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Queen Letizia of Spain just broke this one fashion rule and pulled it off


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Mixing red and pink was historically considered a sartorial sin, but like jewellery mismatching in silver and gold, that rule is so old. And, luckily, now, the only rule is: there are no rules.

And didn’t Queen Letizia of Spain look impossibly elegant wearing this fun and punchy combination on a state visit to LAB6 cultural centre, in Amsterdam? Photographed with Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, she wore a pink wool and cashmere-blend coat and red dress, both by Carolina Herrera

Of course, Queen Letizia isn’t the first royal to experiment with red and pink, we should all share a moment to remember Princess Diana looking fabulous wearing a Catherine Walker dress in Dubai, in 1989. 

© Patrick van Katwijk
Queen Maxima of The Netherlands and Queen Letizia of Spain visited Lab6 on April 18

These vivid combos remind me of Taylor Swift when she arrived at the 2016 Grammy Awards, wearing a bright orange crop top and hot pink satin skirt by Atelier Versace. As if we need reminding of the singer-songwriter today – Tortured Poets, anyone?

Princess Diana was way ahead of her time© David Levenson
Princess Diana was way ahead of her time

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So when did we start becoming more experimental with our colour palettes? 

Orange and fuchsia - yes or no?© VALERIE MACON
Orange and fuchsia – yes or no?

When fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic first arrived in London in 1999, she began carving out her own distinct style that included her two signatures: intricate draping and a kaleidoscopic use of colour. Never afraid of gilding the lily, Roksanda has been embracing clashing hues, “from day one”, which was unusual at the time, because colour wasn’t something many people chose to wear, she told me when we spoke in 2022.

The London-based designer likes to challenge people’s perceptions of colour-clashing. As well as layering ‘vivids’ such as, acid yellow, gold, mustard, harlequin green, lime, and rust; pink and red, as well as fuchsia and orange, have been constants for her biannual collections shown at London Fashion Week

Layers of pinks and reds at Roksanda AW23
Layers of pinks and reds at Roksanda AW23

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“Very often I think about particular colour combinations that people find really strange or not nice. And I try to blend them in a certain way that will change an audience’s view and customers are really responding well to it. My collections often have very unusual colour pairings. It’s one of my signatures.”

As her label has grown, Roksanda has become more bold, which she tells us is a conscious decision. “I feel that it’s a point of difference and a language that resonates something new. As we know, fashion is all about newness.”

Orange and Fuchsia at Roksanda AW23
Orange and Fuchsia at Roksanda AW23

The London-based designer attributes her penchant for ‘brights’ to growing up in Serbia, “It has beautiful summers, the sun rays project an even stronger hue on everything. I remember the food markets, the flowers and the way the people were dressed – nobody was afraid of colour.”         

Hopefully, the same can be said for us now that, hopefully, the sunny climes are approaching. 

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