Colour blocking was seen all over the catwalks for spring/summer and it’s a trend that looks set to stick around for some time. Taking inspiration from the early 90′s craze for pairing contrasting blocks of colour, colour blocking is a great way to infuse your wardrobe with energetic brights. On the runway the trend’s main proponent Richard Nicoll demonstrated colour blocking to perfection way back in his Spring/Summer 09 collection. The British designer mastered the art in one foul swoop with a bevy of colour blocking panelled shift and tank dresses, boasting cheerful combinations of navy, fuchsia, pale pink and tomato red.
Tangerines, intense corals and candy-floss pinks broken up with cool greys and beiges were seen all over the collections at London Fashion Week, including those of Luella, Gucci, Christian Dior and Ossie Clark. The colour blocking impact was toned down by Richard Nicoll through a series of hot pinks teamed with paler pinks, over-dramatised by Dries Van Noten as fuchsia competed for attention against slate greys and citrus brights, and given extra punch by Luella with pairings of bright orange and cool purple.
High Street stores following up the colour blocking trend for spring/summer include…
Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Next, New Look,
House of Fraser, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, as well as the following catalogues:
Freemans, Grattan, Kaleidoscope, Marshall Ward.
Colour blocking on the high street…
Isis maxi dress, £135, at Coast
John Lewis women colour block dress, £65, at John Lewis
Linen blend colour block a-line woven dress, £35, at Marks and Spencer
Kookai colour blocked cotton sateen skirt, £49, at John Lewis
Navy/jade woven front tee, £16, at Dorothy Perkins
The trick to colour blocking is to be eye-catching without being overwhelming. Work the look by combining two or three clashing separates – fuchsia and midnight blue are a good starting point – and whatever you do, steer clear of pink and black combos. They’re far too heavy for spring. Team your colour blocking outfit with retro super-high heels for an eclectic edge.
Stick to these simple rules for colour blocking and you’ll be catwalk-ready in seconds…
- Complementary colour blocking is a great way to ease into the trend.
- Pair colours from the same family together. Fuschias look great with bright pinks, bold oranges make a statement with shocking reds, and turquoise runs riot with royal blue.
- Keep warmer tones like orange and red together.
- If you’re feeling daring, experiment with mixing and matching. Work fiery oranges with deep purples or fuchsias with tangerines for colour blocking contrasts that are bound to turn heads.
- For a look that’s all about jarring contrasts, pair lime green with soft pinks.
- Opt for simplicity with neutral-toned shoes and break up the blocks of colour with a cream or grey belt.
- Add punch with accessories. Contrast your outfit with a handbag in a clashing colour.
- For a subtle take on the colour blocking trend, team brightly coloured tights or leggings with a simple shift or tunic dress.
- Be confident. Colour blocking is all about bold, bright colours so don’t be afraid to wear the most vivid of shades.
Designers using colour blocking in their collections include…
Salvatore Ferragamo, Richard Nicoll, Luella, Ossie Clark, Gucci, Christian Dior, Dries Van Noten, Alexander Wang.
What the press are saying about colour blocking…
“Loud and proud colour combinations make for a dynamic, confident look.” Vogue
“Colour-block shocker: Scene-stealing brights are creating daytime drama and all-night glamour.” Marie Claire
“Colour blocking is one of spring’s biggest trends.” Glamour