Colour Blocking: What is it and how to wear it

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Julia Rebaudo

Jil Sander SS11

Jil Sander SS11

Unless you’ve had your head firmly in the sartorial sand over the last few months you can’t have failed to see that one of spring’s biggest trends is colour blocking. Brights and colour scream from every fashion magazine spread – solid blocks of colour worn on their own or combined with contrasting, complementing or clashing colour. It makes sense, it’s spring, the sun is out and we’re naturally drawn to feel-good eye-popping colour to confirm that winter is really over.

But that’s not all it is, the seeds for colour blocking 2011 were actually sown back in 2009 when US Vogue gave it a big push in their (televised) September issue and many designers like Josh Goot, Aquascutum and Gucci showed the trend that year too. It just took a little time to make it mainstream – come SS11, the catwalks were colour blocking heavy with Jil Sander, Christopher Kane and Prada leading the way.

Of course colour blocking originated back with London’s swinging sixties mods (think Mary Quant colour block mini-dresses), found itself in the 70s being put to use Studio 54 disco style and got a bit out of hand in the 80s with eye-splitting patterned, polka-dotted prom dresses and Mondrian jumpers.

Now here’s how to do colour blocking spring 2011 style.

The hot colours this spring are primaries (red, blue, green, yellow) with special favourite shades thrown in like tangerine, turquoise and the much-hyped neons. To be honest the best thing to do is try a range of brights on and see which suits you. If you look washed out in a certain colour then put it away.

Christopher Kane SS11

Christopher Kane SS11

Next, limit colours to three at a time and/or build around neutrals like white, nudes, greys and black. Incorporating a neutral is a perfect way to ease yourself into this trend and still makes a statement. Just make sure your whites are of the just-washed and ironed as opposed to discoloured and tatty. If you’re unsure about what works together consult a colour wheel and pair up opposing colours like orange and blue and pink a/wp-admin/post-new.phpnd green.

Prada SS11

Prada SS11

Ladies, this is your chance to embrace the maxi and midi skirts and pair with a simple tee a la Jil Sander. And gentlemen, get courageous with coloured jeans, shorts and chinos. Accessories can be integral to colour blocking and you can shout out with colour via belts, brogues, sandals, satchels, large bangles and outrageous earrings.


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12th May, 2011  4:46 pm | Posted by: |Latest Trends | No Comments »

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