Camel: a clarification… and some counsel

Since I last posted – about the lack of camel in this winters collections – I’ve been taking a good look at the September issues of many of the UK and US fashion magazines and, to my surprise, most have got some kind of feature that seems to be falling over camel as a key colour this season.

As I buyer, this surprised me, not just because camel was so prominent in West End shops last year, but also because there is not that much camel around at the top end of  the market this year. 

And in fact, much of what is described as camel actually isn’t camel at all. It seems quite often to be used as a shorthand for a variety of neutrals (one of which is the yellowy camel). But the dominant neutrals this winter – and those which flatter a north European skin in winter are those with a hint of grey rather than yellow.

I think you should be quite careful about buying camel colour clothes – for some people it does work very well, but in general camel, because it is VERY classic, can really age you unless it is accessorised very carefully.  Certainly putting it with brown risks looking boringly classic.

Camel is also used by designers not used to creating modern classics – precisely because it is associated with classic.  But I believe that in 2010, if you are going to use camel it needs to be designed and cut superbly in a soft fabric (to avoid it looking too flat) or it will very quickly date you.

At Wardrobe, in a very good start to the season, the most successful colours have been various shades of grey (of which there are many) and other neutrals which have a predominance of a blush tone to them – but the yellowy ones have not even been requested.


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