It really is difficult to explain why we tend to wrap ourselves in black once the winter is here. I know it’s a matter of practicality – black lasts, doesn’t get dirty or highlights the abnormally red nose. I know all this and I understand the very idea behind this concept.
On the other hand we seem to deprive ourselves from way too many things – the sunlight, the vitamin D, the joy of colour, the joy... And black, whether you like it or not, is definitely not helping to cheer our inner little fashionista.
The more I think about it, the more I want to use winter as my inspiration canvas – the white frost that reminds me of sweetly ticklish mohair, the soft delicate texture of snow that resembles cashmere knits and lambswool, the emerald leaves and burgundy berries – so few of them, just like jewels we can add to our looks and, of course, the endless dusty grey or sparkling blue sky, amber drops of sunlight and crystal ice.
It’s impossible not to love all that.
While we’ve already fallen in love (and talked to death) with burgundy and before I move to the emerald, the colour of 2013, I really want to concentrate on those white ensembles that became one of the most beautiful trends of the Fall 2012 season.
How do you wear white? Unless you work in medical field the all-white outfit would most likely be out of your comfort zone. Although I don’t own the white coat (yet) I do have some experience of wearing white, so my tip would be to mix and match textures (think of soft fabrics and furs as the main blocks and add leather or metallics as accents) and never try to match the shades too closely – decide whether you prefer cool or warm tones by putting them against your face to suit the skin tone, and combine those instead.
White accessories can be the way forward, too. Think white pumps, bag or a huge chunky white scarf, for example.
Now the practical aspect. Not because I am boring, but for the sanity sake. A couple of weeks ago I added a white bag to my wish list and wasn’t at all surprised to hear that many of you would also like to have something white, but wouldn’t dare in fear of high maintenance that would be required.
Honestly, I think that caring for a white coat or trousers is more complicated than accessories - the coat would need to be dry-cleaned and the trousers will definitely require regular washes. Although, admittedly, the white bag is quite a statement and may require certain lifestyle adjustments, too. But lets me positive – if you love it, love conquers all.
When it comes to white accessories you just need to remember one word, “Collonil”. I first learnt about their products from the Mulberry shopping assistants – they suggested that I buy a waterstop waterproofing spray and so I did. Since then I used it on all of my bags and light coloured shoes a couple of times a year and I can honestly say that all my whites are as good as new. The white bag got a few wear&tear marks because I used it a lot (for almost five years), but the leather itself is still white. The shoes don’t have any marks at all.
You need to spray your newly acquired treasure as soon as you bring it home. Leave it to dry. Spray again. And once it’s dry you can use it for the entire season. If the weather is particularly bad, I’d spray the bags once every 2-3 months, but normally, I do it in spring and autumn.
Last summer I also bought the cleaning foam and soft rubber to deal with a nasty denim stain and managed to remove 90% of it (I had to wait a couple of days for the product to arrive, so I lost some precious time). The foam works really well, especially on fresh stains, but you have to be careful with the rubber block because it can damage the leather if it’s too thin and delicate.
So now you know my little practical secret of wearing white for more than a season whether it’s in fashion or not.
Photo source: Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 2012, Alberta Ferretti Fall/Winter 2012, Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 2012, Cacharel Fall/Winter 2012, Derek Lam Fall/Winter 2012, Blumarine Fall/Winter 2012, Laura Biagiotti Fall/Winter 2012, Sportmax Fall/Winter 2012, Chanel Fall/Winter 2012, Max Mara Fall/Winter 2012, Byblos Fall/Winter 2012, Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2012 via style.com & stylebistro.com