Here’s the one colour you’ll definitely be wearing in 2019

Words by Bianca O’Neill
Illustration by TWYLAMAE

Contain your surprise.

Every year, Pantone releases its colour of the year, and most of us shrug our shoulders and wonder what the big deal is. But almost every year, months later, we see the colour filter into our feeds, our favourite stores and our wardrobes.

This year, Pantone tried to convince me that purple was in. “Inventiveness and imagination,” they told me, “is indigenous to Pantone 18-3838.”

Rose Quartz was the colour of the year in 2016, just as Millennial Pink saw its largest search growth online. Cerulean was the colour of the year for 2000, and a few years later Meryl Streep was name-checking it, as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. Coincidence? I think not.

“The future is purple!” declared the New York Times. So I tried to take purple seriously, I really did. It was everywhere at NYFW earlier this year. Bottega Veneta, Tibi and Mansur Gavriel jumped on the purple train in a big way, from overcoats and accent pieces to full purple looks.

But I didn’t really see it in stores, and I didn’t really see it on the fash pack. It’s a hard colour to wear, particularly if you’re not fond of the unusual colour pairings presented at the aforementioned runways.

My favourite barometer for real trends, street style in Copenhagen, showed a lot of colour – but none of it purple. I wondered if it was a bust, like the declaration that Millennial Pink would be replaced by Gen Z Yellow… hello, where is that trend now?

But then I went to a Witchery forecast, presenting the trends they’d be highlighting throughout AW 2019. And there it was: purple. Lilac. Wine. Everywhere.

This isn’t a couture house. It’s not a blogger who wears bike pants for Insta pics, but would never be seen in them IRL.

It turns out (like the ubiquitous leopard silk skirt) that purple is *actually* coming to the high street in 2019. And even better than that? I’ve now discovered that leopard goes beautifully with lilac.

Now that’s what I call a win-win.

Follow Bianca’s fashion journey over at @_thesecondrow, and listen to her podcast at @thefashionpodcast.

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