L’Eau de Toilette, Carven ($82 for 1.7 oz.). Nordstrom, 1800 L St. NW, 202-627- 3650.
Sterling silver and green nephrite jade cabochon cuff links, Cartier ($710). The Collection at Chevy Chase, 301-654- 5858.
Bridesmaid dress, After Six ($256). Bella Bridesmaids, 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Ste. 200, 202-966-0481
While brides were clamoring for marsala, Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, a cast of complementary shades arrived in tow—and sage is the one that stood out. This fall couples are playing up the soft, subtle beauty of what we predict will be the color of the season.
While sage is stunning on almost everyone, board-certified colorist Claudia Birkahn of Salon Bleu (Tysons Galleria, 1839 International Dr., McLean, 703-448-1300) says the color is most flattering on people with medium, tan, or dark skin tones (which contrast nicely with the pale shade) and warm or golden hair (such as auburn, red, golden brown, or blond).
In choosing complementary colors—for makeup and décor—it’s important to note that different shades of sage work better with warm or cool palettes. Salon Bleu makeup artist Azin Farshadfar suggests bringing a swatch to appointments with vendors, adding that she sometimes takes her cue from the floral selection: “If flowers are in the cool tones, I recommend shadows in a dark sage or aubergine, and lips and blush in nudes or pink undertones. For a warm look, I recommend coppers, bronzes, or earth tones for the eyes and peach undertones or a red for lips.”
For a look rich in color, Shannon Hilliard, director of Celadon Salon and Spa (1180 F St. NW, 202-347-3333), suggests pairing sage with deep plums and burgundies. For a more classic option, she says, earthy browns, beiges, or gold tones work best for the eyes. Most important, adds Hilliard, is wedding-ready skin: “Because a softer palette on the face works well with sage, fresh, well-caredfor skin should be the emphasis of the makeup.” She recommends beginning Celadon’s treatments two to three months in advance for the best results.
Consider the décor of your venue before selecting any color (and vice versa). Washingtonians are fortunate in having a choice of ballrooms that lend themselves well to a sage palette. Kimpton’s Monaco Alexandria (480 King St., Alexandria, 703-549-6080) features slate patterned and chocolate-brown wallpaper and a white chair rail, and at Mandarin Oriental (1330 Maryland Ave. SW, 202-554-8588), the hotel’s cream molding, slate upholstered walls, and crystal light fixtures are likewise well-suited to the hue. The white textured walls and wood detailing at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner (Tysons Galleria, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703-506-4300) are ideal for draping and uplighting, providing a dramatic way to feature the color.
Fun tip: Kimpton’s area director of catering, Annee Gillett, suggests incorporating succulents and even artichokes into floral arrangements to subtly play up the color. Continue the theme in artfully decorated desserts, like the ones pictured above by Paperwhite Events (301-461-1637).