Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Colour Blocking Trend

Colour Blocking

The 'Colour Blocking' trend has yet to have the mass appeal in South Africa as it does overseas. Essentially, colour blocking refers to wearing 'blocks' or a combination of different solid colours together in one outfit. Colours can be mixed, matched or clashed for maximum effect. It starts with effective colour blocking, which means wearing a single bold colour from head to toe. You can pair two or three contrasting colours, anything more than four is excessive. These are some inspiring colour blocking looks off the runway.

1. An Issa outfit in cerise and purple.
2. Nina Ricci pairs fluorescent pink with canary yellow.
3. At Giambattista Valli, orange and beige were put together.
4. Orange and turquoise are a vibrant combination at Prabal Gurung. 
5. Richard Nicoll merges salmon, tangerine and hot pink.
6. At Etro, a bright shade of blue was mixed with rust.
7. Orange, pink and black was shown together on the Jil Sander runway.
8. Diane von Furstenberg united purple and orange and added an orange clutch.
9. Avocado green, neon yellow and black is eye catching at Burberry Prorsum.
10. Louis Vuitton merged ruby red with deep violet and black.

How to Colour Block

To get the colour block trend right, you have to know which colours complement each other best. As fun as it sounds, you can't just pile on every colour you find in your wardrobe, you will end up looking like the human rainbow. It's good to anchor your outfit with a neutral colour like black, white, grey or beige. To find out which colours are complementary, the use of this colour wheel will help.

How to use the Colour Wheel

When colour blocking your outfits, try out these combinations:

*Analogous colours, which are any three colours lined up next to each other on the colour wheel. Example: blue, blue-violet and violet.
*Complementary colours. These are colours placed directly opposite each other on the wheel. Like red and green or yellow and violet.
*90 degree angles. Combine colours that are at a right angle with each other. Example: Orange-yellow and green or red and violet.
*T colours. These are colours that form a 'T' shape. Like yellow, purple and orange-red.
*Jewel Colours are equally rich and flatter each other, such as emerald green and ruby red.
*Keep colours in the same saturation. Pastels with pastels, neons with neons.
*Pink trick. You can substitute 'pink' for 'red' and use all the same combinations.

Now that you know how to efficiently use colour, it's time to put that eye-catching outfit together. There are two ways you can do this - the right way and the bright one. For me, the combination of too many bright colours in the wrong proportions look loud and garish. You will see the difference between the 'animated' and 'understated' below.

Camilla Belle wears a tri-colour ensemble by Gucci. Her tangerine blazer is worn over a purple top and emerald green pants. She also wears green Gucci heels. A fourth colour is introduced with the neutral gold belt.
Cheryl Cole is highly pigmented in an orange ruffle top, aqua belt and violet high waisted flare pants that are far too long.
Teresa Palmer wears a multi-coloured Versus dress, with handkerchief neckline, vertical and horizontal stripes.
Leona Lewis pairs a neon yellow bustier with a hot pink pencil skirt. I like these two colours together but this outfit is too tight and midriff baring.
Rihanna wears a cropped purple jersey with prison orange pants and gold pumps. Her red hair counts as a fourth colour, right?

Colour Do's
Demi Moore chooses an age appropriate colour block outfit. She wears red satin pants from H&M with a simple white top and long black jacket by Elize Overland.
Olivia Palermo looks so chic in a bright pink blazer, grey shirt and black leather Tibi shorts. Her olive green satin Charlotte Olympia pumps work with this look.
Nina Dobrev looks cute in a light grey and neon yellow colour block dress by Jay Godfrey.
Nicole Scherzinger stylishly clashes green and orange, with an addition of black accessories.
Cheryl Cole gets it right this time in a cream blazer, baby pink t-shirt and royal blue pants. I adore the electric blue and nude heels she wears, which are by Christian Louboutin.

If you're still a little colour shy, you can start off with a bright handbag, necklace, head band or belt. This trend is such a fun and exciting way to experiment with different colour combinations. It's up to you to interpret it according to your personal style.


Maya said...

I loooove this post!! Personally you know it would be tough for me to try colour-blocking, but you make it look sooo hot!

Sam said...

Thanks Maya. I also know that you will be able to pull it off with grace and elegance :)

Patricia said...

wonderful post :)

Sam said...

Thank You Patricia :)

kathcake said...

Always wondered what exactly coloring blocking means?? Had a vague idea! This is informative stuff... Feel like I've gained some useless fashion academics from this post and as much as I'm an 'artist' totally didn't know about the t-co ours or 90degree-co ours on the wheel. Hectic!

Sam said...

Thanks kathcake...I just recently learnt about the colour wheel myself. Hope this post has inspired you to try out the colour-blocking trend.

immy said...

i have been trying to get the correct info for the colour wheel for ages! thankyou so much! i also shared this post with a customer at work to help her out with colour blocking so a big big thankyou! wonderful post!

LaTasha Bunting said...

I LOVE this post! It's so informative! I just learned something new! I LOVE the first outfit, the Issa outfit in cerise and purple. I actually like Leona Lewis in her outfit, I think it's cute! And I like Cheryl Cole in her outfit. Sweet post hun! :)

Anonymous said...

im trying to combine a bungurdy dress and blue shoe, i hope it looks ok.....pls i need ur advice

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Naemie said...

Wow, i hve something to teach my friends.