How to wear Autumn’s colour

Call it what you will, Bordeaux, oxblood, aubergine or purple. It is the signature colour of Princess Kate, pop star Prince and papal vestments – and it has made its runway return. Shades of aubergine have been circulating in the fashion world since the first purple dye was conjured up from a rare species of snail only found in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean. The rare nature of the mollusc made purple dye too expensive for anyone other than the elite, which is why Roman emperors quickly claimed it as their favourite hue and Queen Elizabeth I banned others from wearing the shade. Oxblood has since been associated with royalty and power, although we are now free to wear the colour without being accused of treason. Despite its popularity, this challenging hue remains a tricky colour to style. Below, designer Deborah Sweeney offers some helpful tips.
• Pair with chocolate leather knee-high boots and a cognac clutch for a nod to 1970s country style icons like Emmylou Harris.
• If Bordeaux doesn’t flatter your skin tone, opt to wear the colour on your lower half with a more flattering colour on top.
• Break up the boldness with a pattern – checkers and floral prints make the colour pop.
• Layer Bordeaux-coloured clothes with complementary tones, like coral and rusty brick.
• Wear youthful accessories
to enhance the natural
school uniform vibe that Bordeaux exudes.