Let purple reign: lavender is back in fashion from head to toe this season. Cosmetics companies from Make Up Forever to Aveda are selling shadows and liners featuring this eye-catching color, which flatters brown, blue, green, and hazel eye colors alike. Nail polishes from Opi, Essie, and others are also on the trend, including a shade from Opi’s new Texas collection for 2011 called “It’s Totally Fort Worth It”—a lavender gray that capitalizes on both the lavender and gray nail polish trends. Footwear is also following suit, including faux snakeskin pumps in the shade from makers including Diane Von Furstenberg. Even lavender colored stones in jewelry are in style once again—even trendsetting Vogue editor Anna Wintour can be seen sporting one of her custom-made gemstone necklaces in the shade on a regular basis.
While the luscious shade certainly livens things up as an accessory, even fans of the color might wonder how to wear it in a dress without looking like a pageant queen. The solution lies in choosing one lavender accent or statement piece and then keeping the rest of the palette neutral. Take this sexy short number by Baccio the silhouette is racy and the lavender adds an innocent yet flirty touch. Pair it with black or pewter heels or booties and some black crystal jewelry, and you will have an edgy, more fashion-forward look on your hands. Be advised: skip the matching lavender eye shadow or lip gloss when wearing a lavender gown; looking too matchy-matchy is very 1991—too 10 years ago. Instead, go for a smoky black linker or sophisticated cat’s eye look with a dark liquid liner. Blondes in particular should go for a strong eye as not to look washed out.
For a completely different take on lavender, check out this prom-worthy long satin design courtesy of La Femme. It will help you stand out among the red, white, and black gowns dominating the dance floor with a retro look. Pair it with soft side-swept waves, a simple rhinestone hair comb, and a pair of silver shoes. Lavender is also a good choice for a spring or summer wedding for the bridal party, as the color is almost universally flattering. Traditionally, however, a lavender bridal gown was reserved in olden times for a bride that was not pure enough to wear white; while times have changed, it could either be a color for the bride-to-be to avoid, or to wittily hint at in her bouquet to allude to the fact she has been living with her groom-to-be for years before tying the knot.