Scrolling through retrospective round ups of Academy Awards red carpet looks you can often become complacent. You view endless regal black gowns, lace column dresses and bright red wow-factor ensembles, each so lovely, so glamorous. But then, you get to The Dress. The one that you’ve seen one hundred times but never fails to stop you in your tracks, or clicks. It’s Michelle Williams in 2006, standing outside the 76th Oscars event draped in Vera Wang silk. The colour: marigold. At the time, this colour had been rarely opted for by the A-list, so its success was much about the beauty of the colour on Williams as it was about its uniqueness.

Michelle Williams at the 2006 Academy Awards in Vera Wang. Getty Images

Marigold then had a major moment. It cropped up in varieties of fabric forms and many braved what they felt to be a hard-to-wear hue. However, the unique thing was that it was, in fact, surprisingly suitable for all skin tones. Those with pale skin feared the “wash-out” but as Williams (who was yesterday announced to be starring in a new FX series based on the life of Broadway legends Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon) proved, when styled with a red lip, vintage jewels and up-do hair it becomes old-school glamour. While on dark skin its radiance contrasted for even more golden glory. Marigold became the suits-everyone colour ready to star in The Sisters of the Travelling Fashion-Tone.

Fast forward to now and Marigold is back and brighter than ever. The New-Gen are sporting it with vintage irony (see Gigi Hadid below just this week in her Slashed By Tia gauze bandeau shop now) while classic A-listers have been taking it elegantly to the red carpet in droves (who can forget Amal Clooney in Stella McCartney at the Royal Wedding). This not-quite-yellow, not-quite-mustard shade is now the season’s bright-neutral oxymoron. That is, it’s the colour you can wear with as much ease and abandon as you would denim, black, white or beige.

However, despite its seasonal incarnation we can’t help but be sentimental for where our modern love for marigold began. On the frame of Williams, on the Oscars red carpet, while she was at the height of her love affair with Heath Ledger. Smiling genuinely and taking our breath away. So while we’ll add marigold to our daytime repertoire for the now, we’ll always hold it as the ‘one-to-wear’ to glamorous events when we know heads will turn and people will whisper “where did you get that dress?”…


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