For centuries, human beings have asserted their strength with emotionally intense color to signify leadership, passion, desire and power. Although the overall color palette for spring has been dominated by dark, neutral tones — seen as a reflection of these cautious, practical times — red was the obvious exception. Designers made a show of fearlessness with red suits, coats, bags — you name it.

This story first appeared in the July 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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