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Akiima is wearing a cotton marching-band uniform shirt and straight-legged denim trousers by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC. Stylist’s own cowboy hat.

Nine Ways to Harness the Mood-Elevating Power of Primary Colours

Photographer Ben Toms and Katie Shillingford demonstrate the tempting appeal of paintbox hues for AnOther Magazine S/S18

Lead ImageAkiima is wearing a cotton marching-band uniform shirt and straight-legged denim trousers by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC. Stylist’s own cowboy hat.

Just when the world was beginning to look particularly bleak, the designers of S/S18 set forth with a more confident outlook. What elevates the spirit quite like the cheerful paintbox appeal of primary colours? From New York to Paris, bold shades of red, blue, yellow and green enlivened the runway – whether expressed as delirious 80s power brights or richer, regal tones, they allowed for welcome moments of chromatic escape. 

Here, as photographed for AnOther Magazine S/S18 by Ben Toms, Katie Shillingford demonstrates the implicit appeal of a primary-coloured ensemble via a selection of the season’s most memorable pieces.

1. Patchwork (above)

A welcome suggestion for the indecisive dresser, this Calvin Klein 205W39NYC shirt relieves the necessity of choosing a single colour to wear on a given day, leaving the only decision which accessory to wear – like this optional (but much encouraged) cowboy hat. 

2. Puffa

Allowed to drift just south of the shoulder, the excessive proportions of the humble puffa jacket make for an appealing proposition for elegant evening attire – proof that Crayola shades of red and green needn’t be childlike.

3. Sparkle

Few things communicate a defiant commitment to glamour quite like a sequinned, body-clinging mini dress. Here, among a frisson of magpie-satisfying embroidery, high-sparkle stitching allows for already vivid primary shades to shine even brighter. 

4. Cage

For a bolder statement – red is, after all, symbolic of danger – this sculptural single-shade ensemble is bound to turn heads. Be sure to match your undergarments for ultimate chromatic impact. 

5. Jogger

Jogging trousers needn’t be reserved solely for sporting activities. Note their implicit elegance when rendered entirely in leather and worn with a jacket and gloves in complementary shades. 

6. Biker

Who said bikers only wear black? Channel your inner speed freak in this primary-hued leather all-in-one, with go-faster slices of blue, white and yellow. 

7. Match

As the adage goes, when it comes to make-up one must prioritise either the eye or the lip. But why choose? Cheat the system by matching your lipstick to the rim of your sunglasses. 

8. Contrast

Challenge conventions by mixing things up – in this case, literally – by wearing footwear in contrasting, if equally impactful, shades. See how long it takes people to notice.

9. Suit

Few outfit choices have the visual impact of a single-hued get-up, amply demonstrated by this silk trouser suit by Diane Von Furstenberg. For a final flourish, divert from the primary palette with candy pink curls. 

Hair: Mari Ohashi at LGA Management using DAVINES. Make-up: Lucy Bridge at Streeters using Chanel Neapolis: New City and Chanel Blue Serum Eye. Models: Akiima at IMG London, Xie Chaoyu at Premier, Kiera Fox and Ellen Freed from New Noveta, Lorna Florence at W Model Management, Amy Gwatkin, Hannah Motler at Premier, Ninouk at Wilhelmina London, Evie Stein at IMM Agency and Vivienne at Ugly Models. Casting: Noah Shelley at AM Casting. Set design: Polly Philp at The Magnet Agency. Manicure: Adam Slee at Streeters using Rimmel. Digital tech: Lee Whittaker. Photographic assistants: Jack Symes, Mike Merkenschlager, Samuel Hearn, and Tim Mahoney. Styling assistants: Jessica Gerardi and Molly Shillingford. Hair assistant: Tommy Taylor. Make-up assistants: Bernadette Krejci and Mattie White. Set-design assistant: Nina George.

This story originally featured in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of AnOther Magazine, which is on sale now.