We’ve been tango’ed

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Going to indulge in this season’s ‘hot’ colour – Tangerine Tango? No, I thought not…. Tangerine Tango

The powers that be have decided that THE colour story for this season is to be Tangerine Tango. 

Why? Who knows? Pantone comes out with its Colour of the Year every year and this year has fixed on this shade of red-orange, which you will now see hitting the shops every which way – in fashions, in interiors and even in beauty products.

The nice thing about orange for manufacturers is that it dates like a dream, which means it has a short shelf life and then you have to go out and buy new stuff. But the timing strikes me as a bit unusual in the midst of a recession. Tertiary colours like orange and purple tend to emerge in eras of plenty such as the Art Nouveau period and the 1960s when there was full employment (remember that, anyone?).  

Orange, as we all know, is a difficult colour to wear (it’s one thing to like a colour but whether it suits you is quite another) but at least this shade is rather nice – more of a vermilion – though I still think it will work better in interiors than in either fashion or beauty unless you have dark skin. On blue-eyed white babes like me, it’s a different story. And it also needs a quality fabric – in silk shantung, orange is one thing, in a cheap t-shirt from the market, it’s something else. I also fear that manufacturers will cheat on the depth of the colour and we’ll end up with loads of shades of bitter, washed-out orange on the high street. 

Tangerine Tango is a trend you may well prefer to ignore – generally it’s best to avoid faddy items. But if you do want to give it a try, my advice, as usual, is to buy an accessory. Orange espadrilles might pep up an outfit and you were going to chuck them away at the end of the season anyway, weren’t you? Or how about a straw tote, because at least you can spray-paint that another colour once the fad has passed. A whole scarf in orange might be a bit much, but a print might wrok, and a string of beads in a bright zizzy orange could be pretty for summer.

One place I won’t personally be headed to stock up is Sephora, which has teamed up with Pantone to create a whole range of colour makeup, including lipsticks (yeech), nail varnishes (double yeech) and eye colours. As if that weren’t bad enough, it’s chosen to promote this with one of the most egregious bits of Photoshop diddling anyone’s seen in a while – just take a look at this model’s arm, courtesy of Jezebel, who as usual are on the case. 

Not that she doesn’t look like a cyborg in the first place… But then, maybe that’s who it’s all aimed at, after all?


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