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Fashion Weeks 2011: The Future Of Color

Fashion Weeks 2011: The Future Of Color

October 6th, 2010
Posted in Fashion By
  • Hello, color fans. After taking the color-temperature of <a rel="nofollow">New York’s Fashion Week</a> over at <a rel="nofollow">Imprint</a>, we decided to dip back into color as 2011 fashion debuts march across the globe: from London to Milan and finally Paris. Here are the hues of the moment.
    Hello, color fans. After taking the color-temperature of New York’s Fashion Week over at Imprint, we decided to dip back into color as 2011 fashion debuts march across the globe: from London to Milan and finally Paris. Here are the hues of the moment.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • <strong>SUPER-PALE WITH POP</strong>First (and most deliciously, to my mind) is a preponderance of super-pale shades with a calculated pop of vivid color. I practically had my big wooden spoon out, better to gobble up the tasty delicacies of <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/shop/all/b1733-jonathan-saunders">Jonathan Saunders</a>’ collection in London. Saunders also offered a whiff of another refreshing color-combo: B&W matched with highlighter-bright pastels.
    SUPER-PALE WITH POP
    First (and most deliciously, to my mind) is a preponderance of super-pale shades with a calculated pop of vivid color. I practically had my big wooden spoon out, better to gobble up the tasty delicacies of Jonathan Saunders’ collection in London. Saunders also offered a whiff of another refreshing color-combo: B&W matched with highlighter-bright pastels.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • <strong>SKY BLUE AS A NEUTRAL</strong>Sky blue also crept up as its own fetching neutral. Every color-watcher knows blue is fast superseding green as the eco-color, and the blue-as-neutral fashion trend plays into the idea of nature’s baseline. Not only does blue allude to ice (from a rapidly melting glacier?), it also signals sky, oxygen, and clear, cold, running water. Pale blues are particularly handsome paired with a warm khaki, as in the tunic ensemble below by <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/news/8309/the-british-are-coming-10-designers-across-the-pond-you-should-already-know">Peter Pilotto</a>, from London. Also in London, <a>Matthew Williamson</a> paired sky-blue with olive-green and canary yellow for a brighter, although still discreetly balanced, contrast. Sky-blue also peeked out from the frothy, very civilized excesses in John Galliano’s Paris show.
    SKY BLUE AS A NEUTRAL
    Sky blue also crept up as its own fetching neutral. Every color-watcher knows blue is fast superseding green as the eco-color, and the blue-as-neutral fashion trend plays into the idea of nature’s baseline. Not only does blue allude to ice (from a rapidly melting glacier?), it also signals sky, oxygen, and clear, cold, running water. Pale blues are particularly handsome paired with a warm khaki, as in the tunic ensemble below by Peter Pilotto, from London. Also in London, Matthew Williamson paired sky-blue with olive-green and canary yellow for a brighter, although still discreetly balanced, contrast. Sky-blue also peeked out from the frothy, very civilized excesses in John Galliano’s Paris show.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • In their Milan collection, <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/shop/all/b1133-dsquared2">Dsquared2</a> tried a squirt of minty-green for a similar injection of freshness.
    In their Milan collection, Dsquared2 tried a squirt of minty-green for a similar injection of freshness.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • <strong>MADLY COLORFUL SKINNY BELTS</strong>A word on shapes as they relate to color: ain’t nothing quite like a finger-skinny belt in a super-hot color this season. They’re almost too numerously snaky to count, but MaxMara in Milan was a particular fan, as was Burberry. Here’s a slice of silvery blue, girdling an iconic <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/news/9384/burberry-spring-2011-livestream-click-here-to-take-your-front-row-seat">Burberry</a> khaki in London.
    MADLY COLORFUL SKINNY BELTS
    A word on shapes as they relate to color: ain’t nothing quite like a finger-skinny belt in a super-hot color this season. They’re almost too numerously snaky to count, but MaxMara in Milan was a particular fan, as was Burberry. Here’s a slice of silvery blue, girdling an iconic Burberry khaki in London.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • <strong>PATTERNS AS COLOR FIELDS</strong>Busy patterns got a thorough airing - or, you might say, a full-bore gasping. Paul Smith paired some high-volume patterns with shiny fabrics in London, while in Milan Aquilano.Rimondi was digging a 1960s gingham-style, rather Holly Hobby-ish tripping on a half-lid. Keeping up the wily patchwork theme, but a bit more wearably was <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/news/9379/the-best-of-london-fashion-week-from-top-editors-christopher-kane-erdem-and-more#1">Erdem</a> in London.
    PATTERNS AS COLOR FIELDS
    Busy patterns got a thorough airing - or, you might say, a full-bore gasping. Paul Smith paired some high-volume patterns with shiny fabrics in London, while in Milan Aquilano.Rimondi was digging a 1960s gingham-style, rather Holly Hobby-ish tripping on a half-lid. Keeping up the wily patchwork theme, but a bit more wearably was Erdem in London.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • Also nice in the zanily-innovative-patterns category, is this marriage of crazy-quilt with electric-orange piping from <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/news/9510/spring-2011-trends-sheer-skirts-at-fashion-week#1">Christopher Kane’s collection</a> in London.
    Also nice in the zanily-innovative-patterns category, is this marriage of crazy-quilt with electric-orange piping from Christopher Kane’s collection in London.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • Alexander McQueen’s Paris collection pushed things even further, mixing ornate carpet-style patterns with unusual shapes and folds.
    Alexander McQueen’s Paris collection pushed things even further, mixing ornate carpet-style patterns with unusual shapes and folds.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • Sometimes the most classic patterns are the best way to go bolder. In Milan, Versus played with clashing <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/trends/152/plaid-passion">plaids</a>, tiny gingham-style prints, and color-blocking outlined with a black Sharpie. Also in Milan, Jil Sanders’ fat, utterly clean B&W stripes were a clear, booming shout in an otherwise crowded theater. <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/news/9466/bottega-veneta-fw-2010-runway-inspired-night-out-look">Bottega Veneta</a> did gray diamonds on white, in a structured look reminiscent of crisp, wadded wrapping-paper. Gianfranco Ferre used wide black ribbons as an integral element in his ballgowns. Even though they were showing in Milan, Dolce & Gabbana’s collection feasted en plein air in French picnic-style, with copious cabbage roses and red tablecloth checks. <em>Pictured: Valentino, Paris.</em>
    Sometimes the most classic patterns are the best way to go bolder. In Milan, Versus played with clashing plaids, tiny gingham-style prints, and color-blocking outlined with a black Sharpie. Also in Milan, Jil Sanders’ fat, utterly clean B&W stripes were a clear, booming shout in an otherwise crowded theater. Bottega Veneta did gray diamonds on white, in a structured look reminiscent of crisp, wadded wrapping-paper. Gianfranco Ferre used wide black ribbons as an integral element in his ballgowns. Even though they were showing in Milan, Dolce & Gabbana’s collection feasted en plein air in French picnic-style, with copious cabbage roses and red tablecloth checks. Pictured: Valentino, Paris.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group
  • Quite a few designers morphed a classic pattern to either gigantic or miniature size: Junya Watanabe’s Paris collection, to name just one, featured almost exclusively B&W boat stripes at various unlikely magnitudes. Balenciaga dialed up <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/shop/product/71238/arizona-arizona-houndstooth-trapper-hat">houndstooth</a> to oversize in Paris, while <a href="http://www.stylecaster.com/news/7974/leighton-meester-wears-giambattista-valli-for-date-night-nyc-premiere">Giambattista Valli</a> pixelated checks. Moschino’s Milan show stuck to tried-and-true color palettes: red, white and blue with a twist (pictured; Christmas on the Fourth of July is a fad among graphic designers, too) and bumblebee-yellow with B&W. The latter two felt thrillingly busy - without tipping over into disjointed, sad, babblingly busy.
    Quite a few designers morphed a classic pattern to either gigantic or miniature size: Junya Watanabe’s Paris collection, to name just one, featured almost exclusively B&W boat stripes at various unlikely magnitudes. Balenciaga dialed up houndstooth to oversize in Paris, while Giambattista Valli pixelated checks. Moschino’s Milan show stuck to tried-and-true color palettes: red, white and blue with a twist (pictured; Christmas on the Fourth of July is a fad among graphic designers, too) and bumblebee-yellow with B&W. The latter two felt thrillingly busy - without tipping over into disjointed, sad, babblingly busy.
    Photo: StyleCaster Media Group

Scroll through the slide show for a comprehensive color report from the fashion weeks of Spring 2011.

Jude Stewart is a PRINT contributing editor. She has written on design and culture for Slate, Fast Company, The Believer, I.D., Metropolis and GOOD, as well as a column on color for STEP Inside Design. She also tweets about color at @joodstew.

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