Co-ordinate an effortlessly high-fashion look in this season’s warm tones

Words: Sibulele Mabusela | Photography: Luca Vincenzo | Styling: Danielle Theron

In 2006, Wendy Finerman produced a movie that would forever change the way we’d see fashion. With a great cast and even better script (based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger), the movie featured fashion references throughout which, despite being a decade old, remain relevant today. Starring movie mogul Meryl Streep alongside Anne Hathaway, this movie is none other than The Devil Wears Prada.

Following the journey of recent college graduate, Andrea Sachs, viewers witness the new-to-fashion caterpillar-turns-butterfly metamorphosis, as she transforms from a “nerd” who cares very little about fashion to, well, a better-dressed version of herself.

One of my favourite scenes is Miranda telling Andrea that though she thinks she’s abstaining from all things fashion, the very sweater she was wearing came through the hands of fashion deities before her – in a colour crafted, selected and purposefully designed in a room similar to the one they're standing in. Meryl Streep delivers a breathtaking monologue, like only she can, resulting in the best two minutes and fifty seconds of on-screen shade you’ll ever see. All based on the colour of Andrea’s sweatshirt, Pantone Colour of the Year 2000, Cerulean Blue.

What it is it about this scene that's so intoxicatingly good you ask? And how is it relevant to this here post?

Well, despite Miranda’s explanation being delivered in a narcissistic and condescending tone, its basis of trends, style and fashion being deliberately designed and premeditated by a faction of people is alluring.

Every year, Pantone releases a colour of the year. After hours of deliberation, debates and discussion, we’re presented with a colour or two, and in no time at all, it starts showing up everywhere in different shades, hues and tones. On the runway, in our stores and on our streets.  Similarly, seasonal tones appear in the same way: hours of debate and deliberation resulting in hues, patterns and trends that we see repeated everywhere.

Before you panic over this season's trends, know that this is a good thing – with a little consideration, your wardrobe can be ready to deliver looks that appear both effortless and well-edited. We’ve gone ahead and chosen a few key tones of our own, delivering them to you in every shape, form, colour and texture, and showing you all the best ways to pair them.

Dusty Pink and Pretty

Mixed textures are big this season – so why not join in on the fun and stir it up a bit? Take a fashion cue or two from Miranda Priestly herself in large and luxurious fur (real for her, faux for you) coats paired with dark silky dresses and heels. Opt to pair soft and silky textiles with rich and chunky knits. Feeling a little more adventurous? Pair your shearling and fur coat with an LBD and strappy heels for a night out on the town.

Guilty in Grey

Single tones needn’t be a bore. Exude wisdom and style in all things silvery-grey. Fashion essentials usually make their way from the streets in the form of subculture, so why not take it back to the streets in something subtle and stone coloured?

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Bottle Green and Gorgeous

Loving mixed textures? Why not take a page from fictional character Andy Sachs' book and layer up your leathers and knits? Opt to add a faux fur for variety. Either way, whatever the occasion, you’re bound to look fetching in this look.

All Toned Up

While we haven’t yet figured out how to evade the spacetime continuum as it now exists, we can at least look good while pretending to try. In other words why not up your style game with an eye catching multi-tone. Why? Because nothing beats a little graphic detail, adding allure and an adventurous streak to an otherwise regular design. Opt for a vertical striped maxi dress or polka dot tunic, pairing either with jet black ankle boots to complete the look.

Tempting Tan

With numerous appearances by tan in Alberta Ferretti’s 2016 Spring collection, it was clear the designer held nothing back, playing with various prints and proportions to create a mix of free-spirited and bohemian-styled wear. Give this look a try by stocking up on layers and piling them on as a layered look is not only easy on the eye but highly fashionable too. What better way to try this trend in person than with a matching pant suit broken up with a plain, tan-coloured top?

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Sugar and Stripes

While layering up your winter wear, you don’t have to play it safe. Try being a little more daring and opt to pair a single-tone striped print with a chunky knit for a definitively sophisticated finish.

Butterscotch Yellow

Step out in elegance in your very own single-tone accessories. Be it shoes, handbag or oversized floppy hats, go on, do it. And when you do, make sure that it’s not as safe an option as Kate Middleton's infamous nude pair of sledge pumps. This is not to to say that there's anything wrong with the Duchess of Cambridge’s choice of apparel – we’re merely encouraging a bigger, bolder, and more daring choice. Try it in nude, beige or any other warm colour, and see it come to life as you pair it with a more vibrant hue. For the more adventurous at heart, there’s always butterscotch yellow.

Or give it a go in:

Lovely Leather

Tonal accessories are a fashion definite, and in what better way would you incorporate them into your everyday closet than with leather gloves. Dating back to ancient society, the leather glove made its first appearance as a fashion accessory in the early 1100s, reserved for the nobility and upper-classes at first, they were initially embroidered and adorned with gemstones. Fast forward to the 21st century and you’ve arrived at this season's fashion find. Our note to you; don’t be afraid to keep it simple in a single pattern leather glove. Try the trend in black or brown and opt to pair it with a trench coat, thigh-high boots and skinny jeans, or, with nothing at all.

Best of Burgundy

Hold the phone – this colour pretty much speaks for itself – bold, elegant and femme, there’s no better way to suit up than in burgundy. Associated with luxury and, of course, autumn, all good things are linked to the colour – wine, clothes, comedies featuring Will Ferrell... the list is endless.

When it comes to deciding how to wear it, always have in mind the age-old saying “the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice”. Opt to pair your rich-coloured burgundies with darker jeans and strappy heels.  

Whether layered up or paired to match, the thing to remember about our selection of tonals and getting them right is that you can wear them in any way you like. Dress them down like Keira Knightely running errands or up, like a Kardashian-Jenner running errands. One thing’s for sure, there’s no going wrong with any of these looks and you don’t need a million-dollar wardrobe to feel like a million bucks, just a few of this seasons warm tones and some forward-thinking. Rome wasn't built in a day and the irony of an effortless wardrobe is that it requires some carefully considered planning.

As Miranda Priestly would say: “That’s all”.


Model: Rebecca D @ 20 Model Management