Navy: Understudy or Star?

For too long now, navy has been the wait-in-the-wings colour; the humble understudy to fashion's perennial favourite: black. Occasionally, once every few years or so, it gets a brief moment in the spotlight, when black feels it needs a break from all the sartorial attention. But then it's relegated back to the wings again when black decides to make a comeback. Black is the New Black, and all that.

I don't understand this. Navy is as elegant and as sophisticated as black, if not more so. It's as slimming as black, and far less austere looking. It's not as harsh on complexions as black. It reflects better in front of television and photographers' cameras than black. (Karl Lagerfeld and Armani both know this: the two designers now prefer navy over black when facing the media.) And lastly, it speaks of honesty, authenticity, dignity and integrity more than black, which is why many of those in the White House wear it. Including President Obama.

I've always adored navy. So I'm thrilled to hear that – after a brief flash in the fashion world last year – it's now being heralded as the beautiful "new" look for interiors. Here, in tribute to this lovely colour, are some gorgeous, naval-gazing inspirations...

A retreat to remember: the navy-and-white interior of JK Place hotel, Capri. {Image via JK Place}

A study in sophistication: a navy library by Nate Berkus. {Image via Elle Decor}

A moment of sheer glamour: navy gown by J Mendel, Fall RTW 2007 {Image credit uncertain: please advise if you know}

Tailored perfection: navy linen and furniture from Ralph Lauren's Grand Hotel collection. {Images via Ralph Lauren}

Flirtatious and fabulous: navy frill 'Trista' trenchcoat by Kate Spade. {Image via Kate Spade}

Cheeky but still demure enough for business: Navy 'Bailey' dress by Kate Spade {Image via Kate Spade}

Librarian chic – with a sexy twist: navy-and-white dress by Lily Pulitzer. {Image via Lily Pulitzer}

Inspiring living: Sitting room/living room by Mary McDonald. {Image via Mary McDonald and Domino}

More Ralph Lauren elegance.

Navy with a slice of lemon: Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. {But can't find the credit so please advise if you know!}

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