With so much colour smacking you in the face for spring/summer, why not embrace it and go full on colour blocking. The trend that takes clashing colours, mixes them together and asks for you to judge the wearer. It’s about attitude and a ‘don’t care’ mentality. It’s about rebelling using the colour wheel.
WHAT: Black and white, blue and red. Some colours are meant to go together. But with this trend, complimentary colours aren’t as important as clashing them. This trend isn’t new; I remember it had a major moment only about eight years ago. The Jil Sander spring summer collection, designed by Raf Simmons is what really kicked off colour blocking in the modern era, and it was one I enthusiastically got on board with back then, but it has faded into the background since. That doesn’t mean designers haven’t been embracing clashing strong colours with one another; it’s just not been done as overtly as it used to be.
Well I for one, would like to officially announce this trend as being back again. Though barely any of the online blog posts and website articles called cololur blocking a trend; it nevertheless appeared in a heck of a lot of designers’ collections. And for a trend that wasn’t called out; it has surprisingly influenced the high street quite a bit too. This trend is best done with only two colours, preferably on other ends of the colour wheel. Complimentary colours are not going to work here; you need colours that hurt your eyeballs from staring at them too long. You need bright and bold, and a lot of attitude to wear.
WHO: Though this is not often credited as a trend by itself for spring/summer 2019, colour blocking has shown up among a lot of designers’ collections. Everyone from Prabal Gurung and Jasper Conran (with neon elements), Nicole Miller, Chromat, Escada and Sies Marjan have taken on this trend.
HOW: This look works best when you apply sharp lines, fitted tailoring and only choose two colours. It can and does look beautiful on a simple swishy dress, but for maximum impact wear a full colour outfit and accentuate the clashing second colour with only one or two items. This is not the place to go overboard on colour choice; choose contrasting colours and don’t be afraid to let that second colour tell the full story of the outfit. My final piece of advice; go for a colour that suits your skin tone. You’re going to be wearing a lot of it, so make sure it doesn’t wash you out.
“Who says you can’t wear pink and orange together?”
THE LOOK: The brand, that in my opinion tackled this trend the best was undoubtedly Zara. They have always been well-known for sharp tailoring, really good fits and heavier and thicker materials. This trend will not work with light and cheap polyesters, or some of the more fast-fashion type brands out there. You need great cuts and impeccable attention to detail, which is where Zara really shines. Their target audience is also slightly older and more inclined towards bold primary colours and good fitting clothes. So, they would definitely be more interested in this trend than the younger generation targeted by other brands. And Zara have managed to pull this trend off with their usual panache. They offer a wide collection of sharp bright suits, pussy-bow blouses in bright greens, sharp coats in yellow and pink and orange and matching bags and accessories to really pull this outfit off.
When it came to styling this outfit, I knew I had to feature a pair of flared leg trousers in a bright primary colour. For me that was the base of the outfit, and upon which everything else had to be built around. It was partly a reason that I hadn’t featured trousers in the lookbook before, and partly also because to do this trend justice, I had to step away from skirts and dresses.
I also loved that Zara made complimentary items of clothing, so you could match items. That’s how I stumbled upon this one-shoulder top made of the same fabric as the trousers. I initially wanted green to be the second clashing colour, but I’m glad I went with this bright yellow suede duster coat instead. The fabric was lovelier, and added a certain something to the outfit that a green item wouldn’t have been able to. It also meant I had a lot more choice on what type of accessories would fit with this outfit. I spotted this croc-effect mini bag, and the outfit was complete.