Fashion: Let purple's reign begin

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Designers have gone plum crazy this autumn, with clothes and accessories taking on hyper-bright shades of crimson, damson, cherry and royal purple.

Taking a tip from Prince, aka The Purple One, Moschino's Autumn/Winter collection showed little else but dazzling versions of the colour; Proenza Schouler had a ruffled royal-purple cocktail dress; Valentino paired the colour with crystals; Emilio Pucci went with a tailored look; Versace dressed up warm in a 1960s-style coat; and red-carpet fave Marchesa crammed its collection with plummy ruffled dresses – a full-length version was worn by Jessica Alba at the Oscars (below).

Given its name, Mulberry has naturally been a trendsetter in this area, with a pair of neon-purple flat lace-up brogues for £325. But if you're hankering for a more flattering flat than the ubiquitous brogues that look so good on Alexa Chung and not so good on... well, anyone else, Miu Miu is offering silk ballet pumps in multi-toned grape, encrusted with costume jewels.

Even if Violet Beauregarde (who, as you'll recall, ended her days in head-to-toe purple courtesy of Mr Wonka) isn't your sartorial heroine, there's no escaping the hue: lips are on cue to adopt a crushed-berry stain, while nails will be adorned with glossy purple shades.

The Royal Mint even launched a new blue-purple £20 note last year; thankfully, what with the crunch, it's such a hot colour that you'll still be on trend if you hang on to it for a while.