Garfene Grandison, Gleaner Writer
Colour blocking has made a strong comeback ever since the Spring/Summer collections of Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, back in 2009. It is now a fashion mainstay for both menswear and womenswear.
How does the fashion concept of colour blocking work? One thing's for sure, it isn't the rainbow combination that some persons have been wearing all season. In fact, it is combining two or more solid blocks of colour to create an ensemble incorporating warm, cool, or complementary colours in a mix of bright or muted tones.
It is as the word says, putting blocks of colours next to each other to create a colourful, bright, dazzling outfit. Pick two to three interesting colours that look fabulous together, like purple and burnt orange, or turquoise and yellow, or sky blue and chilli red, etc.
The trend has gone through an evolution and has found its way into women's cosmetics, jewellery accessories and even footwear, but let's save that for another issue.
Call this summer the season of colour for men as well. A mix of vibrant colours and pastels are showing up in everything from men's trousers and shorts, socks, ties, belts, bags, and boat shoes to loafers.
For great ideas on the season's mens colour-blocking trends, browse through the men's spring/summer 2011 Collections of Calvin Klein, Prada, DSquared2, Tommy Hilfiger, and Gucci.
Unlike the women, pairing dramatic colours together may prove challenging for us men, so here is a brief lesson to help you out:
Stick to either of the two approaches below and your style points will skyrocket.
Colour range approach
The simplest approach is selecting your colour mix from one of two colour ranges. Choose from either a warm colour palette (such as red, orange, yellow) or a cool colour palette (like green, blue, violet) when pulling together an outfit. Throwing in some neutral colours such as whites, blacks, and greys will compliment either colour range. The benefits of neutrals are two-fold. First, they aid in grounding brighter colours for an overall aesthetically pleasing appeal. Second, neutral colours work wonders to remove attention from body parts that you wish to downplay. Big and tall men who wish to partake in colour blocking might consider topping off their colour block look with a neutral blazer or sports coat for a less mammoth, but still edgy effect.
Complementary/contrasting colour approach
Complementary colours are those colours that are opposite on the colour wheel that always go well with each other, giving a harmonious look to your outfit. Red and green, yellow and violet, blue and orange, are the three simple pairs of complementary colours that will always work. Try pairing yellows with blues or yellows with violets/fuchsias for a cool look as well.
Colour blocking can add interest and fun to any wardrobe. Understanding colour and how to use the right ones to your advantage is a sure way to get you noticed for all the right reasons. So let's get to it gents … make that bold statement that the women love!
Models: Jordane Delahaye
Clothing provided by: Enigma
Shop 14, Mall Plaza
20 Constant Spring Road
Shoes provided by: Ignite
Shop #4, Village Plaza
24 Constant Spring Road
Photographer: Gladstone Taylor