Mela Purdie Spring Summer 2011 Trend Inspiration: Colour Blocking

Posted Wed, 15/06/2011 - 11:17

First in my series of posts about Mela Purdie's Summer inspiration looks at one of the biggest trends in Europe for Spring Summer 2011 - Colour Blocking.

Bright and bold colour was a HUGE trend on the runways for summer and you can see in the collections of Jil Sander, Sonia Rykiel, Dianne von Furstenburg and Prada in particular strong influences which appear to have informed Mela's designs:

left to right: Prada SS11 campaign, Jil Sander SS11 (pink & blue), DVF SS11

images left to right: Prada SS11 campaign, Jil Sander SS11 (pink, blue), DVF SS11


This season Mela has introduced the Amalfi Stripe in Matte Jersey selected basics - it comes in two colour ways (orange, pink, black, white and sulphur,taupe,black,white) and is quite reminiscent of Prada's bold orange striped dress above. Mela has reinterpreted the mermaid tail skirt into a softer bell shaped silhouette in a jersey maxi. 

The maxi skirt has been incorporated into the Jersey Basics range and with the new colour palette including a hot pink Lollipop, bright Orange, vibrant blue Orient and smile inducing Sky blue you can colour block to your heart's content! I'm loving the fresh look of these bright colours pared back with a white or neutral tee as seen above for a more wearable everyday option.


I can't count how many times I am asked by customers how they can mix and match colours in their outfits, accessories and makeup. I have a Visual Arts education and colour theory was one of the first things we were taught - and I really think it is one of the most important things to know about dressing, yet not many people are familiar with it. Not only does it help you co-ordinate your outfits, you can apply it to your skin and hair tone and really start buying the colours that suit YOU. 

It would take me a year to go through colour theory in depth and teach everyone about matching hair and skin etc. so I'm just sticking to a quick explanation of basic colour theory on a wheel to inform your colour blocking experiments! (Hiring a personal image consultant can help you work out your personal colours and shapes and from what I hear is an invaluable experience.)

When looking to combine colours try using these formulae to get it right:

Choose Analogous colours: These are any 3 colours that sit next to each other on the wheel (eg. red, violet-red and violet)

Try Complementary colours: These are colours that are placed opposite each other on the wheel (eg. green & red, orange and blue)

Colours that sit at ninety degree angles to each other on the wheel will also work (eg. red and violet, blue-green & blue-violet)

Look for colours that form a T-Shape on the wheel, such as blue-green, red-orange and violet.

Other helpful colour hints:

- You can substitute Pink for Red on the colour wheel and it will work the same. 

- Try mixing pastels with brights or tame the look down with neutrals. Pare it back with white for day and black for night.

You'll find that Mela's summer palette is acutally foolproof - all of the colours complement each other so you can't go wrong! But it doesn't hurt to learn something new anyway!

Rebecca xx