If you’re like me, when you first heard that chartreuse is one of the “It” colors of the 2011 spring fashion season, you wanted to run for the hills. While I’m fortunate to have been blessed with a complexion that can handle most zany colors, even my olive complexion and dark hair can’t handle chartreuse. And I feel absolutely certain that I’m not alone.
What, exactly, qualifies as the color chartreuse? Well, it’s sort of an amalgamation of yellow, light green, and…I guess…kind of a gray sheen. Sort of like a bright, off-colored yellow-green that has a slightly dirty look. Something like a lemon crossed with a ginkgo leaf and covered with a layer of motor oil. You get the picture, I imagine – it’s hard to imagine chartreuse as a flattering color on anyone, no matter how rich their skin tone or complexion might be. In fact, it tends to make everyone look a little anemic, and sometimes downright sickly.
So, you can probably tell by now that I’m not enthused by this “It” color of the spring 2011 fashion season. Plus, I doubt very much that I’ve inspired any sort of confidence about wearing it in any of you. That’s okay, because I actually have a teeny, tiny bit of good news, and that news is this: fashion designers haven’t gone completely mad – they’re using chartreuse as an accent color, according to Style.com, not as a base for their spring color palette.
It’s not great news. But it helps.
We saw the first inklings that chartreuse may be in our fashion future when designers debuted their resort wear lines for 2011, as shown by Style.com. We saw chartreuse in Balenciaga’s chunky strappy sandals (which, as far as I am concerned, were already a problem all on their own). Then, we saw chartreuse bags from Celine and Marchesa. So far, chartreuse had infiltrated accessories only, but then came Diane von Furstenberg’s line, which featured a chartreuse shell under a breezier, shorter version of her signature wrap dress. That was when my level of acceptance for chartreuse as a spring 2011 fashion trend dropped significantly. And InStyle.com has even shown us full dresses in the bright hue.
Bottom line, here’s what I think about the color of chartreuse: I don’t like it very much. I understand that designers get sick of all the really great, stalwart colors, and in an effort to shake up their collections, they need to branch out into new territory in regards to color and style. I get that. I’m just not particularly thrilled with chartreuse as a choice, because I don’t think it does anybody any favors.
That said, if you want to give chartreuse a go, a handbag is a great way to do it. That way, you don’t actually have chartreuse up against your skin, so it doesn’t have the chance to give you that pasty, washed out look. If you want to try shoes or tunics, proceed at your own peril.
There are a lot of exciting and fun trends for the spring 2011 fashion season. Unfortunately, chartreuse (at least for me) just isn’t one of them.
“Chartreuse – Spring’s Most Vibrant Hues,” InStyle.com
“How to Wear Chartreuse – Neon Accessories for Spring,” HarpersBazaar.com
“Spring Fashion Week – 2011 Spring Fashion Trends,” Refinery29.com
“Style.com’s Roundup of Resort 2011’s Top Trends,” Style.com