral. From just a slight hint of pink to a rosier nude, there's a shade for everyone," adds Kaplan.
If you're still wary of blush coloured clothing, why not consider a rose gold, blush or shell coloured jewelry item, scarf, purse or footwear.
Blush and nude-toned shoes help to create a flattering, leg lengthening look, especially if you choose a shade that's as similar to your skin tone as possible.
If blush- and nude-coloured clothing and accessories aren't for you, nudes and blush tones are also sweeping the makeup world. You can just as easily tap into the trend with a swipe of champagne-coloured illuminating cheek powder or a dash of blush lip tint.
"Much like the trend in makeup, nude-coloured nails are a big thing. From sheer to cream, with nudes there are many options that work day to night. Nude nail colours make for impeccably chic and low maintenance manicures," says Essie Weingarten, the New York-based founder and global creative director of the Essie line of nail enamels that were used backstage at several shows during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York.