2014's colour of the year: Everything's coming up radiant orchid

Look gorgeous with these orchid-toned products.

Look gorgeous with these orchid-toned products.

Natalia Manzocco, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:33 PM ET

Once again, the colour czars have spoken. Pantone, the world's leading authority on colour, has selected its hue of the year for 2014. Fashion lovers, say hello to Radiant Orchid.

The shade, which the institute predicts will have a major impact on fashion and design this year, was spotted on plenty of spring/summer runways, including Max Mara and Missoni. It isn't quite lilac, lavender or magenta; the Pantone experts refer to it as an "enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones".

"Fresh" was the word that sprung to mind for our style experts. Vancouver-based stylist Nadia Albano calls the hue "feminine, captivating and romantic.

"There’s a youthful and happy quality to this colour," she adds.

Talia Brown, a Toronto stylist, adds that while purple is "regal and elegant," the electrified hue adds an element of fun.

"It's just a welcoming, warm colour," she says.

Another bonus? It's a flattering colour on all kinds of people, though you may want to adjust the shade slightly.

“I like pastel and cool-based lilac and pale lavender tones on fair skin,” Albano says. “Mid-tone magenta and rich, deep shades of orchid and fuchsia look flattering on olive and deep skin tones.”

While the decidedly spring-y shade might be tough to find in stores right now amid a sea of winter jewel tones, it'll pop up in stores with increasing frequency as the snow melts, so you can add it to your own wardrobe -- in small or in large doses.

The bold can go for all-over orchid, though Albano advises monochrome dressers to add depth through darker and lighter tones of the same colour, as well as hits of pattern. (Her ideal outfit: A floral pant with a pale orchid-purple sweater and a deep lilac coat.)

Timid dressers, you're in luck. While not everyone can pull off a pumped-up lilac hue from head to toe, small doses of this colour will add just as much oomph to an outfit.

Brown loves the idea of an orchid-toned shoe or manicure with an all-black outfit, or as a pop of colour in a scarf over a black coat.

"They can just add a little violet here, violet there, mix it with the blacks and navys they own from the last season," Brown says.

Brown particularly loves the "rich" combo of violet and navy together, but adds designers have been sending it out on the runway with unusual hues like red.

Albano says the best complementary colour for orchid purple is yellow (think opposites on the colour wheel). "However, it if you’re looking for a little vibrancy, try wearing it with orange, coral, teal, hot pink and fuchsia."

If you're not afraid to mix things up, Albano envisions lilac skinny jeans worn with a teal-green sweater, or lavender florals offset with aqua and yellow accessories.

For a really low-commitment way to wear the trend, orchid purple is a simple hue to pull into your makeup routine. Albano suggests using it as the focal point on your face, keeping the rest of your makeup neutral.

Try using a paint pot or cream shadow to create a dramatic purple cat-eye line. For extra drama, go for a wash of orchid purple or lavender with bold purple or black liner. If a bold lip is more your style, try vibrant lilac or lavender in a super-current matte finish.

Give this trend a shot -- it’s sure to grow on you.

 


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