I’m working through the Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear fashion shows and pinning directional outfits along the way. I’m a quarter of the way through the process — there are hundreds of shows — and so far colours like rust, mustard and poppy are very popular. They are as popular as pastels, which caught me by surprise. 

“Poppy” as the industry calls the shade of red (or tomato red as I call it), is a vibrant orange-red. The shades of mustard and rust are rich, yet soft. It’s interesting to see what are traditional Fall colours, featured for Spring. If we can wear Spring colours in the Fall and Winter, we can absolutely wear Fall colours for Spring and Summer. Why not! There are no rules governing when to wear certain colours. It’s the fabrication, texture and silhouette of the item that makes it seasonally appropriate — not the colour. 

Some looks that came down the runway:

Along with poppy, rust and mustard, there are shades of pale pink and blue, sea foam and lavender, shocking pink, a bit of emerald, citron and purple, and lots of black, tan and white. I’m seeing less blue then I did last year, which is another surprise. 

Rust, Mustard and Poppy

Of course, retailers will interpret the colour trends in ways that work best for their market. If they have a better chance of selling a dress in purple or blue, they’ll offer those options with rust and mustard, or not offer the new trending colours at all. As someone who enjoys wearing colours and tracking trends, I like to see retailers change their palettes from season to season to keep fashion and their shop floors looking fresh. 

And speaking of fresh, the way to wear earth tones in the Spring and Summer, is with small or large doses of white, bone or cream. Nothing screams warm weather quite as loudly as crisp light neutrals to my eye. As for poppy, it’s a versatile colour that works with most other colours, especially when you add white as the neutral to ground the combination. Failing that, wearing earth tones with brights and jewel tones works well too. Or wear poppy, rust and mustard as accent colours if you like the idea of them, but want to reduce their surface area.