Fashion & Beauty

Plein-Air Pastels

THIS WINTER went well past its expiration date with cold, damp days and even snow flurries, so what could be more cheerful than the sight of blush pink blouses, pale yellow jackets and lavender capris?

Fashion designers must have been prescient when they filled their runways with a parade of pastel fashions for spring 2018.

I can already hear the snorts and sneers from my NYC pals whose color of choice is black. Ice-cream shades for spring. How groundbreaking!

Park the cynicism. Take a look at Phoebe Philo’s spring collection for Celine—I’m talking about that pale-yellow asymmetric pleated skirt paired with a purple top underneath a long pink blazer and beige booties. Then there’s Gabriela Hearst’s  pearl-pink satin evening pantsuit and sorbet yellow at Hermes.

Think of these pastel colors as a palette cleanser after all the somber hues of winter. Want to avoid the saccharine-sweet, prim associations? One answer: Think beyond the baby-blue twinset.

You can mix and stack pastel fashions very easily, just like a multi-scoop ice cream cone. Pair a persimmon halter top, pale-pink belted jacket and hot pink purse with jeans a la Brandon Maxwell. Victoria Beckham recently wore her own collection’s trouser suit in tonal lavender accented with celadon green pumps, dark tortoise sunglasses and a beige cross-body bag. Oft-photographed Amal Clooney topped off her cheetah-print dress with a powder-blue coat and fur collar, black stilettos, designer bag and oversize shades.

Still, if you can’t just see plunging into pink—or yellow–take a dip with an accessory. Sunglasses, sneakers, sandals and handbags come in plein-air pastels this season and can put a welcome shot of spring into your step.

—Janet Kelly

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