Blacks (and the occasional greys) may make up the majority of my wardrobe now, but I’ll always have a soft spot for ’80s jewel tones. They’re back in style this fall and seeing those rich, deep tones in shop windows takes me back every time. As a teenager, black was my go-to base, but shade of purple, magenta, teal and deep red often crept in, though I was never too keen on the royal blue.

Magenta and purple were my favourites, both together and apart, and particularly with black. That early affection for the colours stays with me and I often find myself gravitating towards them when I’m picking fabrics to sew teeny-tiny outfits for my kitschy, big-eyed Japanese dolls. I have also caught myself pointing out sweaters and tops in the colours, too, when shopping with my teenage daughter. (Purple, she deems, is okay, but she wouldn’t be caught dead in magenta.) While I may not have a closest stuffed with jewel tone separates (oh, how I loved my stretch velvet teal leggings and my oversize magenta sweater!), being drawn to those colours is a visual habit I find no need to break.


1. Jacqueline de Ribes/Torie Steele, Harper’s Bazaar, September 1988. Photograph by Dick Ballarian.

2. Bob Stone for Harper’s Bazaar, December 1981. Dress by Yves Saint Laurent.

3. Oliviero Toscani for Elle, September 1987. Clothing by Gianfranco Ferre.

4. Marc Hispard for Elle, November 1987. Jacket by Sonia Rykiel.

5. Bally of Switzerland, Vogue, August 1988.

6. Missoni, Harper’s Bazaar, September 1985. Photograph by Giovanni Gastel.

7. Frances Henaghan, Vogue, July 1982.

8. Guy Bourdin for Vogue, June 1987. Clothing by Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.

9. Lawrence/Jacobson’s, Vogue, September 1987.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrPin on PinterestEmail this to someone