Often associated with grandeur and glamour, designers are getting behind a burnished gold wardrobe this season, but it doesn’t have to be bold or brash. The secret? It’s all about balance.
We should have known when Kim Jones presented his first haute couture collection for Fendi and sent original supermodels Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington down the catwalk in extravagant gold gowns and two-pieces that the shade would go on to be become one of 2021’s most enticing colour propositions. Often reserved for our jewellery box, gilded hues transcended both seasons and time of day this year, with couture and ready-to-wear collections proving that gold works in both big and small doses. Everyone from Valentino and Dior to Moschino, Dries Van Noten and Paco Rabanne was working a radiant wardrobe that adds an air of grandeur to the months ahead. “Not only is gold the epitome of opulence, but it also stands the test of time,” Jessica Crawley, head of womenswear buying at Ounass tells MOJEH. “Neons and pastels come and go, but gold is timeless.”
While a substantial gold wardrobe often comes with a risk of looking gaudy, one glance at this season’s catwalks and you’ll find multiple examples of how to wear the hue now without overdoing it. The gold dress certainly made its presence felt throughout couture, where Maria Grazia Chiuri enlisted director Matteo Garrone to capture the cinematic gloss of her designs at Dior, which this season took inspiration from the mysticism of Visconti-Sforza tarot cards. Over at Fendi, Jones also made the case for opulent hues that mirrored the luminosity of his supermodels, crafting looks perfect for an evening soirée or red-carpet gala. However, the keyword if you’re working the trend for the day? Balance. “Gold doesn’t have to be reserved exclusively for the evening,” explains Jessica. “It’s actually one of my favourite colours to incorporate in an everyday look as well. A gold sandal paired with light blue denim and a white T-shirt is a great way to incorporate the hue for an easy chic look. Or try a gold skirt paired with a grey knit.” The secret here is limiting your shine to one element – be it the dress, sandal or skirt – and leave the layers of jewellery at home. “Gold is a statement by itself, so keeping accessories minimal is my preferred choice,” agrees Jessica. Dries Van Noten’s high-shine bomber jacket is the perfect partner for a pair of boyfriend jeans, for example, or for a more feminine twist, look to Moschino’s metallic mini, which will add a touch of baroque chic to any ensemble.
When combined with austere hues like burnt orange, olive green or khaki, burnished gold can become even more brilliant, too. The proof is in the pudding over at Paco Rabanne, where Julien Dossena dressed down a fabulous gold cape with an earthy leather skirt split to the thigh and orange patent boots that complemented, rather than co-ordinated. The same rule of thumb applies to gold accessories, too – channel Valentino, where Pierpaolo Piccioli teamed a statement orange coat with gold glam-rock platform boots, which quite clearly stole the show.
Still need some convincing before you go for gold? Instead of going all-out, experiment with prints for subtlety, opting for pieces in neutral colours that feature simple gold patterns. Thin gold stripes or a spot of sequins can look just as striking as a solid gold shade until you’re ready to take the plunge. Alternatively, start small with accessories and work your way up. “If you find it all a bit intimidating, gold accessories are a great way to subtly incorporate the shade into your wardrobe,” advises Jessica. “I’m loving Wandler’s gold mules this season. Try pairing them with denim for an easy daytime look.”
Whether you go full tilt or work the wallflower route with a simple smattering of accessories, give gold a chance this season and we promise you won’t regret it. “For me, gold is aspirational,” concludes Jessica. “What better way to escape, lift spirits, and radiate optimism by incorporating this lavish hue into your wardrobe?” We couldn’t agree more.
- Words by Naomi Chadderton