The French call it prune, which means plum in English (pruneau is our word for prune), but whatever everyone is calling purple this year, it’s cropping up all over the streets of Paris. Pictured here are a few examples of the season’s hottest color — on and off the runway: Above, shots from Chanel’s fall/winter collection and left mega-mauve sunglasses from Dior. Below: an adorable silk tank from J.Crew ($78); a baby cable cashmere sweater from Landsend ($109 and FYI, the plain cashmere crew is promotionally priced at $79.50). Best of all the ultimate accessory, a cashmere turtleneck for your chien from J. Crew ($128, no size large, even in a canine world it’s all about size, life’s not fair), and off the runway, suede shoes and quilted bag from Dior.
Whether you’re a prune person or not, the color comes in so many nuances that certainly there’s some little slice of the plum out there you might consider adding to your wardrobe. Just think of the punch purple will give everything you already own — like all the gray from last year for example — while at the same time announcing to the world: “Yes, I get it, this is the color that signals I too know how to make a fashion statement.”
If you’re into major gestures you could name your child, or one of your domestic animals Prune, it’s a very big name over here and a lot cuter than Apple.
**Assuming you simply wish to dabble in the hue, here are some ideas:
- A scarf or better yet a big shawl. Lots of French women have opted for the latter.
- Big, plastic bangles — two on a wrist, the same wrist please — big, fat beads; amethyst earrings; a flower at the throat of a white or dare I say it, mauve or purple blouse.
- A sexy little camisole, great under a strict gray suit.
- Nail polish. I personally don’t have the nerve to paint my fingernails, that’s waaaay too out there for me, but I’d definitely do my toenails. I love leaping out of bed in the morning and looking at my painted toenails. It makes me smile. Of course it’s weird.
- A belt or in lieu of the real thing string a pretty ribbon through your belt loops and tie a floppy bow.
- A handbag.
- Sunglasses or regular glasses frames if you have no fear.
- Gloves in leather, wool or cashmere.
- Mittens. Wouldn’t that be sweet?
- Buttons. Take all the buttons off your black winter coat and sew on — anyone can sew on a button and it’s not permanent — prune ones.
- A little knit cloche or a beret (!)
- Shoes. Roger Vivier makes his signature silver buckle decorated flats and low heels in a rainbow of divine colors, plum among them.
- A little jacket, maybe in velvet if you can find one. Remember you don’t have to be timid. No one was ever as daring and brilliant with color as Yves Saint Laurent. When he put purple and red or electric blue or Nile green or neon yellow together it was gorgeous.
- An umbrella, a slicker rain hat and shiny rubber boots. How cool is that?
- I’d suggest lipstick, because heaven knows they’re out there, but think that’s a tough call. And let’s not even think about eye shadow.
- A pochette peeping out of the pocket of your blazer or suit jacket. Try the men’s department.
**If anyone knows where I could find paper-thin, long-sleeved silk T-shirts in a slew of colors at not break the bank prices I would love to hear from you.