All photos by Erin Leydon.
"All my life I've pursued the perfect red." —Diana Vreeland.
I share the sentiments of Ms. Vreeland. I am eternally trying to find the right red. I am the girl that has an entire drawer full of red lipsticks and red nail polishes. All within a micro shade of each other and yet the perfect one alludes me. When I buy for the shop and I see something red on a rack I zoom in on it like a honeybee to a flower. I cannot resist it. Its allure lies in its dichotomy. It represents passion and love, but also passion and madness. It can mean falling in love, happiness and joy; but it can also represent jealousy, danger and fear. It is not a color to take lightly, but at the same time it can be a color to act lightly in, as it can make you feel tremendously happy while wearing it.
I love to wear red head to toe. Right down to the shoes. Red and other brights are a fabulous opportunity to dress with a monochromatic eye and really play up color. Black is easy but oddly, so is red. Extending it right down to your shoes in a funny kind of way suddenly makes red a neutral. Just a bright one.
Red acts as an instant draw of the eye, but at the same time, once the eye adjusts, suddenly the only thing people see and remember is you. The other way to handle red is to anchor it with black. This gives it a contrast and depth. And even with a long skirt like this you don't necessarily have to do that with a heel every time. Long skirts work fabulously with a flat boot.That is exactly what I did with this vintage red silk taffeta set that is attributed to Yves Saint Laurent. I literally changed my shoes and threw on a vintage black leather Versace jacket and my look transformed in the blink of an eye.
I would even hazard to say that you could pair the skirt from this set with a T-shirt in the summer and wear a pair of converse sneakers. Or mix more brights. Wear pink or turquoise or any other color of the rainbow and really throw everyone for a loop. Throw out all the rules of color you ever heard your mother said and madly experiment until what you have on makes you feel insanely happy. At that point, walk out the door and spread that joy out there. Pair that red with a huge smile and make it represent love and happiness. Who knows what good might come of it?
Bill Blass said "When in doubt, wear red" and even Audrey Hepburn weighed in on the color red saying “There is a shade of red for every woman.” The great Christian Dior expounded on color as well saying "Black and white might be sufficient. But why deprive yourself of color?" but my favorite quote is from the designer of this fabulous red set himself, Mr Saint Laurent. It is not a quote specific to the color red but is an important one that I try to live by nonetheless. He said "When you feel good in a clothing anything can happen. Good clothing is a passport for happiness."
Love what I am wearing? Get more details on the c1980 YSL red skirt and top set here and the 1990s Versace jacket here. And for you shoe-a-holics like me - the red platforms are Saint Laurent and the boots I am wearing in the shots with the leather jacket are Vetements.