All bright now: Winter, be gone!
Fashion editor Bairbre Power works blocks of colour for a vibrant wardrobe
Winter, be gone! There's nothing more delicious than waving goodbye to blacks and embracing paintbox primaries and eye-popping neon brights. This season, the catwalk kings have explored head-to-toe colour blocking.
No one does it better than Gucci, who have paired off jewel colours to sensational effect -- regal purples with zesty oranges, exotic teal with warming coral, bitter lemon with fiery tangerine. It's the sweet and sour concept from the kitchen, moved to your wardrobe.
Nervous, colour-blocking virgins can adopt a sensible approach à la Jil Sander and work single citrus shades with a white tee or with a simple clutch or sandals.
You may feel like a scared swimmer at first, shimmying along the edge, reaching out for a reassuring touch of the bar. But, once you build up confidence with a white tee or gentle accessories as a touchstone, you can then try working vibrant, contrasting bottoms.
The world's your oyster with designer-style looks coming through in strong colours on the high street. From River Island to M&S, Hobbs to House of Fraser, you will find acidic, fluorescent colours alongside the more sophisticated jewel shades, which deliver lots of that glam disco technicolour associated with 1970s nostalgia.
Moving beyond the basic north-south options, start exploring colour families and the more they jar and clash, the better! If the clothes are bright, you can keep the shoes neutral. This week, we are in shoe heaven -- take a look at our accessories on page 29 for the best of the wedges this season.
Make-up fiends can go for red cupid lips and matching nails, which will sing against a cobalt-blue dress or a yellow shift dress such as this gorgeous, affordable one from Topshop (above right), which comes in at a pleasing €68, and it has SLEEVES!
An ideal weight for mid-season when the weather can't make up its mind, the dress comes from the New Constellations collection at Topshop.
Those of you who want to park the nude and blush hues from the ballerina palette can explore jarring combinations -- try an instant citrus splash by working yellow against orange. That's too strong for my colouring, but I rather fancy the uplifting shade of coral that Marc Jacobs rocked in his spring/summer 2011 collection for Louis Vuitton.
The upside to all this colour blocking is that you are not only working a key trend, these colours also lift your mood.
Michael Kors did a wonderful yellow shift dress and after initial reservations, Irish shoppers are taking to tangerine, the colour of the season. Purple and turquoise are high on my shopping list, with emerald green for special occasions. My colour-blocking crush starts with the KG pink, red and orange suede wedges from Kurt Geiger. For height and comfort, I prefer wedges over high heels and my shoe favourites this week were the black leather and cork Acne wedges at Brown Thomas.
If you are hunting for presents, Lucas Jack jewellery continues to pull in the crowds at Chica in Dublin's Westbury Mall and at House of Fraser in Dundrum.