Your Paris Palette: Mellow Yellows for Fall


Top left: Jean-Paul Gaultier Fall/Winter 2012–2013; photo: Jean-Paul Gaultier. Top right: Pierre Hermé, “Infiniment citron” for la rentrée; photo: Pierre Hermé. Bottom left: Kusmi Tea, Anastasia; photo: Kusmi, rue de Seine, in the 6th Arrondissment. Bottom right: Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2012–2013; photo: Louis Vuitton.

All summer, the Luxembourg Gardens showed off an array of flowers in different yellows. Now, from pale lemon through harvest gold, the same shades are back in this fall’s Paris fashion. From the runways of Carven and Gaultier to racks in Comptoir des Cotonniers and The Kooples, these shades vary from canary to caramel.

Comptoir des Cotonniers. Photo: Comptoir des Cotonniers.

The lighter, sweeter yellows—champagne blonds and shimmery citrons—appear mostly in couture or accessories. For the latter, they are turning up in everything from lacy lingerie to labels such as those of Kusmi Tea’s Anastasia. At Pierre Hermé, even the macarons for la rentrée offer their own tart homage to lemon.

For wardrobe staples, you can start at the richer end of the spectrum. Smart high street brands have jeans or cigarette pants in ochers. Isabel Marant Etoile and American Vintage Paris produced almost identical oversize, button-up cardies; Marant’s is in pale butterscotch, AV’s in bright marigold. Weekend Max Mara loves sharp camel—as well as jackets with matching shirts in hot mustard.

Weekend Max Mara. Photo: Weekend Max Mara.

One of the most important labels in Paris fashion is Carven, whose designer Guillaume Henry wields serious influence. This fall, he made mix-and-match mini-jupes in both magenta and dark gold. Many ready-to-wear lines seem to have followed this lead. Others, like Kenzo, channel a New York taxi aesthetic with taxicab yellow-and-black. There are different versions of this damier jaune or “checkerboard yellow.” Some combine it with black, others with dark green or deep garnet. It can appear as bold wool tartans or in bespoke suede bags from Jamin Puech.For Americans, nothing says “fall” like the nip of a dark Dijon—and the US is a major market for Louis Vuitton. For his fans, Marc Jacobs incorporated mellow yellows into everything from fifties pillbox travel cases to scarves and V-necked leather tunics. His singular hats, a cross between a beehive and stovepipe, have already proved a hit with the fashion-forward.

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2012–2013. Photo: Louis Vuitton.

The French will mainly use these yellows with black, grays or camel. Yet the colors are also defining some styles of their own. Already, matte gold pants are paired with peacoats and patent derbies while the buttery scarves are matched to muddy, chunky knits. Whether as bold hats, leather belts or squares of silk, these are brilliant sparks that should light up fall.

Top left: Isabel Marant Etoile; photo: Bon Marché. Top right: Kenzo Fall/Winter 2012–2013; photo: Kenzo. Bottom left: Cotélac belt; photo: Cotélac. Bottom right: vitrine Paris, in the 4th Arrondissement.

If you pick just one Paris fashion item in yellow, make it the gold suede belt from Cotélac—or a pale lemon candle from Cire Trudon.

Related Links
Comptoir des Cotonniers

The Kooples
Pierre Hermé
American Vintage Paris
Weekend Max Mara
Cire Trudon