Colour analysis

Meet our Spring Ambassador – Amy Mulcrone

Nothing beats a pop of colour on a grey winter’s day, says our new Spring Colour Ambassador Amy Mulcrone, jewellery designer and creative director of Chambers & Beau.

What are your daytime essentials for work and weekend?
Jeans and ankle boots in the winter; jeans and trainers in the summer  – so easy to throw together and dress up or down. My weekend look tends to be the same as my work look as I’m a jewellery designer and work at home, so I’m generally alone in the studio with no particular need to dress up. But I’m a sucker for a handbag and I love scarves (although they do cover up my jewellery, so I may need to rethink that!).

Go-to dressed-up look for evening?
A pair of heels and plenty of bling. A pair of statement earrings has the same effect as popping on your favourite heels.

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection and why?
The new Alexa faux-suede biker-style jacket is totally gorgeous. The colours are lovely and it is the perfect piece for that layered look. Only problem is working out which of my seasonal colours I love best!

Favourite colour and why…
I have only recently had my colours done and discovered I’m a Blue Spring, so for a long time I tended to stick to neutrals. But I’ve always loved red and been complimented whenever I wear it, and as it’s one of my ‘wow colours’ and this season’s key colour, I am totally going with it. I also love Kettlewell’s Royal Blue and Hot Coral, which work really well on me.

Amy wears the Alpaca Shawl in Hot Coral

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?
My upper body is much better than my lower half. I have good shoulders and toned arms so I get them out whenever I can. I hate my legs, so I keep them tucked away ­ hence the jeans wardrobe.

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
It has made such a difference and has really changed the way I dress. I love seeing pops of colour, especially during our drab grey winter. I won’t be saving them for holidays and sun-kissed skin any more.

No outfit is complete without…
Lashings of Chambers & Beau jewellery, naturally!

You can see all of Amy’s jewellery on her website Chambers and Beau.

Photographs by Katharine Davies

Thanks to Cherryade Life Store, Poundbury, Dorset

A/W colour combinations for every palette

Autumn and winter are renowned for being vibrantly colourful times of year. Fashion has long drawn inspirations first from the reds, golds and browns of trees in full autumn leaf and the the blood red holly, deep green pine and crisp icy shades associated with the colder weather of winter.

This range of colour is bold, beautiful and inspiring, has a huge impact on what’s available in the shops and inspires us to dress in a way that reflects the season, but what are you supposed to do if you don’t fall into the appropriate palette? Luckily Kettlewell has every colour you can imagine available year-round, so finding the colours you need isn’t a problem, but how are you supposed to reflect this period of the year without compromising your best colours?

If you’ve had a personal colour analysis, just click on the link below to go to the appropriate post for your palette. If you haven’t had a colour analysis, don’t panic. You can either make a start on your journey into colour by visiting the Kettlewell colour quiz or simply read on for some great layering looks that will add autumnal shades to your outfit, whatever your skin tone.
 

 

 

 

Alpaca shawl in dark sage, Cara V Neck in lemongrass, Long Camisole in soft white

Dark sage/lemongrass/soft white – this is such a classic combination. We start to feel the beginning of the effects of autumn as deep leaf green blends beautifully with brighter golden yellow, softened off with a hint of soft white. Try layering these shades for a tonal look, and include a mixture of textures for added luxe.


Sara V Neck in bordeaux, Camisole in ochre, Florence Infinity Scarf in biscuit

Bordeaux/ochre/biscuit – a splash of bordeaux mixed with golden ochre evokes the memory of crisp autumn walks and the colours of late autumn. Make sure you add a scarf!

Merino Crossover in carmine red, Jersey Trousers in black, Lace Camisole in ice blue

Ice blue/carmine/black – move into the beginnings of winter with these deeper, more high contrast shades. Icy blue skies contrast with deep reds and black as the soft shades of autumn evolve into the more stark winter hues.

Milan Knit Crew in true blue marl, Silky Roll Neck in black, Florence Infinity Scarf in charcoal

Black/true blue marl/charcoal – layer up the bolder brighter shades of true winter. The deep blue of sloe berries contrasts with deepest blacks and greys as the warm autumn colour is leeched from the landscape, leaving only the strongest cool tones behind. Add a jet black silky roll neck for added cosy, but keep the bright with a true blue marl merino sweater.

Up your workwear game

Feeling a bit flat in your workwear recently? Bored with the same old dark skirt, light top, nondescript shoes uniform?

It’s time to re-inject the fun into workwear dressing. Don’t under-estimate the power of feeling confident and stylish in a work environment – just imagine how much more you might achieve by feeling fabulous instead of flat five days a week!

Keep the same level of formality but up the confidence by a factor of ten simply by adding your best colours. Stick with traditional shapes but go for something unexpected like canary yellow or bright green to maximise the wow factor.

Items shown: Milan Knit Cardigan, Grace Pencil Skirt, Darcey Square, Silk Leopard Scarf

After a decade in the fashion wilderness, the suit is back in fashion with a vengeance this season. Play with the traditional idea of a suit by going for one in comfortable but smart fabric like the amazing herringbone effect Grace suit. Add a bold basic top underneath and luxe flats for maximum impact.

Items shown: Grace Jacquard Blazer and Trousers, Sleeveless Mock Turtle, Leo Print Scarf, Velvet Ballerinas

You can’t beat a classic dress for easy work dressing, right? Actually, you can. Go for a classic dress in an unexpected but still formal shade like royal purple, then layer up with a bright jacket for immediate impact.

Items shown: Paris Textured Jacket, Classic Ponte Dress, Tiny Star Necklace

This week’s post uses colours from the Spring palette. Each week we will be choosing a different seasonal palette to illustrate our blog posts – watch out for yours!

Meet our Winter ambassador – Helen Noel

Our Winter Colour Ambassador, Helen Noel, 48, who runs her own creative agency Brand+Soul, shares her wardrobe secrets – from the top she can’t live without to the best confidence-boosting colours for meetings

 Helen wearing a Merino Tunic in emerald with a Studded Scarf in sapphire

Do you have a casual uniform?
Striped Breton, long cardigan, scarf, skinny jeans and boots. You can’t go wrong.

Helen wears a Cosy Cotton Stripe Top in Navy/Fuchsia under a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Navy

Favourite dressed-up look for evening?
Something simple, like a maxi wrap dress with a slightly 1970s vibe – no necklace but statement earrings. And always heels! I love deep colours, such as black and cassis (I’m actually hankering after a deep green or emerald evening dress).

Favourite piece from the Kettlewell A/W collection?

So many favourites, how to choose? The entire Merino collection – the wool is beautifully soft and the colours are just amazing. The Alpaca Shawl will be a constant friend in the office (no central heating!). And because you can never have too many stripes in my book, I would go for the Cotton Stripe Boat Neck for work and the Cosy Cotton Stripe for weekends.

Helen wearing a Greek Blue Alpaca Shawl over a Stripe Boat Neck in Indigo Stripe

Your favourite seasonal colour?

Royal Blue. It just works, always.

Here she is wearing a Grace Jacquard Blazer in Grey over a Silky Crew Neck tee in White and a Cashmere Gauze Stole in Winter Lobelia

Best feature (and parts you prefer to play down)?  
Not sure about best feature – can I say dimples? I definitely like to play down my tum ­ and I’m not overly fond of upper arms, either!

How does wearing the right colours for you make you feel?
It sounds a bit dramatic but having my colours analysed really transformed my understanding of what works for me. Knowing the colours that suit me best makes shopping easier (particularly when spending out on an investment piece), gives me more confidence in client meetings and presentations, and makes choosing clothes and getting dressed a pleasure rather than a minefield. Even after a bad night’s sleep, popping on the right colour can perk up your complexion and hide a multitude of sins.

No outfit is complete without…

…a scarf – preferably in Fuchsia cashmere!

 

Photographs: Katharine Davies

You can contact Helen at Brand+Soul creative agency.

Special thanks to Hardy the dog…

 

Meet our new Colour Ambassadors

There’s something about September, that fresh-start, back-to-school feeling that comes with this time of year, that feels right for new launches. So hot on the heels of the arrival of the A/W17 collection, we are excited to introduce our new colour ambassadors – four inspiring women who will be flying the flag for colour and demonstrating how they blend Kettlewell with their own inimitable style.

 Spanning the four seasonal colour palettes, Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, as well as all ages and body types, our Colour Ambassadors will be joining us for the next six months, sharing styling tips as they put together a series of great wearable looks and showing us how they incorporate colour into their everyday lives, from work to weekend. We hope you enjoy meeting them!

Would you like to be a Colour Ambassador for SS18? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please email us a photograph and a brief description of why you love to wear colour to press@kettlewellcolours.co.uk

 

Next week: Our Autumn Colour Ambassador Ilka puts together looks from the A/W collection

 

Photographs by Katharine Davies

Pantone autumn/winter colour trends

You might remember being introduced to Greenery, the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017, especially if you’re an Autumn, since it was basically designed for you. However, Pantone also does a fashion update for Autumn/Winter, showing the key palette of colours for the coming season. And the good news is, there’s something in there for everyone.

Regardless of whether you are a slavish fashion follower or prefer to do your own thing, the Pantone colour trend reports are a great way of finding out which colours are going to be available in the shops for the coming season, in terms of both in clothing and interiors.

The good news is that, unlike last autumn/winter, this season’s forecast has a few colours for every palette, so whether you are warm or cool, bright or muted, there’s going to be something for you. And, of course, Kettlewell has your version of each of these shades available, so even if the high street lets you down, the 150+ shades available at Kettlewell won’t.

Grenadine is a warm bright red, perfect for both of the warmer palettes. Get the look with Kettlewell’s poppy. This is a great vibrant shade to add as a splash of colour or wear top to toe. If you belong to one of the cooler seasons, simply swap that tomato-tone for a slightly more cherry one.

Kettlewell items shown: Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve and Long Camisole

Tawny Port translates as one of those ever-so-clever neutral burgundies which seems to work well on both Autumns and the cooler seasons. Kettlewell’s versions, have the same magical powers.

Kettlewell items shown: V Neck 3/4 sleeve, Camisole

 

Pretty in pink, this delicate pink shade offsets many of winter’s deeper and brighter colours beautifully. One for the cool seasons only, it pairs brilliantly with charcoal and navy for a formal look, as well as with tawny port above for a more unexpected look.

Kettlewell items shown: Silky V Neck, Long Camisole

Butterum initially seems like a strange contender for autumn/winter, but once you start mentally pairing a cashmere sweater in this colour with Spring’s navy or Autumn’s deep olive (Summers and Winters need to stick to cooler stonier tones, such as light dove grey) it begins to make sense as a timeless look.

Kettlewell items shown: Davina Tee, Darcey Boat Neck

Let’s all give a hurrah for Pantone predicting one or two truly sensible and realistic shades for the season. Navy peony is, to all intents and purposes, light navy, making it an excellent wardrobe basic for Springs, Summers and Winters (although the latter needs to make sure it is running at full intensity, not softened off). Autumns should head for a more teal version.

Kettlewell items shown: Diane Swing Top, Soft Square Vest

 

What’s this? Another sensible neutral? Surely not. Dolphin grey will make a super-simple neutral this season, paired with everything from pink ice to burgundy. Ideal for Winters and Summers, Autumns and Springs are better in a lighter, warmer shade.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Cotton Blazer

Shaded Spruce is a perfect match for deep teal, another multi-season shade. Too dark for Springs, it nevertheless works well on all three other seasons. Look for a really deep sea green shade, such as deep teal.

Kettlewell items shown: Milan Knit Cardigan, Lace Camisole

This colour belongs to one season and one season only – it’s just for the Autumns. A brilliant saturated moss shade, find it in silk or cashmere for vibrant winter luxury.

Kettlewell items shown: Tasha Top, Long Camisole

Just to make the rest of you feel better, this shade definitely doesn’t belong to the Autumns. Ideal for Springs and Summers, this cheery shade will be a welcome relief from all the usual dark winter colours.

Kettlewell items shown: Fine Cotton Tee, Semi Scoop 3/4 sleeve

Very definitely a warm tone, this gorgeous tanned-orange shade will bring vibrancy and depth to any cold weather outfit. Autumns can wear it as a brighter splash, while Springs can use it as a neutral next to bold yellow or green.

Kettlewell items shown: Short Cascade Wrap, Semi Scoop 3/4 Sleeve


 

Does your season change when you tan?

I think this must be up there in the top ten questions asked of colour analysts. Even the most sunscreen-committed of us tend to see some variation in our skintone throughout the year – from winter’s palest shades through the first hint of colour as Spring appears and then on to our own personal deepest tan by the end of the summer. Personally I experience this in extremes, with my father’s fair Scottish heritage predominating during winter and my mother’s more olive-skinned genes taking over once the sun comes out, so as a client it was top of my list of questions when I had my own colour analysis and which my consultant gave an almost identical answer to the one I am going to give you here.

The – very – short answer is no. Not only does your season does not change throughout the year, it actually remains unchanged throughout your entire life, but that’s further than we need to worry about today. Colouring is determined by genetics, and remains unchanged regardless of (natural) tanning, scars, ageing etc.

Rather than ending there, I suppose it’s only fair to also give you the longer answer too. When you had your colour analysis, the chances are you were given some kind of ‘direction’ within your season, being described as a light Spring, or a deep Summer, or similar applicable adjective. So as well as being given a broader palette you will also have been guided as to what your ‘wow’ colours are within that palette.

When we are at our palest (and therefore often our least ‘bright’, regardless of how bold or muted our personal palette is), we often rely on our wow colours more, feeling less confident in other parts of the palette. However, as we get more colour in our own skin, some of those less good colours seem to start working too. The reason is that tan does some of the work, adding a bit of a glow and hiding some imperfections, so we are able to venture outside our wow colour comfort zone a little more and wear just ‘good’ colours as well as wow ones. As an aside, most people are more comfortable wearing brighter colours when it’s sunny and bright outside, so there is a psychological correlation between feeling confident with the brighter colours in warmer weather too.

So, in summary, a tan will never affect your seasonal outcome, but it may affect how you look and feel in some of the less wow colours within your palette.

A note about fake tan: almost all fake tan is warm (yellow) toned, and can seriously alter the outcome of a colour analysis, because it adds an artificially warm overtone to the skin. This is especially true, obviously, of cool toned people, but can alter the wow colour outcome even for the warmer toned among us.