How to wear oxblood red

Last updated 12:30 12/07/2012

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Oxblood: deep, rich, passionate red with a name that gives it just enough edgy credibility to distance it from its alter-ego and school uniform staple, maroon.

Like it or loathe it, the hue is back with a vengeance.

That it suits heavier, more wintry farbrics is a given - perfect for the remainder of our cool season here, oxblood goes hand-in-hand with soft leathers, velvets and wool.

It was all over autumn/winter catwalks in February, with Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Peter Som, Yigal Azrouel and Rag and Bone all tapping into their Taurean sides, while the red carpet is now reflecting the hue.

Elizabeth Banks chose Alexander McQueen and bold, baroque swirls at the May LA premiere of What To Expect When You're Expecting.

Fashion darling, teen Chloe Moretz stepped out in her deep red McQ number at London's Dark Shadows premiere in May and lady of the moment, Emma Stone has chosen the striking colour at not one but two events for her latest film, The Amazing Spider-Man, wearing a Rochas frock to the Tokyo premiere and a Roksanda Ilincic number to a Madrid photocall.

Thankfully, down at street level, a splash of burgundy-meets-scarlet suits most skin-tones, says Ashleigh Sharman, Personal Stylist.

"Oxblood lends itself to being much more versatile than a traditional red; its brown undertones making it much easier to complement a variety of skin tones whilst also adding a touch of Regal-ness as opposed to the brash sexiness of racing-car red."

She says the shade is understated but dramatic - and, to lend a blast of sunnier climes, can be accentuated or colour blocked with cobalt or orange.

The inspiration for the colour may be far from old school photos, though no less scary.

"Are all these vampire and gore-related shows - like American Horror Story and True Blood - having an effect on designers? Maybe. But we're definitely seeing a return to a more traditional, demure palette after a year of 'high-colour'."

Get ahead of the stampede and add a soft woollen jersey or a rich leather skirt to your warbrobe to tap into the bloody trend pronto - or wait a while for the colour to come to you, as it flows from catwalks and red carpets onto the High Street.


What do you think - love it or hate it?

- Sydney Morning Herald

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