Pretty Pastels: The New Neutrals

Gentle, pretty hues in all manner of flattering shades present delightful options for wardrobes this spring. Soft shades of blush pink, baby blue, and icy green join beige and peach in head-to-toe looks and mix-and-match variations rendered in sophisticated styles.

The January 2012 issue of Marie Claire suggests accompanying blush and beige shades in “modern silhouettes” with “shark-tooth, exotic-skin, or gold accents.” The shark tooth necklace to the left is from Anita Ko; the cuff is from A.L.C., and the pair of necklaces above right, one in shark tooth, are from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. The latter are also shown with an ensemble by the same designer at bottom right.

“Leave all to the imagination with below-the-knee skirts and Peter Pan collars in saccharine shades,” suggests the February 2012 issue of Elle.  The vintage white bead floral earrings are from House of Lavande. The blue chalcedony, sapphire and diamond necklace by Suzanne Belperron, circa 1935, made for the Duchess of Windsor, is from Siegelson. The model to the left wears vintage earrings from House of Lavande, a pink coral brooch from Mark Walsh Leslie Chin, and a resin flower ring (obscured) from NOIR Jewelry.

The February 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar separated out shades of blue, pink, and mint green. The magazine terms the above looks in baby blue “both sweet and smart. “The necklace pictured is made of fossilized walrus tusk long beads and fossilized mammoth round beads from Dean Harris. The blue lace dress by Valentino, center, is an editorial favorite this season.

The same issue of Harper’s Bazaar accents soft pinks with black jewelry accents. The pendant on black leather cord is from Reed Krakoff; the cuffs are from Michael Kors, and the drop earrings are from Eddie Borgo. The model at center wears a shark tooth necklace with her ensemble from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci.

The third page of the triumvirate features “pale icy green” shown with equally cool silver accents. Harper’s Bazaar provides this stylist’s tip: “Afraid of color? Think of pastel shades as updated neutrals.” The bracelet pictured is from Ca & Lou.

In the February 2012 issue of Allure, a pale green dress from Proenza Schouler is accented with a pair of bracelets from M.C.L. The bag is from Alexander Wang.

The March 2012 issue of InStyle magazine devotes two pages to seafoam green, stating: “Equal parts icy and ethereal, this super-pretty pastel is an ideal shade for the first days of spring.” The second of the pages, shown above, features a bronze and resin cuff from Pamela Love.

The same issue of InStyle devotes a three-page spread to “bold pastels,” here picturing  pink enamel and oxidized silver earrings from Bottega Veneta. The magazine advises its readers: “To add power to this glory, pair pastels with…more pastels!”

Pastels infuse the jewelry and other accessories shown in a spread in the March 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, which notes, “These sweet but chic hues have a hint of ’50s-era polish.” The ring is from Chloe and the necklace from Made Her Think.

Similarly, a necklace from Chloe and a ring form Yves Saint Laurent that combine pastel hues with gold are the featured jewelry on this page advising how to wear the new neutrals in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar: “An alternative to spring’s dominant palette of hothouse brights, this array of soft and subtle shades has infinite possibilities. Going head to toe in a matching suit is guaranteed to be chic, but have no fear in mixing and matching the various tones of the new neutral rainbow. You’ll find that you simply can’t go wrong.”

The March 2012 issue of Lucky collects the whole color spectrum of pastel looks in this photo, adding a styling suggestion: “This season, find inspiration in a bag of Jordan almonds…but be sure to throw on something black to cut the sugar-sweetness.”  However, the majority of the runway looks pictured opt for pastel-hued or metallic accessories. Light-hued jewelry is featured on looks from Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Valentino, Marios Schwab, Nina Ricci, and Chanel.

If you choose the pastel-on-pastel look, pearls are an obvious choice in jewelry. Another option is to accent pastels with what InStyle magazine terms the “subtle blue shimmer and otherworldly glow” of moonstone, featured in the January 2012 issue of the magazine. The spread features a diamond, moonstone, and 18k gold necklace from Penny Preville; a diamond, moonstone, and sterling silver cuff from Finn Jewelry; a diamond, sapphire, moonstone, and 18k gold bracelet from Temple St. Clair; a moonstone and 18k gold necklace from Irene Neuwirth; and diamond, moonstone, and 18k gold earrings from Jamie Wolf.