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Thursday, November 15, 2007

As fall fades

into winter, day

gives way to dusk seemingly after lunch. So the dip-dyed trend, known in stylish circles as ombre, seems perfectly tailored for this season of transitions.

Derived from the French word for shade and shadows, the moniker means just that -- a subtle shading, in which colors gradually intensify from light to dark.

The slightly bohemian motif soaked its way into the winter collections of Prada, Michael Kors and Bottega Veneta, with color gradients sweeping across everything from handbags and shoes to sweaters and cocktail frocks.

But it's not just clothes for which this style's in fashion. Jewelry designer Alexis Bittar offers an assortment of Lucite bracelets, carved and painted by hand with smoky, opaque shading. Le Creuset, the French cookware company known for its durable enamel, has a range of products in two-tone gradients. Even the National Gallery of Art gift shop sells a sheer ombre scarf inspired by a J.M. William Turner painting, bleeding from sunshine yellow to sky blue. And the trend will be sticking around. Ombre pieces were prevalent in the spring collections of such designers as Diane von Furstenberg, Adam Lippes and Behnaz Sarafpour.

So are you a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of gal? That's the question ombre seems to ask. Is life black or white? Red or blue? Perhaps it's somewhere in between.

-- Cory Ohlendorf


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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