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iStyle: Nifty shades of grey

When you’re wearing the cool neutral of the season, it’s black and white, says Emma Akbareian

Grey has found its way out of the shadows and planted itself firmly on to our radars – not just in the form of literary erotica but in fashion, too. Historically, this colour has been reserved for the more sedate inhabitants of our wardrobes; think suits, workwear and winter woollies. This season, however, sees it break free from its constraints and re-emerge as a key colour.

For autumn/winter, a parade of  head-to-toe grey looks broke up an otherwise opulent catwalk display by Dolce & Gabbana, and at Antonio Berardi the first opening eight looks were sleek variants of grey tailoring. The spectrum of shades adds to the versatility of the colour; from dark charcoal and gunmetal to softer tones. It’s particularly useful as a trans-seasonal wardrobe buffer in that tricky in-between period when we’re not quite ready for winter.

Black is generally considered as the ultimate neutral colour, a fail-safe option for any occasion. But grey actually presents a lot more options sartorially. Pastel shades are a reoccurring trend but often make a rather harsh contrast when worn with black; team with grey, however, and you’re on to a winning combination. Similarly, very bright neon shades can result in something of a bumblebee effect when worn with black, but grey provides a much softer backdrop.

At Chanel, slate grey outerwear in the label’s signature tweed provided compelling inspiration in the search for a winter coat. For a high street version, Cos stocks some formidable styles. Berardi’s plunging neckline dress demonstrated the way to wear the colour in an evening-appropriate manner.

But if nothing else, add buttery soft leather accessories in muted tones of grey; the ultimate easy elegance.