Accessory of the Week

POPPY GARDNER makes the case for the revoltingly named ‘Oxblood’

Pretty much every A/W fashion season, the doyennes of high fashion & couture along with the ever elusive ‘trend forecasters’ of the world of mode will decree that some moody hue is ‘The New Black.’ Previously, it’s been the turn of purple, forest green, taupe and navy.

But now, it’s the turn of the rather revoltingly named ‘Oxblood’, a hue which lies somewhere between the more conservative camps of Maroon, cerise, crimson, deep violet, rust, and plain old brown, and is more succinctly defined itself as ‘dark Reddish brown.’

With it’s repellent moniker and equally gross connotations, Oxblood is an unlikely contender for high fashion success, but has managed to overcome it’s stigma to become the hottest pigment on fashion’s palette, soon to overtake cobalt as the fashion editor’s statement colour of choice. You heard it here first.

On the catwalks, both the conservative, the couture, and the cutting edge designers were fawning over Oxblood, with houses from Yves Saint Laurent to Acne to Haider Ackermann sending down willowy models sheathed in outfits of Autumnal tinted leather and wool.

Perhaps the key to its growing success amongst both fashionistas and the wider public is it’s general go-with-everythingness. It goes with black, it goes with grey, and most other darkish colours, ergo it fits in like a charm with the rest of your winter wardrobe. Pretty much the only thing it really does not work with is the saccharine bubblegum pink/salmon of yesteryear (see Kate Middleton in those infamous coral coloured jeans from Zara, worn at the Olympic park this summer.) Anyhow. I digress. Oxblood is also gaining popularity owing to the fact that it just sort of works with all the ongoing current trends. Pick the right piece and you’ve got Orient, Baroque, and Neo-goth covered all in one fell swoop.

Understandably, Oxblood is a bit of a scary thought. If you’ve always been more of a monochrome kinda gal, or just more into straight up, know-what-you’re getting colours, then maybe a great big slab of it in trouser/jacket/jumpsuit format isn’t quite for you. But never fear! You can always do that whole ‘nod to the trend’ thang and just pop on a bit of Oxblood coloured slap. On the face it’s surprisingly flattering to both blondes and brunettes.


On lips it makes teeth look whiter, and on eyes it makes irises greener/bluer/whatever. I can lay testament to this as my very obliging flatmates offered to model the Oxblood look, which was compiled with a range of products. Who knows, next year I could be singing the praises ofMAC’s latest ‘Black Pudding’ range, or perhaps Shu Uemura’s ‘Veal’ eyeshadow. I doubt it though, somehow.