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How to wear Viva Magenta – the hottest colour of 2023

Pantone's announced Viva Magenta as the colour of this year, so we caught up with a colour consultant and style coach to find out how to get this trend.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 05.01.2023


Pink has well and truly been making us all wink over the past year and there’s no sign of it going anywhere this year either.

Now Viva Magenta has been selected as Pantone’s colour of the year for 2023 – and we’re so here for it.

Pantone has dubbed the shade as ‘a brave and fearless red that writes a new narrative’ as well as ‘a pulsating red shade whose exuberance promotes optimism and joy’ – all of which sound the right vibes for going into 2023, right?

Following 2022, a year packed with a rose-tinted takeover of the runways ever since Valentino revealed the Valentino Pink PP, a flashy fuchsia that Pantone created for the Italian brand’s Autumn/Winter 2022 collection alongside dopamine dressing dominating our wardrobes, 2023 is all about moving towards majestic magenta movement.

The sophisticated shade has already been spotted on recent runway collections, from Off White’s voluminous gowns to Issey Miyake’s white suits splattered with the colour. But that’s just the beginning.

Celebs have already gate-crashed the magenta madness with the colour modelled by Jennifer Lopez on Vogue’s November cover and the shade receiving a rather royal seal of approval from Kate Middleton, who stunned the crowds during her recent visit to Boston, in a perfectly tailored magenta suit by Roland Mouret and matching Gianvito Rossi pumps.

Want this shade in your 2023 wardrobe? We’ve caught up with Sarah, colour consultant, style coach and owner of True Colours with Sarah Heron for her styling advice.


This sophisticated shade is said to be infused with the passion, intensity and power of red but with the emotional balance and quiet of violet. In essence, it’s powerful and dramatic but quietly bold – a red hue, balanced between warm and cool.

At first glance, Viva Magenta may seem too bold a colour for most of us to pull off. In fact, it’s been selected as the colour of the year thanks to its ability to be paired with almost any other shade, from soft creams and baby blues to deep browns, accentuating rather than overpowering our wardrobes. Black however will kill the shade, completely flattening it, even if you want a more subtle look.

Pantone calls Viva Magenta a ‘universally flattering’ shade, as it sits right between blue and red, warm, and cool.  In terms of hue, although red is a warm colour, Viva Magenta is a pinky red so right in the middle of the temperature scale, making it very versatile and wearable for lots of women.


Well, the good news is that Viva Magenta has a flattering variation on all seasonal colour palettes with slight tonal adjustments made for tonal palettes dominant in deepness, muteness or warmth. Use this hue in the “hot or portrait zone” from the chest up in clothing or as a particularly powerful pop of colour on the lips.

  1. Wear it full on monochrome with different shades, tints and tones of the same colour, head to toe for a standout look.
  2. Consider a complementary colour combo to select a shade directly opposite on the colour wheel, so a muddied lime green would be a brave but interesting choice.
  3. For a bright and fun combination, you could try a colourful triadic mix – mustard and a dull turquoise perhaps or choose analogous colours sitting beside magenta on the colour wheel, both left and right – cooler pink or warmer orangey reds.
  4. Choose Viva Magenta as the statement piece with splashes of colour in a blouse, handbag, lipstick and nail polish but not in equal proportion or the look will be just too chaotic. A print is a good compromise.


In essence, due to its depth, Viva Magenta will suit winter and autumn palettes best.

HLN TOP TIP: if you’re not sure what your colour palette is, read our feature here.

If you are a winter palette

Tones: Cool skin tone, dark hair and vibrant eyes and high contrast between these features.

The rich ‘jewel’ shades of Viva Magenta are exactly what you need to highlight your features in a way that is bold, but not aggressive. Go for a colour block where this shade is the main character and you’ll radiate confidence and strength, but be sure to go bright and clear, maybe adding a touch of orange to negate a muted hue.

If you have a spring palette

Tones: Warm skin tone, Lighter hair and eyes and a blend between these features.

Spring palette ladies may go for the softest but brightest hues of this colour range, certainly warm and clear variants. Think pomegranate or cherry rather than raspberry.

If you have a summer palette

Tones: Cool skin tone, Lighter hair and eye colours with medium to low contrast levels of these features

Summer palette ladies, like Kate Middleton, will benefit from choosing the shades that are more on the cooler side of the colour palette, with a muted, almost raspberry hue, being just perfect.

If you have an autumn palette

Tones: Warm skin tone, Dark hair and dark eyes and a soft blend between these features 

Warmer, Autumn palette ladies will need the opposite, the warmer shades of this fantastic colour will harmonise well and let you shine. A deeper plum shade works well.


Pantone is dubbing this shade “an empowering and emboldening red shade that highlights our change of perspective, reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place and highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us.” All of which sounds rather exciting. Is this a shade you’ll embrace?



If you are in need of colour or styling advice, visit True Colours with Sarah Heron’s website to book your appointment.

For some styling inspiration and advice, follow True Colours with Sarah Heron’s Instagram and Facebook page.

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