Elements of design are so vast and varied, but to be inspired to create is to understand trends. This month’s topic is projected on a fashion trend known as “Colour Blocking.”
Colour Blocking is the combination of opposite colours on the colour wheel to create exceptional contrasts. Many a designer would create clothes from different hues of the same colour and compliment them with variants of primary colours.
This is your colour wheel and these are the rules that guide colour blocking:
1. Identify colour types like primary, secondary, complementary, monochromatic and analogous colours.
2. Mix bright and dark colours.
3. Don’t mix more than 3 to 5 colours.
4. Identify layering patterns either horizontal or vertical.
5. Most importantly, have fun, mix and match and experiment like there is no tommorow!
Setting contrasting colours on the same palate of a dress design was a high trend in the ’60s. This beautiful trend was inspired by a Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian. His art works followed the style of painting called “Neo-Plasticism” which is centred on valued simplicity. Other artists who were influenced by Mondrian were Georges Seurat and Claude Monet. These paintings inspired a fashion rave in the ’60s America when Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) created the Mondrian Dress. It extended to London where the Mondrian dress became a staple in the UK created “Mod Fashion” where designer labels like Biba and fashion models like Twiggy and fashion icons like Mary Quant ruled the ’60s fashion scene.
Here are picture representations of African Colour Block Fashion that a lot of you will recognise. As social beings, we are influenced and inspirations can come from across cultures all the way to the intricate beauty of nature.
Colour block fashion is part of a trend revival today called “Retro”. It is also a great way of accentuating different body shapes to look less bulky, taller, thinner and even give a smarter look.
So, let’s go RETRO everyone! Enjoy. I did.