Burgundy is fall's top color choice

Deep, rich red is the toast of the season

CorrespondentOctober 10, 2012 

  • How to wear burgundy Deep reds are strong colors that don’t necessarily suit every skin tone. But anyone can wear them. •  Find yours: All burgundies are not the same. A brownish burgundy can suit skin tones with a warm, golden undertone; a pink-burgundy or purple-burgundy can suit others with cool undertones. Hold the color near your face and hair in natural light to see what looks good. •  Nail it: Burgundy nails are great for fall. The color looks sophisticated and is a great alternative to stark and startling black and navy. •  Pair it: Treat burgundy like a neutral and wear it with gray, greens, blues, khaki, brown, olive and tans. •  Layer it: Burgundy looks great with other reds. The red undertones in purples, oranges, salmons, corals and burgundy play well together. •  Keep it low: Burgundy can look stark against some skin tones if it highlights under-eye circles. If it doesn’t suit you, wear a flattering color near your face and wear burgundy bottoms, shoes or purses. •  Contrast it: If your coloring is high-contrast – your skin is light and your hair is dark, or vice versa – pair burgundy with a light neutral, like winter white. Try a burgundy blush or eye shadow. Sheon Wilson

Fall weather is upon us, and in sweeps the warmth of burgundy, the big color trend for the season. Call it oxblood, maroon, aubergine, wine, eggplant or Chianti – the deep, rich red is gaining status as the new statement color.

“‘The Wine List,’ as I lovingly call it, is definitely having a fashion moment at the highest level,” Arlene Goldstein, Belk’s vice president of trend merchandising in Charlotte, wrote in email. “Hues in the burgundy family are up-trending this fall.”

Designers including Diane von Furstenberg, Jason Wu and Tory Burch showed burgundy looks in their fall shows. At the Emmys, Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mayim Bialik, Jena Malone and other celebrities hit the red carpet decked out in burgundy. But it’s not just for the body – lipsticks, nails, eye shadows and blushes brought the color to models’ faces, hands and feet as well.

Real women are taking notice.

Customers are coming in specifically requesting burgundy and purple-hued lipsticks and gel eyeliners, says Justin Pittman, a Lancome makeup artist at Belk in Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.

“Women are keeping up with everything” related to fashion trends, Pittman says. “They do their research online and through magazines before they come in, so they know exactly what they want. I love it because it’s so much easier when they can talk about what they like.”

Burgundy and deep reds are natural choices for this time of year because they are traditional autumn colors. Just think about fallen leaves.

What’s more, burgundy is a power color, says Leatrice Eiseman, ( colorexpert.com) known for her work with the Pantone Color Institute, which forecasts trends for fashion, interior design, manufacturing and other industries.

“Anytime a color is darkened, it empowers the color and the wearer,” says Eiseman, author of “Alive with Color.” “I happen to love it. It is so rich and sophisticated, great for after-5, but equally good in fleeces and other warm weather fabrics, and also for tights and boots.”

At Bano Boutique in Durham, which specializes in high-end European designs, owner Sima Rafizadeh is offering shawls, jackets, tops and skirts in all-over burgundy or with subtle touches of maroon. One striking example is a voluminous Mashiah burgundy and gray wool coat with a dramatic asymmetrical hem.

“When I was buying for fall, I saw burgundy in a lot of places,” Rafizadeh says. “I wasn’t looking for burgundy, but a lot of that color caught my attention.”

Burgundy denim and leathers are big at Belk, Goldstein says. Deep red is a great departure from the neon shades from spring and summer because it exudes a more sultry, dramatic tone.

“I love that we are adapting the classic black with a fresh, modern perspective and using burgundy as the new base,” Annie Mercer, a Sephora Pro makeup artist, wrote in email. “This color is so rich in its hue, yet dark enough that it pairs well with everything.

“From the lids to lips to nails, burgundy is a very wearable shade.”


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