Evening wear, the last bastion of black-only elegance, is finally brightening up. Fashion designers have created a full rainbow of designs guaranteed to compete with even that infamous little black dress.
"Last year, stores and customers wanted color, but no stores carried it," says Louisa Nevins, who designs her own division of evening wear for Jane Singer. "Color is just more fun to wear. In black, you simply drown in the sea of tuxedos."
There's no chance of blending into the crowd if you're wearing chrome yellow, tangerine, fuchsia, red or "Jordan Almond" green. Fluttering chiffon, slinky jersey, shiny taffeta and satin--plain or embellished with beading and embroidery--give these pop colors their elegance. Stores are filled with accessories that back up the bold tones: brightly colored shoes, handbags, scarfs and jewelry. Some will want to dive into color wholeheartedly. Others can test the effect with accessories, adding them to the familiar basic--black.
"We've always shown a lot of color because we're in young, spirited Beverly Hills," says Fred Hayman of his namesake store on Rodeo Drive. "Color makes you feel happier."
Stylist: Michael Eisenhower; hair: Daniel Howell / Celestine; makeup: Jeanne Townsend / Celestine; models: Hillary Young / Prima and Peta Wilson / Bordeaux