x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Fashion’s purple patch

For those who lived through the nadir of seventies fashion, the return of mauve as Pantone's colour of 2014 is a little difficult to stomach.

It wasn’t the flared trousers or the platform soles. It wasn’t the kipper ties, the unfeasibly-wide lapels or the strangely sculpted facial hair. Those fashion staples of the 1970s are all indeed awful, but they are not the reason why the decade is universally acknowledged as the most tasteless of the 20th century. That lies with the colour purple, which was everywhere from the late the 1960s until the early 1980s.

Men’s suits and women’s dresses were purple. There were purple cars, there was purple wallpaper, purple carpets. Hair even turned purple. It was a nightmare in a thousand hallucinogenic shades of mauve.

And they want to bring it back. According to the American company Pantone – which describes itself as “the world-renowned authority on colour” – something called Radiant Orchid will be the colour of 2014. But be warned: “radiant orchid” is nothing but purple with a fancy name – and very soon it will be everywhere.

We shudder. The prospect is truly ghastly. And even though we are unlikely to be completely immune from the purple plague here in the Gulf, we do have one cause to be very grateful: our abayas and kanduras will remain as sanely monochrome as ever. But to be on the safe side, invest in some very dark sunglasses immediately.