Orchid: A taste of the tropics

Orchid and gold make for a fabulous floral Orchid and gold make for a fabulous floral print on this Cynthia Rowley two-piece ruffled ensemble. (Top, $295; Skirt, $325, cynthiarowley.com) Photo Credit: Handout

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Got the drab winter blues in the wardrobe department?


A fresh, tropical color (yes, tropical!) has sprouted and is as wearable in a cold snap as it is through a heat wave. Color authority Pantone Inc. has named “radiant orchid” the color of the year for 2014. It comes on the heels of emerald in 2013 and tangerine the year before.


“It’s a beguiling color that descends from the mother color purple with strong pink and fuchsia undertones,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s not a simple primary color, and it’s not a calming purple. It’s complex, and it’s the complexity that draws people to it.” As for the “radiant” part? “It has the ability to almost sparkle with a wonderful explosion of light captivating people’s eyes,” says Eiseman.


At MAC cosmetics, a distinctly orchid lipstick, called “Heroine,” has been, well, heroic, selling out everywhere. Romero Jennings, MAC cosmetics director of makeup artistry, says it’s “a definite color trend. When you wear a color like this, everything else can be neutral, the lip is the focus.”


Warning: Do not match your eye to your shirt to your lip, says Jennings, who notes that the color “flatters everyone and every skin type and is great at any age from an under-20 to a mom to a grandma if she’s stylish.”


Adds fashion expert, celebrity stylist and sunglass designer Robert Verdi, “I think it’s the new red. Red looks good on most everyone, but radiant orchid is the more modern way to go. Women love the vibrancy, and they know heads will turn when they walk into a room.”


Added bonus? “It’s an easy color to invite into your closet. You can wear it with camel, navy, gray, black and orange, and it’s very fashion-forward when you pair it with red.” More timid types might work pops of orchid into their wardrobes rather than going full throttle, says Verdi. “You can play with the color through accessories — scarves, belts, shoes, sunglasses. It’s easier to take a risk that way.”

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