Ode To Ochre

Ahh…YELLOW: The color of sunshine and spring. Yellow exudes warmth, joy, optimism, strength and permanence (we will never-ever forget the day Beyoncé broke the internet wearing an elegant mustard yellow Cavali gown while wielding a baseball bat). 

Yellow is not just a color, it’s a statement. When you wear yellow, you are conveying a message of confidence. But like confidence, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. The wrong shade and you can end up looking like a human Sharpie or a caution sign.

In my early twenties, I once painted a small bathroom in a rental home a “cheery yellow”. But I felt anything but “cheery” whenever I entered the room - it was a visual assault on my senses that left me feeling anxious and agitated (which I’ve since learned is a common negative reaction for some to this color). 

With the exception of sunflowers, tulips, lemons, and butter, I’ve avoided all things yellow ever since. 

Until now. 

Yellow is everywhere: On and off the runway, in film, on the red carpet. It calls to me daily on my Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr feeds. It must have seeped into my subconscious, because I’m feeling compelled to give it another try. But this time, no lemon, no neon, no butter yellow. My new dance with yellow will instead feature the warm, earthy tones of yellow ochre.

 JACQUEMUS  by DAVID LURASCHI”

 JACQUEMUS  by DAVID LURASCHI”

VEJAS SS17 Preview Shot by Arnaud LAJEUNIE

VEJAS SS17 Preview Shot by Arnaud LAJEUNIE

Ulla Johnson Fall/Winter 2018

Ulla Johnson Fall/Winter 2018

My closet mainly consists of neutrals: black, gray, camel and white pieces are the timeless foundations of my wardrobe. Over the past few years, I’ve slowly incorporated more color and vibrant prints. I don't know how it happened, but suddenly I’m captivated by yellow ochre. It provides warmth and vibrancy without being garish. It reminds me of spice (turmeric, curry) and the afterglow of a summer sunset. Although we are seeing a reemergence of yellow in fashion and design, you can rest assured that ochre is not a trendy color. Ochre is the oldest natural pigment known to man. It is the palette of Paleolithic cave painters and iconic artists like Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hammershøi.

Vilhelm Hammershøi   Rest  [Hvile] 1905

Vilhelm Hammershøi   Rest  [Hvile] 1905

Yellow is a tricky little color.  If you want to look like a vision (instead of a nightmare), choose a shade that doesn't overwhelm you. That's why I feel like ochre is the perfect yellow. It’s subtle, sophisticated, enhances and compliments a variety of skin tones and works well with other colors like magenta, grey, navy, and beige. Don't limit yourself to wearing the color only in the colder months. Although it can provide an instant glow on a dreary winter day, it's even more beautiful against sun-kissed skin. 

Trust me, I will never-ever allow yellow paint in my house. It’s just not for me. I am, however, willing to submit to the golden allure of ochre by adding a few select pieces to my home and my wardrobe. If you’re not sure about the color, start with a chic ochre accessory. Take a cue from the Brock Fall/Winter 2018 collection--the addition of golden epaulettes provides a striking and modern update to the classic tailoring of the coat.

Brock Collection Fall/Winter 2018   

Brock Collection Fall/Winter 2018

 

 

 

Nicky Haslam

Nicky Haslam

Dior Couture by John Galliano  1998

Dior Couture by John Galliano  1998

Toga/Fall Winter 2018

Toga/Fall Winter 2018

Sunset in Aveiro, Portugal, by Jorge Orfão   

Sunset in Aveiro, Portugal, by Jorge Orfão

 

I’ve included some eye-catching ochre inspirations to add to your vacation wardrobe below.  Hate it or love it? Let me know what you think.

Meredyth

 

Joy Bryant Escape To Paradise, In Style Australia, February 2011

Joy Bryant Escape To Paradise, In Style Australia, February 2011


 

Feature Photo: Nadège du Bospertus by Patrick Demarchelier  (The News: Live and in Color, Vogue 1991)