We all know why white is the favourite for wedding dresses, but lots of women feel that its attractions stop there. More’s the pity. In 2006, many designers used it as a strong statement for this spring and summer. It is the colour of innocence and ethereality, but it is also the colour of hope. In nature, the first sign that spring has truly arrived is the white blossom on apple and cherry trees.
As a colour, it doesn’t always work for women. Is it because it’s too cold for our pale northern skin? Is it too unforgiving of our figures? Is it too harsh for daily life? Possibly so – and yet it can be one of the most flattering and attractive of all colours. In an all-white dress, one can be the epitome of elegance.
As in nature, there is an infinite variety of shades of white. Chalk-white is rarely found. Instead, white with a tinge of pink (think blossom), white with a hint of blue (hydrangeas), white with a touch of green (tulips) are the norm. This is why, if you want white to flatter your look rather than startle onlookers, it is best to warm it up with glamorous pale pastel shades and avoid stark contrasts with strong colour. There are a million wedding pictures of the groom’s mother trying to keep her end up in white with scarlet, black or navy trimmings. But if it’s such a good idea, why is it that instead of looking elegant, she somehow always ends up looking like a louche Mrs Slocombe?
This gives us the final clue to the mystery of white. It needs young skin and firm figures to see it at its best. Yes, the church gets away with it, even when teamed with purple, scarlet and gold. But that’s a touch too theatrical for most women.
(First published February 2006)

Picture Source; Sunday Time Style. Getty February 26th 2006