No matter if the sun is being a little shy this spring, the fashion gods have just the brightening tonic.
From canary yellow, shocking pink and zingy tangerine to neons, if you dare, colour blocking is the craze that’s sending shop floors into rainbow bright territory.
Forget the nudes, neutrals and bland shades of winter, the technique of clashing bright separates together is this season’s biggest colour craze.
Catwalks were awash with bold hues, from sumptuous jewel tones at Gucci through to garish neons at Christopher Kane.
There were top-to-toe colour splashes at Lanvin and Miu Miu, plus mix ‘n’ match shades at Jil Sander and Diane Von Furstenberg.
Designer Roksanda Illinic said: “I think the move towards bright colour is a natural reaction to the predominance of neutral colours we have seen for a while.”
So ditch your dark side and lighten up this spring with a riot of dazzling colour...
Blinkered towards super-safe black? Open your eyes to just how flattering colour can be.
“Through clever combinations the right colours can give the impression of a slimmer you,” reveals Colour Me Beautiful’s Veronique Henderson.
As a general rule, wear darker colours on your problem zones and place brighter punchy shades on your best assets as a distraction method.
One colour from head to toe also gives the illusion of height, if you’re lacking in the ‘feet and inches’ department.
Start off the easy way by choosing a piece in one vibrant shade, such as a dress. As your style bravery soars, introduce accessories in different block colours such as a bag or shoes.
Before you know it, you’ll be positively addicted to colour.
If your experimental side is itching to get ‘colour blocking’, you can expect endless wardrobe choices – and compliments.
Henderson says: “Careful consideration of how you put colours together will not only help to make you look slimmer, but create a workable wardrobe of fewer clothes with more wearable combinations.”
The simplest way to work brights this season is via a shirt in one bold colour. Stay safe by teaming with a wearable neutral skirt or trousers, or be playful and contrast with a contrasting colour separate for a trend-led look.
If the thought of colour combining seems like hard work, look for a statement piece that does all the blocking for you, mixing together bold panels of all your favourite shades.
Those who are already self-confessed colour magpies will need to ‘up the ante’ to stand out from the crowd.
Brace yourself – the colour palette of choice for anti-wallflowers is neon.
“Fluoro colour has traditionally been associated with street fashion and the youth market,” explains Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers. “But this season fluoro grew up, from the vivid laser-cut leather at Christopher Kane to the feminine brights at Proenza Schouler.”
The key to working super-brights is clean, elegant cuts that will stop you looking like an overgrown teenager.
Turn heads with a full-on neon ensemble or simply introduce shots of eye-popping colour with accessories.
If you want to go somewhere in between, look for an easy-wear staple like a top that will add instant punch to any outfit.
Tempted to add an injection of colour to your wardrobe? Veronique Henderson from Colour Me Beautiful has this advice on the summery shades to be seen in:
BEAUTIFUL BLUES: A safe colour most people enjoy wearing. It’s also known to have calming effects on the wearer.
RADIANT REDS: Reds are wonderfully energising colours - a red raincoat is a great addition to cheer up a dull day.
SUBLIME CITRUS: These are sunshine colours; if they don’t work with your colouring, try lighter greens to achieve the same effect.
SEA GREENS: Warm greens have a yellow undertone while cool greens tend to be more blue. These tropical shades like aqua and turquoises lift any neutrals.
PRETTY PINKS: Every woman needs feminine pinks in her wardrobe but getting the right shade is essential to avoid looking too girly.