Sunday, 31 August 2008

Champagne Horses

The Champagne Horse is a colour breed and are born with bright blue eyes. The adult eye colour can range from green to amber. They are stunning animals and some even have a metallic sheen to their coats which is highly reflective in the sun - reminiscent of champagne itself. Champagnes and the rare Russian breed, the Akel-Teke have a hollow hair shaft. Normal horses have some broken pigment in the hair shafts.

They are so rare that historically, Champagnes have been considered a genetic fluke or oddity. A horseman would have been very lucky to even seen one in a lifetime. The colour can be traced back to the 1800's, and appears to have originated in gaited saddle stock. The champagne gene is a dominant dilution gene, first documented in 1996 by Philip Sponenberg of Virginia Tech and Ann Bowling of UC Davis. Prior to this the champagne gene was often misidentified. Many Champagnes were mistakenly called "pumpkin-skinned palominos" due to their mottled skin and golden colouration. However, the champagne gene is distinctly separate from the cream gene (which causes Palomino and Buckskin). Champagnes were mistakenly called "albinos" because of their bright blue eyes and pink skin at birth. A test is being developed so that the Champagne Horses can be spotted and registered.

They get their colour from the dominant champagne gene (like Creams and Duns) which means that when a horse inherits it, the gene affects or dilutes the base coat colour. For example when the cream gene is applied to Chestnut, a Palomino results. When champagne is applied to Chestnut, a Gold Champagne is produced. Gold Champagnes have yellow or orange gold body colour, a blond or white mane and tail, light coloured eyes, and purplish pink skin.

Other variants are Amber Champagne where horses result from the champagne gene applied to Bay, Classic Champagne where champagne is applied to Black (which gives a lilac dun coat with the typical metallic sheen), Grey Champagne, Ivory or Cream Champagne and Sable Champagne.
Breeds that have champagne coloured horses are the Quarter Horse, Paint, Appaloosa, Saddle bred, Tennessee Walker, Missouri Fox Trotter, American Cream Draft, Miniature Horse, and some mixed breeds.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Friday, 29 August 2008

The Colour Champagne

I have been wondering when the colour Champagne actually got its name. Champagne covers several pale shades of beige, peach and pale gold and reflects elegance and luxury. So when did beige become Champagne? Given the popularisation of Champagne in the late 1860s by the music hall song Champagne Charlie maybe the fashion industry woke up to the fact that designs would be more appealing if linked to the drink itself. The Roaring Twenties certainly had flapper dresses in Champagne (which incidentally are making a comeback this year) but it's not until the 1950s that you start to see the colour actually using this name.

Coco Chanel, France's greatest couturier, created the Chanel 2.55 bag so that ladies could carry their purse over their arms leaving their hands free to drink champagne. The bag was revolutionary in its time due to the addition of a chain strap. Coco declared that she only drank champagne on 2 occasions . . . when she was in love and when she wasn't.

Coco added the chain straps after becoming tired of holding her own bags in her hands, and losing them. Interestingly, the double chain is said to be based on her experiences as a child, in an orphanage, where the caretakers would dangle keys from their waist. Coco was born in 1883 in Saumur. Her mother worked in the poorhouse and died when Coco was only 6 years old. She opened her first millinery shop in 1912 and rose to become one of the premier fashion designers in Paris, France. All of her clothes were emblazoned with the famous Chanel symbol; this, however, was not of her own design. The symbol was given to her by the owner of the Château de Cremat (a Château on the outskirts of Nice in the south of France).

Coco replaced the corset with comfort and casual elegance, her fashion themes included simple suits and dresses, women's trousers, costume jewellery, perfume and textiles. Her modernist philosophy and pioneering spirit in design made her arguably the most important figure in the history of 20th century fashion.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Champagne Diamonds

Champagne Diamonds are very rare and most come from the Argyle Diamond Mine in the Ragged Ranges in the Kimberley region of remote north of Western Australia. Champagne diamonds range from light straw to deep rich cognac in colour. The mine produces Champagne, Cognac, Pink and Chocolate Diamonds – and these are proving to be very fashionable. Last year at the Academy Awards Cameron Diaz wore a 20 carat Cognac Diamond and Jennifer Love Hewitt wore a 7 carat Chocolate Diamond ring.

Nitrogen is responsible for yellow or orange colouration. Boron is responsible for a blue colour. Natural Radiation causes a green colour. These are all considered Type I diamonds.

Type II diamonds have very few if any nitrogen impurities in them. They get their colouration due to structural anomalies during the crystal growth. The intense pressure changes the lattice structure of diamonds and leads to the formation of Red, Pink, Brown, and Champagne coloured diamonds.

The Type II diamonds are rare and constitute less than 2% of the gem quality diamonds available. The word diamond comes from the Greek "adamas" which means "hardest metal" - reflecting the property of the stone. Diamonds were recorded in India 3,000 years ago where they were valued for their ability to refract light. They were used as jewellery and also as talismans to ward off evil or provide protection in battle. In Europe in the Dark Ages diamonds were used medicinally. Saint Hildegarde advocated that holding a diamond in the hand whilst making a sign of the cross would heal wounds and cure illnesses. Diamonds were also ingested in the hope of curing sickness. During the early Middle Ages, Pope Clement V (see Nick's Blog Chateau Pape Clement) died in 1314 at Roquemaure, across the Rhône, after having swallowed a dish of crushed gems destined to cure his ailments.

The most famous Champagne coloured diamonds are:

The Victoria-Transvaal – a 67.89 carat, pear shaped stone that was found in the Transvaal, South Africa. The diamond has been featured in several Hollywood films, including a Tarzan episode from 1952 titled Tarzan's Savage Fury, and in leading exhibitions in the United States and Canada. It sits in a necklace designed by Baumgold Brothers, Inc and the necklace was donated by Leonard and Victoria Wilkinson in 1977 to the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.

The Hortensia Diamond – this champagne diamond was named after Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland, who was the daughter of Josephine and step-daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Hortensia had been part of the French Crown Jewels since Louis XIV purchased. It is now on display in the Louvre.

The Ester Williams Diamond Ring - As a former swimming champion, Esther Williams made more than a splash with her film début opposite Mickey Rooney in Andy Hardy's Double Life. Her unique talent spurred a new film genre...the swimming musical. In the film Easy To Wed she appeared with Van Johnson and wore her champagne diamond ring.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Champagne – The Perfume

Champagne inspires many things – perfume being one of them. In 1993 Yves Saint Laurent created his perfume Champagne with Sophia Grojsman (previously responsible for the fragrance Paris). The bottle recalled the cork stoppered bottles of the French elixir with its twisted gold metal detailing. It has a crisp, fresh fragrance of woods and moss and an invigorating fruity aroma with hints of musk. It was created as "un hommage aux femmes qui petillent"(a homage to women who sparkle).

But upon its issue, the French wine growers protested, even resorting to smashing bottles of champagne in front of the journalists who had arrived in Paris for the launch party. Pierre Bergé, president of the brand ended up scuffling with the wine makers and the battle for the name was afoot.

A legal battle ensued and adverts appeared promoting Champagne with the slogan "Sous ce nom je serai bientôt un objet rare" (I will soon be a rare object under this name). Yves Saint Laurent lost the lawsuit and Champagne was rechristened Yvresse: a word play on ivresse -which means "intoxication" in French, using Saint Laurent’s initial “Y” to replace the “I”.

Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 and grew up in Oran, Algeria. At 17, he left for Paris where he showed his drawings to Michel de Brunhoff, director of Vogue, who published several of them immediately. Following a stint at fashion school, Saint Laurent worked for Christian Dior as Art Director. 1960, Saint Laurent created his revolutionary "Beat Look" collection which used couture techniques to refine street style. In 1962 Saint Laurent set up his own fashion house with Pierre Bergé and continued to rock the establishment. He is credited with a range of innovations including the reefer jacket (1962), the sheer blouse (1966), and the jumpsuit (1968), as well as ready-to-wear culture as a whole. Saint Laurent retired in 2002, after 40 years in the fashion industry.


Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Snow Queen Vodka

Snow Queen Vodka is the one of the highest distilled vodkas available being distilled 5 times and is award winning for its creamy, silkiness and sweet hints of aniseed and vanilla.

It is a premium vodka from Kazakhstan made from organic wheat from the Steppes, and spring water from the foothills of the Himalayas. The distillation takes place through Kazakh birch charcoal. Snow Queen has found an appreciative audience and is much sought after as a quality product.

Surprisingly Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world and the 6th largest producer of grain. It is also the largest land locked country in the world and is equivalent to the size of Western Europe. Its lands stretch west to east from the Caspian Sea to the Altay Mountains and north to south from the plains of Western Siberia to the oases and deserts of Central Asia.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Monday, 25 August 2008

Snow Grouse Whiskey

Drinks on ice are the “in thing” at the moment with some brands even adapting their products to be served directly over ice such as Stormhoek's Couture and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne's Piscine. People often pop vodka in the freezer during the summer – but never whiskey. Famous Grouse is looking to change all that and has launched the first Scotch whisky created to be served chilled straight from the freezer. Snow Grouse will be sold exclusively to international travel retailers for the first 6 months and distributed through Maxxium Global Travel Retail.

Snow Grouse is the second whiskey to be added to the Famous Grouse Portfolio – the other being Black Grouse which is rich, deep, spicy sweet and smoky, and is designed to be served on the rocks.

Snow Grouse is named for the ptarmigan which lives in the Highlands of Scotland,. It is made from grain spirit and matured in oak casks before being gently chill filtered,. It is a pale straw colour, smooth,has sweet vanilla flavours and is described as having a sweet gloopy mouth feel.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Sunday, 24 August 2008

The Spirit of Thailand

As East meets West new drinks are being discovered by people who have never encountered them before unless they were on holiday abroad. Mekhong is Thailand's first domestically produced branded product. It was launched in 1941 and is named for the Mekhong River. The name Mekhong comes from the Thai words Mae (meaning mother) and Nam (water) and means Mother of Waters. It's a golden spirit that is made from sugar cane, molasses, rice and a secret recipe of Thai herbs and spices. Despite being known as a whiskey it is actually much closer to a rum. Mekhong is distilled, blended and bottled at the Bangyikhan Distillery on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Mekhong compliments Thai food and has hints of ginger, honey, toffee, vanilla, floral, herbs and citrus. The drink comes in a bottle which takes its design inspiration from traditional Thai boating on the Mekhong River. A colourful red and gold ribbon is tied around the neck of each bottle. The ribbons are a symbol of good luck and are representative of the ones boaters tie around their vessels to ward off evil spirits as they travel the Mekhong River.

The most popular Mekhong cocktails are the Sabai Sabai, the Thai welcome drink. Red Bull's wine spritzers are also called Sabai and are made by the the Siam Winery in partnership with the company.

Sabai Sabai

1 ½ shots of Mekhong
1 ½ shots fresh squeezed lemon juice
¾ shot simple sugar syrup
a finger pinch of sweet Thai basil
soda.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Prairie Vodka

Prairie Organic Vodka hails from Minnesota and is made by the Phillips Distilling Company – a family of 5th generation spirit makers and a co-op of over 900 farmers who share ownership of the brand. Phillips & Co was one of the first worker profit-sharing plans in the country dating back to 1944.

Prairie Vodka uses organic #2 yellow corn and all the left over corncobs are turned innto bio gas for powering the stills with left over grains being returned to the farmers for livestock feed.
Prairie describes their vodka as “beautifully smooth. With hints of melon and pear on the nose, creaminess on the palette, and a bright smooth finish.”

The packaging is unusual with samples being sent out nestled in corn and straw to protect the bottles. The imagery and branding on their website is innovative as well - they won a gold medal at the Los Angeles wine and Spirit Awards alongside Best Overall Design and Best Package of Show.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Friday, 22 August 2008

Cucumber Vodka

I don't know why the spirits industry believe that all women like their drinks pink and sickly – maybe I am just the odd one out. Square One has introduced a Cucumber Vodka that sounds delicious. Square One was founded a couple of years ago by Allison Evanow who is devoted to culinary-style cocktails and innovative organic spirits with an eco-conscious mindset.

Square One Cucumber Vodka is aromatic and fresh and is made with the essence of organic cucumber and certified organic American rye vodka. To keep cucumber's fresh aroma, Square One applied the same skills used to capture the aromatics of flowers and plants in natural fragrances.

Rye is a challenging grain for bread makers as well as vodka producers because of its dense fibre structure. Nevertheless, vodka lovers favour it for its nutty, complex flavour profile as compared to corn, wheat and other grains. The rye used in Square One is grown on the plains of North Dakota and the water used comes from the watershed of the nearby Teton Mountains.

They also dispel the myths about distillation – the best vodkas are not necessarily those that are the most distilled. The fact is, distillation is used to remove impurities from vodka. Square One believe that this means that the more times you distil it, the more individual personality you distil out of it. Square One receives such a clean fermentation that it needs only a short time in a 4-column distiller to emerge with sparkling clarity leaving its flavour intact. The vodka is filtered only once, and through a simple micro-paper filter rather different to Diva's triple distilled vodka filtered through Nordic birch charcoal, and gems including diamonds, rubies, emeralds!

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Tomato Vodka

As a fan of Bloody Mary this new vodka is more my style – although I do prefer to mix my own as I love Worcestershire Sauce and have to get it just right! Three Olives has launched a Tomato Vodka which includes the taste of tomatoes, pepper, horseradish and spices. Three Olives is an English Vodka made with wheat grown in the UK. The other new flavours released are a Three Olives Triple Shot Espresso for coffee lovers and a Root Beer Vodka.

They have quite a big portfolio of award winning flavoured vodkas including Green Apple, Pomegranate and Watermelon. Three Olives is reported to be the fastest growing premium vodka brand and was first launched in 1999. The vodka is 6th most imported vodka in the USA. It's interesting to see how popular these flavoured drinks are - a significant amount of the growth of the brand is due to the addition of the flavour line extensions which now constitute over 50% of the Three Olives sales.

They also have a targeted advertising campaign with the “Drink Sexy” slogan and are featured in Cosmopolitan, People, Lucky, Glamour, Elle and InStyle magazines and a new “Girl in the Glass” campaign will appear in Sports illustrated, Golf Magazine, TIME, Money and Playboy. Proximo believe that young alcohol drinkers between the ages of 21 – 30 have grown up with a variety of flavoured beverages available and are driving the flavour trend in the spirits category.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Jamie Boudreau and Cocktail Dust

Jamie Boudreau is one of the most famous bar tenders and mixologists in the world. He presides over the bar at Vessel in Seattle, has been featured in most of the world's prestigious food and drink press and you can find him at www.spiritsandcocktails.com.

I spotted one of his recipes for Becherovka Dust – which is a twist on the salt or sugar that you sometimes find adorning the rim of your cocktail glass ( . . . think of the salt crystals on a glass of Margarita that you are occasionally served). Becherovka is a herbal bitters made in the Czech Republic. It is flavoured with anise seeds, cinnamon and dozens of other herbs. It was invented in 1807 by Josef Becher, a pharmacist, as a medicinal tonic and is now owned by Pernod Ricaud.

You can create this dust from most sugary liqueurs and drinks – Campari is a popular one. Basically your pour a little of the drink onto a baking tray and leave it in a warm place until the liquid has evaporated and a crystal like dust is left. The bottom oven of a slow aga or an airing cupboard might be best. If the crystals are large then you can grind them up in a pestle and mortar. Wet the rim of the glass before mixing your cocktail and insert it into the dust to get the effect.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Moët's Foam Cocktails

A recent craze in New York are Moët & Chandon's foam cocktails. Time Magazine has reported that Moët & Chandon has created a line of Champagne drinks with foams and caviars that add fruity flavour to bubbly.

Various bars and restaurants are serving the Watermelon Imperial which includes the ingredients Moët Nectar with watermelon foam, the Caviar Imperial -Moët Nectar and saffron-infused blood orange "caviar”, the Jarnac - Moët White Star served with ginger-peach foam, Le Royal - Moët Nectar with cherry-beet foam and the Peche Passion - Moët White Star with passion fruit/peach foam.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Monday, 18 August 2008

Grand Marnier Macaroons

Grand Marnier has also entered the weird and wonderful realms of Molecular Mixology and has created a Cocktail Macaroon with François Payard, of Payard Patisserie & Bistro in New York, Las Vegas and Brazil. There are 4 Macaroons which are cocktail gelées in the flavours of Grand Mojito, Grand Margarita, Grand Cosmo, and the Orange Crush.

The Cocktail Macaroon has an edible external pastry shell which acts like a garnish to complement the specific flavour notes and ingredients associated with each drink, while the interior cocktail gelée made from Grand Marnier and other spirits releases the essence of the drink in a unique, unexpected way.

Grand Marnier hosts the trend setting Mixology Summit each year and the Cocktails Macaroons come in a luxury gift box, specially designed in France and includes custom inserts to protect each individual Macaroon from breakage in shipment available from Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro at www.payard.com.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Cointreau Caviar and Molecular Mixology

No, you haven't misread the title! Cointreau has joined the band wagon of a new trend taking off at them moment called Molecular Mixology. It sounds like a science experiment but its practical application is basically new drinks and cocktails creating new flavours, feels, textures and visuals that enhance the drink.

Molecular Mixology is the art of mixing drinks using the analysis and techniques found in science to understand and experiment with cocktail ingredients on the molecular level. It was inspired by the practice of Molecular Gastronomy which was created by Hervé This in the 1980s. One of its most successful practitioners is the chef Heston Blumenthal.

Cointreau Caviar is small beads of the orange flavoured liqueur which have been designed to mix into cocktails, or added to a glass of Champagne. It was created by Fernando Castellon, an expert mixologist renowned among bar tending professionals. Cointreau's website states that
“after several months of research and hundreds of trials to fine-tune the best formula for turning Cointreau from a liquid to a solid state, Cointreau’s team managed to obtain perfect, delightfully iridescent pearls of Cointreau which burst into life in one’s mouth in a symphony of delicious flavours.”

The new product, which was first launched in Paris and has become popular in New York and London.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The Roaring Twenties, Fashion and Italian Wine

The 1920s have been making a come back on the catwalks with celebrities sporting vintage Art Nouveau (popular between 1890 – 1905) and Art Deco (popular between 1925 – 1939) inspired gowns on red carpets.

Jean D'Ylean created this poster in 1920 in Italy for Marsalla Florio and echoes of it have been seen at the Mobo Awards in 2006 when Mis-Teeq's Su-Elise wore a stunning dress covered in peacock feathers. Nicole Kidman wore a Gucci gown at the Golden Globes in 2005 complete with peacock feather and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker wore this peacock feather tube dress at Cannes in May 2008.

This year peacock feathers have inspired hair accessories and jewellery as well as clothes. You can find peacock feather hair clips, ear rings, long chain necklaces and retro embroidered dresses and ethnic prints.

There are even wines sporting peacocks on their labels: Peacock Family Vineyard in Napa which makes world class Californian Cabernet Sauvignons. Proprietors Chris and Betsy Peacock established their home around the vineyard which lies on the spectacular Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. The mountain vines have smaller grapes which means that they have to get the tannins soft and fleshy before they are picked. By waiting for tannin development the full potential of the grape is extracted during fermentation.

One other famous Peacock wine hails from Peacock Ridge in New Zealand. Sally and John Ewer both had a passionate love of Bordeaux style wines and a belief that, after years of appreciative imbibing, they could produce a world class antipodean wine in this distinctive style. The Ewers realised this dream at their vineyard in Waiheke Island, New Zealand and have a Silver Medal for their Reserve Merlot 2002.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Fashion and Champagne

Posters advertising Champagne have become collectible – especially since the 1990s legislation in France limits the advertising of alcoholic beverages. Taittinger was the first champagne house to engage in commercial advertising and after appearing on the cover of “Vogue,” Taittinger’s vintage posters were recognized as works of art.

Claude Taittinger President Directeur-General of Champagne Taittinger was designing posters as recently as 1988 and this poster for L'Instant Taittinger Champagne is one of the most famous. Featuring Grace Kelly, it combines an iconic actress turned princess, Taittinger Champagne and the timeless black dress. What better way to encapsulate an essence of Champagne?

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Monday, 11 August 2008

Wine and Fashion

Nicolo Regazzoni, an Italian wine journalist, writes in his blog Italian Wine News that “Fashion drives Italian wine perception”. He is quite right. He quotes recent research carried out by Wine Intelligence:

“which finds that UK wine drinkers, who indulge in more international travel than their American counterparts, tend to drink wines from the countries they visit once they’re back home, giving them a broader repertoire than their US cousins. Italian wines are now regarded as part of a cultural family which includes Gucci, Ferrari and Armani. For those who can’t travel, a favourable perception of a country can be created through other means: Italy, for example, is clearly boosted by cutting-edge fashion.”

A country's culture is part of its “brand” identity and you can see this all over the place – take for example Bordeaux Style. Bordeaux has its own unique style, just like Paris. I am not talking about architecture but the essence of the place. Think of Paris and you get an image of chique, cosmopolitan elegance. Paris has a modern feel. Bordeaux is much more ancient. Think of Bordeaux and what comes to mind? Ageless grandeur and sophistication – rooted firmly in our minds due to the grand vins and the great Romanesque abbeys and chartreuse styled châteaux.
If Bordeaux had a colour what do you think it would be? Wine red? No – that’s Burgundy.

Bordeaux is a metallic pearl grey. “Why this colour?” I hear you ask. It’s simple. It reflects both age and invention. It rolls the faded patina of ancient châteaux, gilded baroque grandeur and our modern steel and chrome into an image of timeless refinement. It reflects its wine . . . centuries old, the height of good taste and resplendent in its excellence. It’s not brash or nouveau riche. It’s polished and cultured, just like the pearl.

In the retail world, this is illustrated by lots of gleaming silver grey garments or shimmering cream or coffee cream clothes with texture on texture. This is a fashion trend that has been hotting up for sometime. The trend in textiles is toward shiny sumptuous fabrics that gleam with dusted sheen or have sheer qualities. Raw silk, glistening brocades, satin, moirés, taffetas and chiffons with luminous qualities reign supreme - just watch the cat walk!

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Vino & Moda – the Argentinian Wine and Fashion Show

Isn't it about time that Paris caught up with the rest of the world and held a Wine and Fashion Show? Argentina held Vino & Moda in Buenos Aires this June which was an event designed (in more ways than one) to merge the world of wine and the fashion in matters related to the senses, colours and textures.

The country’s most prestigious designers and their models represented the characteristics of Argentine wines alongside a parade of the best Argentinian wine. Wine tastings were held, innovative sensory games were conducted by enologists – serenaded by the Buenos Aires Symphonic Orchestra and entertained by Tango and Ballet Dancers.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Paris did the same? Bordeaux holds the fantastic Fete le Vin - crammed with attractions, concerts, light shows, fire works, tall ships, barrel rolling races, parades and, of course, wine! I think Paris is letting the French wine industry down by excluding it from their Haute Couture!

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Fashion Colours for Autumn 2008

Red wine shades in all their crimson and purple glory are always fashionable. Purple is being hailed as the “in” colour this Autumn and Pantone have released their top ten colours chosen by designers for the season.

"Fall is traditionally a time for subdued, quiet colours, but this season we are seeing a shift toward cool hues with bright, exciting undertones," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. "Conventional tones such as warm autumn hues, chocolate browns and steel greys are also among the fall colour choices. Blue and purple tones have become staples, as illustrated by Blue Iris, one of the top 10 colours chosen by designers this season, and Pantone's Colour of the Year for 2008."

Dramatic Royal Lilac brings purple to the forefront of fashion and generates a bit of heat with its exciting red undertones.



Reds are a steadfast favourite for fall and Aurora Red is no exception. Versatile and universally appealing, this true red adds a splash of energy to the palette.


Soft, dusky Withered Rose, with its pinkish qualities and brown undertones, is a versatile hue that blends with every shade.



Blue Iris, a beautifully balanced blue with an undertone of purple, is a favourite among designers, as it combines the calming aspects of blue with the mystical and spiritual qualities of purple.


Ochre, a beautifully mellow yellow with a hint of mustard, adds a touch of lightness and spice.



The complex yet modest Shitake is an intriguingly understated shade, especially when teamed with the robust colours of fall '08.



Serene, sophisticated Caribbean Sea is another popular hue this fall, especially in jewellery and accessories, but it can also add a colourful intensity wherever it is used in the wardrobe.


Orange has had a long run, and now, more than ever, consumers are gravitating toward intense shades like Burnt Orange, bringing this once steady background colour to the foreground.


Twilight Blue, a twist on a classic navy, shows the transitional aspect of spring merging into fall.



Shady Glade delivers a natural elegance to the fall palette. Taking green in an interesting direction with its true green characteristics, this hue is a departure from greens of seasons past, which have had distinctively yellow undertones.

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com