It is no surprise that colour is one of the more important elements of fashion as it is the first thing we notice when shopping for a garment. We look for colour first, then fabric, silhouette, and finally detailing.
This spring/summer 2011 colour trends are absolutely going to be the first thing you notice on your next shopping trip with the boldest and loudest being the eye-catching colour blocking trend which has been seen sprawled all over the runways in many spring/summer collections.
Taking inspiration from the early 70s, this trend offers a vast variety of unusual combinations and variations of hues with wake you up colours of orange with purple, fuchsia with pink, blood orange with shocking reds and turquoise with royal blue.
To get the colour block effect, you will need to buy solid colour pieces that can be mixed and matched creating an outfit which combines the use of two or more blocks of colour in an ensemble ensuring that paired colours from the same family are kept together, e.g. warm tones such as orange and reds.
Piet Mondrian (1987-1944) is an excellent reference for this colour blocking design using flat hard-edged squares and rectangles using primary colours, creating exciting spatial and optical relationships. His work is a lesson in how colours and shapes create movement simply through their contrast and relationship to each other.
As colours deceive the eye, proportions in a garment can be dramatically affected by colour, so be sure to wear the right colours for your body shape as colours react with each other and to each other. For example, objects, shapes and areas of the same size can actually appear different in size if they are coloured differently. Dark, cool and dull colours make objects appear smaller than the same objects in warm, light or bright colours. If a dress is cut in bright red or black, the black version would be more slimming than red.
Colours can also convey a sense of visual weight. Warm, dark and bright colours tend to look dense or heavy, and cool, light and dull colours are visually lighter in weight. This should be considered in relation to the time of day you will be wearing a certain colour, and for what function.
In the case of a two-colour dress, visual weight will need to be considered where the bodice is one colour and the skirt another. If the colours were, for example, purple and white, the skirt would be better in purple and the top in white, because the garment will have better balance with the “heavier” purple on the bottom half and the “lighter” white on the top.
Colour blocking can also be seen in bags, shoes and jewellery, so make sure to wear a basic mono toned dress or something sublet when you’re colour blocking with these accessories.
There are many variations of this trend including the unusual combination of orange and purple by Diane von Furstenberg as worn by Jessica Alba at the CFDAs. Other designers bursting at the seams with this inspiring trend are Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Aquilano Rimondi.
Alex Perry’s launch of his “Cuban Princess” Spring/Summer 2011 collection (http://goodgollymissholley.com/2011/03/17/alex-perry-springsummer-collection-%e2%80%9ccuban-princess%e2%80%9d-lmff/) also displayed the “Perry girls” in an array of spicy and exotic blocked colours including paprika, blood orange, pepper and Caribbean aqua gowns.
Coco Chanel once said that “The best colour in the world is the one that looks good on you”, so play around with the colours to ensure that you pick the best colours suited to your skin tone. If bright hue colours are not your cup of tea, then there are also a large selection of colour blocked clothes and accessories in neutral, muted tones.
If you were a rock chick in the 70s or a biker chick in the early 80s, chances are you donned
a pair of quality leather trousers. Since that time their popularity has tapered off as other fashion trends have come and gone, however this years spring/summer 2011 fashion collections have reintroduced leather clothes stronger than ever!
This incredibly fierce and sexy trend, which is at the top of every A-lister’s wish list, is a staple which will add new dimension to your wardrobe whether you are a fan of utilitarian, minimalist or rock chick fashion.
Designed for any body type, high quality leathers are popping up repeatedly with designers managing to create a ‘less is more’ perspective of the biker look in the theme of minimalism.
Encouraging us to release our inner grunge goddess and adopt the latest leather pant trend are the collections of Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, McQueen, Preen, Givenchy, as well as Balmain and Burbury giving us their take on the leather strides.
Paired with a stylish fur coat or aviator jacket and super cute boots, this uber stylish look is for anyone who exudes confidence.
A key characteristic of popular trends is that they occur in 20 year cycles. The Milestone years to pay attention to this year will be the 70s, 50s, and 1930s.
But for the 2011 Spring/Summer collections displayed, it’s the 1970s that are due for a reinterpretation. The fully-fledged 1970s glam vibe championed by Tom Ford in the 1990s is finally back! Think of the rock hard parting 1970s rock stars and Studio 54 regulars such as the gold dust women like Bianca Jagger, Diane von Furstenberg, Diana Ross and Stevie Nicks.
For women in the 1970s, hip hugger jeans, pantsuits and hot-pants were worn with chunky platform shoes. Rachel Zoe has perfected the 70s look —part hippy chick, part disco. Rachel uses bold prints, earth tones and cultural styles which were very popular in the 1970s. Rachel shows her love for 70s fashion by wearing everything from the wooden platform shoes through to carrying the boho hippy bag.
Portman’s ambassador Abbey Lee Kershaw for the upcoming Autumn Winter 2011 campaign also shows her sporting a 70s luxurious vibe wearing beautiful prints that evoke the bohemian glamour we all think of when we read or hear about the era.
Key designers to draw 70s inspiration from are Yves Saint Laurent, Zandra Rhodes, Jean Muir, DVF (wrap dress), Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe, Cacharel, Halston, Geoffrey Beene and the Gucci by Gucci 2008 advertisement directed by David Lynch.