Color blocking made a big splash on Spring '11 runways and the trend continues to spill over into summer. The idea behind color blocking is simple in theory: pair solid - yet somewhat unexpected - blocks of color with each other to make a cohesive outfit. You can either go monochromatic, pair bright colors with muted colors or contrasting and complimentary colors. Accessories like handbags, shoes and jewelry can also feature color block designs to help complete and pull together any color block outfit.
Looks from the Spring/Summer 2011 runway provide ideas on how to create your own color blocked ensembles:
Celebrities took to the trend right away, even wearing some of the runway looks right off the catwalk and onto the red carpet:
Camilla Belle in Gucci
Jennifer Lopez in Gucci
Iman in Prabal Gurung
Here are a few more examples of celebrities embracing the color block trend, showing they aren't afraid to spin the color wheel and dare to pair:
Jordin Sparks in a cut25 by Yigal Azrouel Techno Knit Tank Dress; Hailee Steinfeld in Prada; Jennifer Love Hewitt in Marc by Marc Jacobs; Emily Blunt in Roksanda Ilincic
Leona Lewis shows she's no stranger to color blocking. In fact, two of the dresses pictured are her own design! Can you tell which two?
Rihanna seems to have a natural understanding of how color blocking works.
Tips for pulling off color blocking:
- Team colors from the same family together for a cohesive look – think bright pinks with vivid fuchsias, turquoise with royal blue
- Keep warmer tones like orange and red together
- Go for a neutral-toned shoe to keep it simple
- Opposites Attract: think purples with oranges; lime green with melon or rosebud pink for a jarring, but pleasant, combination
- Work accessories into the mix. Select a contrasting shoe or handbag.
Now its time to try your hand at color blocking. You can find color blocked items from cheap to steep here. And just remember: this trend is more about attitude than the clothes. If you choose to go with it be ready for a few stares from onlookers that are either amazed at your fashion sense or your courage. Either way, happy blocking!