It can almost seem too obvious at first: vivid red, with its powerful cultural connotations of lust, rage, sin and blood. It can be lazy visual shorthand for directors, designers or writers who have swallowed it whole. But then, red does seem to have a life of its own, too: think of Parisian cafés with their crimson awnings and chairs, or of the omnipresent scarlet of London buses and post-boxes. Red is so ubiquitous in daily life that it can be easy to forget everything else we have ascribed to it over the centuries.

Even when we think we have made our minds up on red and what it means, still it waves on stubbornly like the flag of a forgotten nation.

In fashion red is sometimes viewed as a nod to a woman’s sexual power, or a kind of personal brazenness. Guy Bourdin often included glossy red flourishes on lips and fingernails in his strange, seductive fashion photography. Often, especially in the hands of male designers and image-makers, red is seen to represent a woman’s ID: an interior space for hidden desires that manifests only on the edges, in shoes, beauty accents, trashy underwear or accessories.

Yet when worn head-to-toe, red dials up the volume. It leans towards romance, glamour and character: see Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, heading to the opera in a dazzling red off-the-shoulder dress. That dress echoed Valentino Garavani’s signature gowns in poppy-red rosso Valentino, a perennial favourite for celebrities in need of something classic and still memorable.

We love this matte red Python look by Slay my look. You can either have a matching hat and choker or matching hat and phone cover.

Click here to get the matte red matching Python hat and choker

Click here to get the matte red matching Python hat and phone cover

Suffocating or Sexy

Beguiling or Baroque

Get the look with a matching choker

Or with a matching phone cover

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