DON’T be fooled by all those fashion rag proclamations that colour blocking’s where it’s at or even, God help us, the horror that is ‘porange’ – wearing purple and orange together, a la Cheryl Cole’s disastrous debut in the US.

Because the real story is this: after decades where we’ve taken a Model T Ford attitude to fashion, with occasional forays into the madness of colour, suddenly white is the new black.

Slowly and subtly more and more of us have been getting into the white stuff.

From Pippa Middleton’s to-die-for bridesmaid gown, to her big sis’s choice of white Temperley for Wimbledon, to Kim Kardashian’s eternally snowy top and jeans, it seems there’s a yen to move away from the dark, safe colours of yester-year.

Only this week, Harry Potter star Emma Watson graced Harper’s Bazaar magazine in a feathered frock of purest white.

It’s also the colour SamCam wore to greet Prince Philip and the Queen at their recent Downing Street lunch party.

But it’s not just fashion that’s having a white moment. According to Halfords, which sells 48,000 variations of touch-up paints, sales of their whites have surged in popularity by more than 800 per cent in six years.

It reckons the growing popularity of white cars is being fuelled by new pigment paints and quality finishes, which mean white cars retain a forecourt garage look and don’t show the dust and scratches as readily as darkercolours.

Possibly. Or is something else at work here?

White is the colour of snow, of angels, of purity and carries with it these positive associations.

Is that why it is now used in so many of the minimalistic, ethereal rooms featured in Britain’s interiors magazines?

London interior designer Louisa Keating says: “White and lace aredefinitely the buzzwords this year. Interior design mirrors the catwalks and the trend has extended to household objects.

“People want brightness and you can’t get brighter than white.”

Stylist Atlanta Bartlett is an unashamed champion of the colour white. Not only is she the author of At Home With White, she also runs online interiors store, Pale and Interesting, which sells items of the faintest hues, and she runs a locations company specialising in mainly white houses. She says the colour is “brilliant for maximising light” and she is not the only one to be seduced.

Chrissie Rucker noticed the pulling power of white in 1994, launching The White Company, purveyors of neutral-toned towels, bed-linen and loungewear. Over the past decade acclaimed Dorset paintmakers Farrow and Ball have rolled out a faded rainbow of quirkily-named off- whites and neutrals: White Tie, Dimity, Slipper Satin, Skimming Stone, Wimborne White and their top-seller, Pointing.

The reasons behind the ‘whiteification’ of Britain are attributed to a surprising source – not a person, but a company. Namely Apple.

Design experts claim the ‘Apple effect’, the sleek white of its iPods and iPads and (at one time) its iMac computers are influencing our perceptions of the colour in other areas, too.

Once associated with Essex girls and a favourite in the 1980s, white cars are enjoying a rebirth in popularity.

Car manufacturers believe white makes models look more streamlined and attractive to buyers and they may be on to something.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders say white has become more socially appealing. Its figures reveal that in 2004, just 21,000 new white cars were bought. By last year this had risen to 188,000, a 795% rise, rivalling red in popularity and accounting for one in ten of all new cars sold.

White cars are increasingly used in advertising campaigns, and at this year’s major motor shows in Detroit, Geneva and Barcelona there were more white cars on display than any other colour.

No one knows how long fashion’s white moment will last. But in our homes and lives, it looks like it’s here to stay.