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Arts in Review

Haute Stuff: Oxblood

A mix of rich burgundy and a hint of brown, oxblood takes the essence of the autumn leaves and brings it into the holiday spirit of winter. Red has always been a popular colour for the colder months, but oxblood takes it a step further when it blends the brown hints of fall with this hue, resulting in a colour that is perfect for this transition period.

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By Jasmine Proctor (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: November 7, 2012

Let’s face it: November can be depressing. It’s that awkward in-between month, where it’s not really fall and yet it’s not exactly winter. It’s raining, but it’s also really cold. Not to mention it’s constantly gloomy and grey.

For fashion, though, it might just be the best time to jump into a fall or winter trend that you haven’t tried yet. In this case, why not explore the best of both seasons with a colour that transcends both fall and winter: oxblood.

A gruesome name, yes, but believe me, the colour is anything but. A mix of rich burgundy and a hint of brown, this colour takes the essence of the autumn leaves and brings it into the holiday spirit of winter. Red has always been a popular colour for the colder months, but oxblood takes it a step further when it blends the brown hints of fall with this hue, resulting in a colour that is perfect for this transition period.

On a vacation in Germany this past August, I noticed that this colour was virtually in every store’s fall collection, from high-end boutiques to the ever-popular H&M. I instantly fell in love with it. Upon returning to Canada, I quickly learned that it was not just me who admired this fantastic hue: the North American fashion world was in love as well.  On this year’s fall/winter 2012 runway, designers from Tommy Hilfiger to DKNY featured this colour and similar shades of burgundy as some of their darker tones for the season. The designers even went a step further and displayed the colour’s luxurious nature by playing with textures like leather, shiny plastics and fur.

It’s not just the runway that is in awe of this shade, though: the online fashion world is ravenous for oxblood as well. This past October, British online fashion retailer ASOS even used this colour as one of their staples for fall and winter, on everything from velvet blazers to pleather satchels. Their collection for oxblood also showcased gorgeous lace dresses, skinny jeans embellished with baroque flocking designs, and numerous blouses with intricate black lacing.

Of the ASOS collection, my favourite has got to be either the lace midi dress or the Sister Jane studded jacket. Both items do the colour justice in completely different ways: while the dress shows it off in more a girly and feminine light, the jacket gives the colour a more edgy and urban feel.

So, why not try this colour out? If you want to incorporate it into your wardrobe, I would make sure it is the focal point of the whole outfit. This colour is not one to go unnoticed, and if you want to test it out, go for something like a blazer or pair of skinnies in this shade. To complete the ensemble keep everything else basic, preferably black or grey, as these colours tend took make the boldness of the oxblood stand out even more. This shade is meant to be on the edgy side, but if you only want a taste, even adding a small hint of it with a bag or even a pair of loafers can instantly make an outfit more November-ready.

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