Monday, December 12, 2011

Maryl tackles: Color Blocking, Another Fall/Winter Fashion Trend

As we move further into the Fall/Winter season, I’ve been noticing another fashion trend that is bold and eye-catching and yet easy to pull off. It’s referred to as color blocking. Actually there’s two looks I’ve been coveting; the other is pattern-mixing. It intrigues me and it can work with the right patterns but takes a lot of time and practice. If your ensemble hasn’t been thought out beforehand, it could be too much to subject yourself to if you dress on the go as I do. (Although I thought I was successful teaming up a floral blouse with a brown pinstripe pant but that’s as far as I got.) 

Pattern Mixing
Yves Saint Laurent & Costume National

Back to color blocking, which is much more effortless and a relief from the total black silhouette that has predominated the fashion scene for so long. It simply means the wearing of three or more clothing and/or accessory items of separate and different solid colors at one time. I believe it’s creative source was Piet Mondrian’s abstract paintings of colored squares, rectangles and thick black lines. Yves Saint Laurent used these as inspiration for his 1965 Mondrian day dress. There’s been a few designers this season mimicking that look as well. And J Crew has been long known for its unusual mixing of colors with its latest catalog and web site chock full of these chromatic ideas. 


J Crew

A dress, jacket or sweater may be a design of two or more colors itself making color blocking easy to pull off. I remember I once made a dress where the sleeves, bodice and skirt were each a different hue. (I was so ahead of my time!!) But if you want to really dive into the trend, you can start off easy by choosing from a family of analogous colors (per the color wheel) or by simply introducing a third color with an accessory like a belt or handbag, a bold piece of jewelry or even hosiery. I recently wore burgundy tights with my teal dress and carried a purple handbag. A teal skirt with a navy blouse and sweater coat was so easy I added a red purse. I was so comfortable with that the next time I swapped out the navy blouse for a salmon colored one. I feel I’m on my way now. 

My Color Blocking

Give it a try. It’s actually fun and an easy way to be a trend setter and look like you know what you’re doing on the fashion front. Start with accessories first and then analogous colors. Be brave and move to complimentary colors. Mix some orange with blue, some green with red and no black or white please. They’re not colors!

Color Wheel

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