Every year, until late in my teens, I found it necessary to have a favourite colour. On my first day of kindergarten I wore a powder-pink corduroy dress and matching tights. The next year I decided pink was gender-normative (jk, I said it was “boring”) and chose turquoise. In the fifth grade I was teased for wearing purple jeans, a purple windbreaker, a purple backpack. In high school I spent one year obsessed with olive green, and the next, with sharp red: I once wore red jeans with a red-and-pink striped shirt and red backless (yes) sneakers, and it was not Valentine’s Day. For that outfit I won a “best dressed” contest in church, which is kind of like winning “Miss Congeniality” on death row.
I always picked my colours in fall. “September is the January of fashion,” says Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. And: “Fall is the reason for the rest of the year,” says my friend Sheila, or maybe it’s her friend Sasha who said it. Anyway, whether it’s back-to-school nostalgia or the brisk wind or all the September birthdays of Christmas babies, it’s true. Fall is everything. It’s when we change for the better, or go back to ourselves.
This fall it feels once again important to have a favourite hue, and to make it bright. Sure, the runways have brought us burnt orange, burgundy, goldenrod, royal blue, and teal, and the coloured jeans of my puberty are ubiquitous again. But that’s not why. I think, in this dizzy, shop-happy season of new, it feels exigent to pick a colour and say “this is me.” It prevents you from just shrugging and buying everything in black.
And honestly, unless it’s your thing, don’t just buy black. Colour is mood. It’s a promise to feel something. It’s method acting: I am happy, you can say with your Sunkist-orange sweater, even if you’re very very not.
I didn’t think I had a favourite colour anymore, but looking around my room, I see green, green, green. Not just army green, either, but the pure, cooling greens of various leaves. There’s a vintage suede skirt my friend Randi gave me, and a silk parachute one by Kenzo, and a sail-sized shirtdress I got cheap online. My new favourite nailpolishes are bright jade and deepest forest green, and my sunglasses are green like beer bottles. Even my Moleskine is this great emerald. I want a sweater to match. It’ll make me feel school-aged again, and optimistic, as if I know who I am.
Sarah Nicole Prickett is a writer living in New York. @snpsnpsnp | snprickett.com
Fashion and Art Direction: Kate Corbett.
Runway images courtesy of Anthea Simms.