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Hot Trend Alert: Colour Blocking

Ladies (and metrosexual gentlemen) it’s time to review your wardrobes and incorporate the newest fashion trend: colour blocking! Colour block fashion is one of the hottest new trends. It combines the use of two or more blocks of colour in an ensemble. This could be for a top, bottom, tunic, a dress and even a handbag or shoes. Simply it means – creating an outfit by putting areas or blocks of solid colour next to each other. The main idea is combining different colours that support and compliment each other.

Most African women are afraid of bright colours, either because they are worried that they won’t be figure flattering, they won’t work with their complexion, or that they won’t be age appropriate. Some women do wear one bright colour that complements their eye color or skin tone, but many are afraid to wear more than one. If you don’t know where to start, allow me to take you back to your basic art class in primary school where you first heard of the colour wheel:

The colour wheel explains how colours evolve and some colours organically  pair well with each other. First we have primary colours: red, yellow and blue. Mixing these colours in different combinations creates your secondary colours: green, purple, and orange. Lastly, your tertiary colours result from further mixing. Some colours innately pair well together. Analogous colours are three colours lined up on the color wheel. Complementary colours are directly opposite one another on the wheel.

The most popular theory for combining colours is called the rule of two-thirds. How you achieve the rule of two-thirds starts by making an equilateral triangle (a triangle with 3 equal sides) on the colour wheel. In it’s most basic form, the points at the ends of this triangle will be touching either red-blue-yellow or orange-green-purple. From there, you pick two of the three colours that the triangle touches. These colours will almost always harmonize together beautifully.

When colour blocking with 3 colours, my recommendation is to use 2 colours from the triangle you made earlier and combine that with a 3rd colour outside of it. For example, something like red-yellow-green or orange-green-blue works fine, you would just need to change the hue of one of the complimentary colours so you don’t end up with a clash. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can start out by trying 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.

It’s best to leave your accessories in neutral colours. Colour blocking speaks volumes as it is, pairing this look with coloured accessories will throw the entire look off.

Colour blocking is also a great way to hide the flaws in your body. A darker column of colour down the torso will have a slimming effect and can easily be created by wearing a coloured cardigan, jacket or blouse worn open. Generally a colour blocked outfit will work best if you stick to the usual rules for your body shape. If you are pear shaped, opt for darker colours on the bottom half. If you are apple shaped avoid horizontal blocks of colour around the stomach area but highlight legs with colour blocks created by brightly coloured tights. If you are hourglass, a colour block around the waist is a great way of highlighting it and drawing attention to you womanly figure.

Don’t be shy to experiment. Any colour combination is fantastic if you can pull it off properly. Blue, green and orange sounds mad but will look very very pretty. If you’re still a little colour shy, you can start off with a bright handbag, necklace, head band or belt.

However, do not combine more than three to four colours. It’s not that it doesn’t look nice, but you may end up looking like a clown. Moreover more colours will keep cutting your body shape here and there making it a not so beautiful sight.

Choose what you want to colour block and keep the rest of your look simple. For example, if you opt for a colour blocked bag, go easy on the clothes and shoes. You don’t want to look like a Rubik cube, do you? And never ever ever combine two colour blocked items. That is the worst thing to do to this trend. You will just end up looking confused. Check out pics of a few celebs who’ve nailed colour blocking:

Colour blocking is not limited to just clothing. You can colour block your shoes, bags, jewelry, makeup and even hair:

1.Fendi Colour Block Patent Platform 2. Charlotte Olympia Colorblock Satin Pump 3. Brian Atwood Claudette 4. Giuseppe Zanotti Colour block peep toe sandals 5. Pierre Hardy Color Block Wedge Sandals 6. Miu Miu Buckled Three-Tone D’Orsay 7. Yves St Laurent

1. Chloe Transitions Color Block Bag 2. Marc by Marc Jacobs Color-Block Bag 3. Vivienne Westwood Color Block Bag 4. Versace Block-Color Python Bag 5. Fendi The Color Block Bag 6. Lady Dior

However you choose to block your colours, always have fun doing it 🙂


4 responses

  1. lollittah!


    July 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

  2. dupe

    Glam and inspiring! I love…

    July 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm

  3. onyii

    really cool,always a fan of colour blocking

    July 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

  4. looooove it absolutely amazing

    October 12, 2012 at 2:06 am

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