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The Psychology of Colour: Four Inspiring British Women


From rich red to sunshine yellow, our Instagram feeds are filled with colour from our holiday snaps, outfit-of-the-day pictures and inspirational posts. What do these colours mean though and why might we choose them? With the help of a psychologist, we've cast our eyes over the Instagram feeds of four of our favourite British female celebrities to see how and what they expressed through their choices of colour in 2016.

Alexandra Shulman

During her 25-year stint as editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman has kept the magazine at the forefront of high fashion and will certainly be leaving her mark when she steps down this summer. She always exudes innovation and is a true industry leader, willing to take calculated risks to stay ahead of the pack and possessing an uncanny sixth sense when it comes to predicting the next big thing. 2016 saw British Vogue very much in the limelight, with the Vogue 100 show exhibition and their first Facebook Live Q&A demonstrating both their long standing heritage and contemporary forward-thinking. They also released a documentary on the magazine in September and pushed the boundaries in November by going 'model free' for one issue.

Alexandra's Instagram page is awash with high quality images that showcase her impeccable taste. From images of books to glimpses into her fashion-led life, her feed is predominantly made up of a sleek black and white palette. An archetypal pairing, black and white symbolises precision and clarity as well as an unwillingness to settle for anything less than perfection. There are no shades of grey here; no nonsense and indecision. There is focus, vision and a desire to strive towards the future as a leader, much like Alexandra Shulman has done and continues to do throughout her prolific career.

Mirror Alexandra's meticulousness with one of our gorgeous Aspinal handbags in magnificent monochrome. Our Editor's Tote and Dockery Snap Bag are the ultimate bags for professional situations while the boxy shape of the Mini Trunk is perfect for livening up an evening look.

Jessica Ennis

An Olympian with several medals under her belt, Jessica Ennis is celebrated globally for her drive, focus and determination within her successful sporting career. 2016 saw her compete in the heptathlon at the Olympics in Rio as well as achieving the second fastest time ever in the 100m hurdles at the Muller Anniversary Games in London. In January, she additionally showed bravery by supporting action against Russian athletes competing in the Olympics.

With it being the colour of her Team GB shirt as well as a hue that radiates energy, it's no surprise that Jessica's Instagram feed is dotted with red. Seen wearing red both during down time with her son in July as well as on her running clothes, it's evident that she is a woman who is not afraid of standing out in the crowd. As well as a colour that gets you noticed, red also relates to stamina, determination and speed making it particularly prevalent in a sporting environment. This ideal is seen especially in a photo she posted of herself with Usain Bolt in July, pictured against the bright backdrop of a red running track.

Stand out in red just like Jessica with our Mini Eaton or Soho Clutch in this eye-catching tone, both ideal bags for revitalizing an evening look. To take a subtler stance, add a pop of red to a plain outfit with an Aspinal Skinny Westbourne Belt.

Naomie Harris

From child star to Bond girl, talented British actress Naomie Harris has been gracing our film and TV screens for nearly three decades now. Hoping to staying part of the 007 franchise as long as Judi Dench, Naomie's optimism for her future career is most definitely reflected in her Instagram feed through recurring hints of sunny yellow.

Whether she's out with friends, at award ceremonies or soaking up the sun on holiday, she opted for yellow regularly in 2016. She donned a striking lemon and black dress for the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards in June, and was styled in canary yellow trousers for an Instyle shoot in November.

Typically representing happiness, hope and positivity, yellow is often used to aid self-confidence. Just like a ray of sunshine, Naomie's high spirits and beautiful smile light up her pictures and is very much complimented by tones of cheerful yellow, a colour that is clearly one of her favourite colours.

Be inspired by Naomie's positivity and add some sunny yellow to your accessories collection. Our Soho Pegasus Clutch features a yellow feather print, while our glamorous Hollywood Teardrop Ring and bright Botanical 'A' Scarf are ideal for injecting subtle hints of this bright tone into your look.

Pandora Sykes

Former Fashion Features Editor at The Sunday Times Style magazine and now a prominent freelance journalist, Pandora Sykes is certainly one to watch in the fashion world. Her exceptional taste in both fashion and holiday destinations is vividly portrayed throughout her Instagram feed- as is her love of colour.

Not one to shy away from bright hues, Pandora incorporated many different colours into her outfits and her surroundings throughout 2016. From holiday snaps in exotic locations to her daily outfit selections, the unexpected colour combinations she opts for in her personal style project confidence and individuality. From shocking pink and toned down khaki to her stand out red boots, nothing about Pandora suggests she's shy and retiring. She isn't afraid to express herself through colour, and this fearlessness comes through in her honest and candid writing style too.

On her podcast, The High Low, Pandora speaks about how women can be interested in both shoes and politics; this open mindedness is certainly reflected in the eclectic multi-coloured tones of her Instagram page. They emphasise her belief that you should 'Be the best at being you', projecting confidence and individuality in your choices and decisions.

Make like Pandora and enhance your wardrobe with an array of beautiful colours and prints. Our gorgeous Slouchy Saddle Bag in Bordeaux pebble is perfect for everyday wear, while our stylish teal croc Midi Marylebone Tote and beautiful poppy botanical Scarlett Clutch will make you stand out from the crowd.

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