For some of us, lilac will have been the colour of your first eye shadow once applied liberally at school. It will probably have been shimmery and came in a small pot that, at some point, might have let rip inside your bag. Maybe it's the colour of your grandmother's bedspread, or wallpaper. It's the shade that brides sometimes dress their bridesmaids in if they don't really like them.
Lilac has been associated with many things, but not for long a time has it been rendered chic. However, in a lilac-based plot twist, for spring/summer 2018 it has become the colour of the season. Pastel hues are all enjoying a newfound popularity, but none are more pervasive than lilac. An evolved, more adult take on millennial pink, ultra violet was crowned Pantone's colour of 2018 so perhaps its renewed fashion fervour was inevitable. This pale incarnation of purple was revived at Victoria Beckham in the form of suits, as well as at Tibi with midi-length, loose-fitting dresses.
It's also been given red carpet airtime - Sally Hawkins wore a lilac sequinned Armani dress to the Oscars where her film, Shape of Water, won Best Picture. Last September, Rihanna - who is always ahead with these things - wore a lilac Molly Goddard dress to the launch of her Fenty Beauty range in London. Amal Clooney chose a Versace Atelier dress in lilac at Venice Film Festival in September.
The trick to making it looking modern rather than old-fashioned and saccharine is all in the shape. Stick to contemporary silhouettes - for example, a lilac suit, as recently worn by Victoria Beckham, is a spring-ready office option. A slouchy lilac jumper worn with wide-leg grey trousers and trainers is an easy weekend look. A midi-length lilac coat is a modern update on the once key pink coat from a few seasons ago. Team a lilac dress with ankle boots and an oversized anorak or parka.
If you're still concerned, then avoid wearing the colour head-to-toe (although the catwalks would recommend you giving this a go) and mix it with denim, shades of grey or black. Keep it fuss-free - part of the problem with lilac is its association with doilies and bridesmaids, so if this is a worry for you, consider sleek, fuss-free styles that come without floral prints or frills. Those with very fair skin should try lower-half lilac options such as wide-leg trousers, midi skirts or an A-line mini - these are less likely to wash you out like, say, a ruffled Gucci shirt might.
Lilac, not so bad after all.
From Harper's Bazaar UK