of the strongest clothing colourations this season belongs to the purple
family. Purples ranging from inky deep Parma violet, warmer
purples through mauve to tonally related puce and magenta (Tyrian
have all taken the whim of the designers.
These garments left are just a small selection of all the
purple and puce toned items available this autumn in the high
street. Purple is such a rich colour that it looks particularly
sumptuous in rich satins and plush velvet fabrics.
Read about purple history
Details of these currently available autumn 2007 garments are
at the bottom of this page.
Stockist Details - from top left to right they are
respectively from Evans (spot dress), the next three violet
party dresses are from Monsoon, and the last purple sleeved dress
is from Dorothy Perkins. Second row,
left to right two purple puce garments from Wallis, and the last three sleeved dresses
are from Monsoon.
A purple top or tunic is an easy and low cost way to add some purple
colour into your wardrobe. The loose easy bandeau top below left is
from Internacionale. The purple and black top shown below right is
from New Look. With the sequin trim, both would make
ideal clubbing wear for the party season. Both tops also
look roomy enough to eat a full meal out and remain feeling
comfortable all evening.
For an upmarket occasion consider one of these sophisticated
- Vera Mont evening gown.
This specialist evening and special occasion wear label creates
striking effects with an impressive combination of materials,
using different lengths and layering effects to give the
collection a distinctly modern feel.
This shimmering violet evening dress, with clever draping and
fancy black net lace layering, is made from 100% polyamide and is
from the Vera Mont Autumn/Winter '07 collection.
Vera Mont model number 2136/4107. Dress Price in UK ₤265.00*/
Part of the Betty Barclay group, there is also a Vera Mont
younger line, VM, with avant-garde individual items such as a
lavish waistcoat in a crushed plain-coloured fabric patched with
a striped design and a hand-stitched look, daring jodhpurs,
short Spencer jackets, bodices or balloon variations are made
either in dusty colours or in contrasting black and white.
you need an occasion dress that is not as formal as a full
length or maxi gown. Treat yourself to a luxury dress from
Emma Somerset. What could be more stunning than this Parma
violet short cocktail dress by Escada.
Note the waistline detail right which has look of luxury about
it with all that even topstitching on thick satin.
Left and right - Emma Somerset Autumn/Winter 2007 dress.
Escada tuxedo shift dress £875.
Necklace and earrings set £245 by Emma Somerset.
The model has teamed the dress with black jet jewellery, but amethysts, tanzanite or peacock pearls would pick up the colour
of the lovely dress so well.
Both silver and gold look very good against purple and this
dress is edged with a band of gold satin fabric, a great contrast
to both colour and texture of the purple fabric in the main
body of the dress.
The dress below is from French Connection and the
main body of the skirt is purple velvet.
Below - French
Connection Campaign 07 - Sioux silk dress £95, black ankle boots
advantage of the dresses above and those below is that they have
sleeves. Many women over a certain age, hate their arms, or know
they look best covered up. At last we are seeing evening
dresses with sleeves.
Monsoon have lots of dresses featuring sleeves
as well as plenty of other styles. For many women it's
pure relief to see the return of sleeves.
Left - Campaign picture from French Connection Autumn Winter
Campaign 07 - Beatle satin scoop neck dress £85, black suede
ankle boots £90.
Manufactures omitted to observe that many women rejected the
dresses on the racks because most had shoestring straps or were
sleeveless. Even a short sleeve dress was hard to find. If
you could find one with sleeves, it was so frumpy even 80+ year
olds rejected them. The skimpy petticoat style cowl or bra
dress tops were simply too bare for the average woman.
It amazes me that manufacturers failed to get this point, or
chose to ignore it for so long. If women were snapping up
first the Pashmina to cover their arms, then shrugs and cropped
Spencers, how could they have ignored for years that women
wanted sleeves in their clothes.
Manufacturers commented that dresses were not popular, and that women
only wanted trousers. Not true. Every woman I spoke
to during the demise of the dress in the past decade, said they
would wear a dress more often, if only they could find one that
covered their arms, or at least part of their arms, but
especially their top arms.
I know many women I shop with who walk straight past sleeveless
or strappy dresses. They won't even stop and browse them.
I confess I immediately envisage the solution of a jacket, or
shrug, so I do look at them - but I'm not trying to hide my
arms, but my midriff so the jacket has an extra use! We all have
These anti-sleeveless dress women are not fat, they just think
their arms have seen better days and you know what, these women
know themselves. They are sophisticated enough to know the
rules. Some women won't even look at their arms in a
changing room. Let's face it some of those 3 way mirrors
are very cruel and the harsh lighting shows up every bit of
gooseflesh. A regularly used body brush or rough loofah
may well be the answer, as might a visit to the gym, but reality
means a sleeve is a faster option.
Right - Purple cashmere cropped cardigan from Autumn Winter
2007/8 NEXT Directory £60.
So readers here are two wearable long sleeved dresses, one for
an occasion meal, or other event and the second for just being
in a dress.
Above left - Light purple dress from Monsoon. Monsoon
Christmas Collection 2007 Alex Dress - £65/€99 - In Store
October - Christmas Collections 2007.
Above right - Purple silk empire line dress £40/€58, Gold cuffs
£12/€17 each, Black tights £3/€4. Black strappy sandals £25/36€
all from New Look. Right - Print detail.
Tyrian purple of thousands of years ago was once a much warmer puce colour
with hints of crimson. Today we would probably call the same
Tyrian purple gets its name from the place of
origin. The purple dye was made in Tyre in Phoenicia using marine secretions
from the snails found in Murex shells. However the Minoans are also
thought to have made a similar royal purple dye using Murex shells found on
Crete, but centuries before the Phoenicians made their discovery.
dye was always a luxury product and it was as expensive as silver weight for
weight then, just as saffron is more costly than gold gram for gram today.
Each snail yielded a drop of liquid which took time to develop into the dye
making the dye costly to procure and produce. Tyrian purple had a crimson
tinge to it.
In Roman times only the upper echelons were allowed to wear purple togas and
so a regal connection was born. From this early beginning it became
known as the imperial dye. Tyrian purple was very rare and costly to procure
from the sea. It needed specialists trained to get the snail bearing
the dye. Tyrian purple was more the puce tone you might see on a
Bishop's robes which today we think of as crimson like. It's very
similar to the tone in photo left.
Purple is a mixture of red and blue. Don't confuse purple with violet
which is on the end of the indigo blue spectrum, making it a spectral
colour. Variation in purple colour is due solely to the combination mix of
red to blue rather than to wavelength as in spectral violet. In good
light or as a sheer fabric violet appear more blue toned than purple.
Purple may seem warmer and redder.
Left Wallis magenta blouse. Dark magenta blouse £30/€44, Black knee length
pencil skirt £30/€44, Multi ring chain necklace £12/€20.
Purple is a colour full of symbolism and a long association
with royalty. The colour purple denotes affluence,
supremacy, dominance and magnificent opulence.
Purple is also associated with spirituality, mystery and
pacification. The stone is believed to protect wearers from
getting too intoxicated with alcohol. A good quality amethyst
will be a rich deep purple gem, but paler tones of lilacs to
rose amethysts are available to suit many tastes and price
ranges. The amethyst birthstone is very hard wearing and
this makes it a good jewellery buy.
The amethyst is the stone of Saint Valentine and was once the
stone of Royals as purple was the colour of power. It is
the perfect gemstone to give as a Valentines jewellery gift on
Saint Valentine's Day, celebrated on 14 February each year.
Tones of purple can be used as a mourning colour instead of
black or white.
Monsoon bandeau Shannon dress - £55/€85 - Monsoon Fusion
Christmas 2007 - In Store September.
Monsoon tiered cutaway Gypsy dress - £48/€74 - Monsoon Fusion
Autumn Winter 2007 - In Store September.
Monsoon purple Tanya prom dress from Monsoon - £55/€85.
Dorothy Perkins sleeved purple tunic dress with black buttons
£30/€45. Dorothy Perkins Autumn Winter 2007.
Monsoon V satin Isolde dress - £75/€115 - dress with elbow
sleeves from Monsoon Storm - a capsule collection.
Monsoon Storm is a new capsule collection launching Autumn
Monsoon chiffon sleeve encrusted Bea Tunic - £100/€155 - Monsoon
Originals Autumn Winter 2007.
Monsoon - The Originals collection is a limited-edition range of
exquisitely designed evening wear available in 33 stores and
online. Inspired by vintage pieces sourced and handpicked by the
Monsoon design team, the range has its own exclusive colour
palette and has a signature unique to the high street.
Special thanks to David of prshots with the
header image on this page courtesy of New Look Autumn winter
2007 range. All other images courtesy of Monsoon, Dorothy
Perkins, French Connection, Internacionale, Wallis, Evans, Vera
Mont, Emma Somerset, NEXT Directory and New Look
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