I originally wrote this article for High School Pieces which you can view here
There were a lot of trends decoded on the runway this year but one of the trends which caught a lot of my attention was color block. Color block combines the use of two or more blocks of color in an ensemble. It means creating an outfit by putting areas or blocks of solid color next to each other. It can include monotone, bright, muted, contrasting, and complimentary colors. Color block, although very popular in previous decades, has now come back with a big bang this year. While last year we saw more neutral colors, this year the runway exhibited bright poppy citrus hues, teal and pink blocked by black, white and other neutrals. The trend gained momentum when Gucci, Haider Ackerman, Alexandre Herchcovitch and Bally (who teamed it up with camel) paid homage to this trend with a lot of zeal in their Spring/Summer collections.
Jill Slander Spring/Summer 2008
Gucci Spring/Summer 2011
I love how color block was not only introduced in terms of clothing, but also in shoes and accessories this year. Jade Lady Peep sling backs by Christian Louboutin, Dual Tone Bag by Fendi, and Geta sandals by Kenzo, all used color as eye candy; and it was stunning.
Jade Lady Peep sling backs by Christian Louboutin
Rehane at Will’s Lifestyle Fashion Week 2011
This year, I was able to view the Will’s Lifestyle Fashion Week in India, to cover for an online Indian magazine called Y, which provided me with my first introduction to this trend. At the show, I saw how Indian designers like Rehane and Urvashi Kaur have incorporated color block into their collections. While Rehane gave it a modern approach by including it in her short dress and shoe designs, Urvashi Kaur put color in her collection of angarkha tops with tie-and-dye.
The trick to using color block in your own wardrobe is to avoid blindly using a lot of color on your entire outfit. Although doing so works perfectly well in the runway, you should incorporate it with more neutral colors and blocking not more than two colors throughout the outfit. The trick is to add glimpses of color into your outfit in order to give it a mature approach. For example, using a bright pink clutch with an orange dress won’t work; however, using it with a black dress will make your outfit bold and chic. Using a bold color around the waist can also give a more slim illusion which can easily be acquired by wearing a bright colored front open cardigan or jacket.
The purpose of the trend is not to overdo it but to have fun with a color and experiment with it. Give it a try to find out whether you like it!