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A story about colour choice

24 Nov 2006

In the fashion world, each change of season heralds the promise of something new. There's a new skirt length, a new dress shape, a new neckline. And, of course, a new black. And this year's new black is grey. Don't tell me you haven't seen it.

We all tend to do what the others in our world are doing - the art world, the blog world, the fashion world - we're all emulating each other and adding our own little twist if we can. This is true, and that's the very reason we have 'trends' in art, fashion, design, interior decorating, hairstyles, everything. Those grey shift dresses being shown by more than one fashion house, the beige boot, and the prevalence of grey in general supports the notion that they are all copying each other in some way. Or they all know what each other is doing, and none of them are brave enough to make an opposing statement.

Annoying to note that the boot this year is smooth and stiff, the complete opposite of the soft folded lines of last year's pirate style boots. This is deliberate, because it makes the boot wearers of the world feel the need to buy a new pair of three hundred dollar boots each season. I personally thumb my nose at this trend by faithfully wearing my black knee length zip up stretch knee high boot from Kmart every year under my jeans. Fuck fashion, I can't afford it. It ages me, but at least I'm over five foot three when I'm wearing them.

Of course, living in Australia, we have the whole season thing arse about. While the Northern Hemisphere is rugging up in their grey wool coats and strangely shaped shift dresses, we're wearing swimsuits and sundresses, sandals and shorts. The shops are full of the leftovers from the previous summer in the more developed and more populated half of the globe. We wear what they wore six months ago, because that's what's in the shops to buy.

And we won't be rugging up with the grey until at least May next year. Which gives us plenty of time to knit it early so we can actually wear it the while it's 'in', except that it will be 'out' by then because the UK, Europe and America will be in the summer stuff we haven't yet heard of.

If a yarn company values fashion as an objective, new designs, yarns and colourways will be driven by the forces of the fashion industry in a larger sense. Debbie Bliss says she chooses her colours based on what the Parisienne catwalks are showing.

The major fashion houses were showing a lot of grey this autumn. Vogue knitting, in turn, showcased a whole magazine full of silver-grey cabley jackets and pullovers - the influence trickling down from what the catwalks are saying for the season. Even the Socks That Rock club 's most recent colourway was largely grey and very muted - a great change from the fiery colourbursts of previous months.

Which I find kind of funny when I eye off the cone of 'steel' zephyr I bought recently. It's grey and I am in love with it. And the charcoal zhivago seems to me to be the only colour worth buying - last year I liked the cream. Country Silk has a beautiful grey flecked with silver slivers of silk, I like that one the best too. And, just like Miranda Priestley says about Andy's 'cerulean' jumper - I am not fooled into thinking it's my taste making these choices, these choices have been made for me, by the editors of the media that subliminally influence me every day, and by what's available at the time.

By the way, as I write this post, I am wearing a pair of flanno jarmy pants, a mismatched button down jarmie top, my beaudelaires and a shocking pink scrunchy rightfully belonging to my six year old. It's all high fashion in this joint baby.

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