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Fashion: It is impossible to be quiet while wearing red. Whether poppy red or fire-engine red or slick lipstick red, it isn't a colour for wallflowers. Fortunately, the clothes shown here also come in basic black and boring beige

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A-line dress, pounds 160, by Helmut Lang, from Joseph, 77 Fulham Road, London SW1; high ankle shoes, pounds 140, from Freelance, 55 Neal Street, WC2

Opposite

Satin shirt, pounds 150, by Liza Bruce, from a selection at Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1; Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1

Thank God for red. In the summer months, when pastel madness tries to take hold of our wardrobes, bright, bold red screams out as a welcome antidote, cutting through the endless rails of palest pistachio, fondant pink, basic beige and barely-there blue. A single hot red shirt makes a strong statement (especially if you wear it with nothing but a pair of shiny red bikini knickers). To wear red from head to toe takes guts, but it gets you noticed.

Red is a colour that arouses powerful emotions: it was the late Diana Vreeland's favourite colour - her Park Avenue apartment was famously decorated in it - and she spent years in pursuit of the perfect shade. Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons has declared that red is black, meaning that it could take the place of black, to be worn as a single wall of colour.

Red is the colour of revolution, blood, anger, danger, fire and passion. Colour therapists advise that wearing it makes you feel dynamic, positive and sparky. It gives you confidence and sexual energy. You think you can handle anything. Red can help you move on in life. Tamsin Blanchard

Above

Mules, pounds 155, by Gucci, 32-36 Old Bond Street, London W1, or 17-18 Sloane Street, London, SW1.

Opposite

Cashmere cardigan, pounds 160, by Pringle of Scotland, from a selection at Simpson, Piccadilly, London W1; stockist information 01450-360 259; nylon bumster skirt, pounds 200, by Alexander McQueen, from Pellicano, 63 South Molton Street, London W1; shoes by Freelance, as before.

Photographer Alan Beukers

Stylist Naomi Smith

Hair by Alain Pichon for Toni & Guy

Make up Sarah Reygate from Streeters

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