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Prue White

PRUE WHITE: Editors Picks The Art Of Colour In Your Wardrobe

Guest Write: Prue White

What I've really missed during lockdown is visiting art galleries. While magazines are still being published and continue to inspire me, it's actual art that I'm missing: the colours of a Rothko or a Matisse, and the texture of a Van Gogh or a Picasso. Recognising this, a lot of our favoured galleries across the world have opened their virtual doors to provide tours of their art. If you haven't tried them, I urge you to. Visiting MOMA in the wee hours of an insomnia-filled evening is really quite special.

If you're looking for inspiration a little closer to home, introducing colour to your wardrobe can pay dividends. When we are all called upon to spend more time at home, in what can feel like an increasingly limited environment, I for one have turned to my wardrobe for some daily stimulus. Colour is one of the most basic interfaces between us and the world around us and its importance at a time like this cannot be underestimated. Introducing flashes of colour to our day serves to ignite and inspire us; at a base level, it awakens our senses.

The Johnstons of Elgin Hand-Intarsia Cashmere Jumper is like wearing your own work of art. Designed by the artists (and that's what they are) at Johnstons and knitted using both traditional, handcrafted techniques and modern technology it's an updated tribute to Piet Mondrian's art of the 1930s. Celebrating individual brushstrokes and unapologetic colour, it's instantly uplifting. I'd wear it with some tailored cigarette pants in navy blue and some equally bright sandals to balance out the look.

Hand Intarsia Floral Cashmere Jumper

I also love the Multi-Stripe Batwing Cashmere Jumper. In shades of blue, yellow and red, it's cheerful and evocative. I would wear it over a Roll-Neck Scuba Skin Cashmere Jumper and some skinny trousers on cooler days or thrown over a bikini when we are finally allowed to indulge that Mediterranean sojourn.

Multi Stripe Batwing Cashmere Jumper
Roll Neck Scuba Skin Cashmere Jumper

While many of us turn instinctively to black to partner with bold colour, it's not always flattering. Black draws light away from the face and tends to be quite ageing. Navy is a wonderful alternative; almost universally flattering, it is also a classic combination with daring colour.

Other safe bets include white or denim - faded classic blue denim (think Diet Coke ads circa 1995) is terribly au courant for 2020. But don't forget about camel: it is the perfect neutral. Camel complements a whole host of bright colours - from blue to magenta and even yellow – and is flattering on most skin tones. It can also transform an outfit from staid to modern.

An accessory, however, is the ace up your sleeve. If colour makes you a little nervous or you're not sure where to start, one of Johnstons' Lightweight Merino Scarves in a block colour will instantly lift your outfit. Draping the scarf lightly over your shoulders will showcase its deliciously diaphanous texture and dilute the colour. Tied a little tighter around the neck, however, will concentrate the colour, affording you the chance to pick and choose according to how brave you’re feeling.

Lightweight Merino Scarf

The Johnstons of Elgin SS20 collection embraces colour in its truest sense. In a Mondrian palette of tomato red, saffron yellow and azure blue, it’s the Mediterranean summer that for now has been relegated to our dreams. So, if like me, you’re craving the pleasure that art brings to our lives, embrace colour and the joy that it sparks, instead.

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