Wednesday 7 December 2016

Colour Blocking: The bright choice

Published 21/05/2011 | 05:00

Chiffon dress, €49.95,
USCO; clutch, €55.95
Chiffon dress, €49.95, USCO; clutch, €55.95
Dress with print, €159, Marella ; bag, €69.95
Forget Me Not dress, €127, Monsoon
Floral dress, €179.95, Damsel in a Dress; bag, €75.95

I was hopeless at maths in school. Poor Sister Liz -- I didn't get geometry at all, but it's funny how things make total sense when they move to a different plane and the old left-brain/right-brain function kicks in when you are working with frocks rather than boring mathematical formulas.

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This summer, I'm totally into geometrical shapes. Colour blocking is brilliant if you are dressing in a hurry in the mornings and crave pick-up-and-go looks that work day into night.

You don't have to be Einstein to appreciate that colour blocking is down to basic addition and subtraction; top and bottom. It's as easy as ABC and don't let anyone whisper in your ear about colour clashing, because that's part of the liberation -- escaping from our winter affair with black, navy and brown.

Heading into June, our palette is a virtual rainbow of colour opportunities, studded with neon accents and uplifting couplings of pink and turquoise, tangerine and blue, zesty lemons and limes.

Crisp white in cotton and linen is a traditional holiday-time favourite, easily worked into a nautical story or given the Hampton's polish with tan accessories. This year, I'm reaching more for cream as a neutral, with my colour added in on the side ... a bit like my good-girl approach to salads and dressings.

I was particularly chuffed when I discovered this honey of a cream dress (left), so pretty with its full skirt and cinched-in waist. This €65.95 dress from Fever offers the perfect blank canvas on which to work magic with colour, and don't be cautious because colour is the perfect recessionary tool for achieving wardrobe drama when you cannot afford big blow-outs.

Speaking of recessionary chic, I found a crop of keenly priced new labels at Pamela Scott in Dundrum Town Centre, great Sixties and Seventies retro-feel looks for budget-conscious buyers.

Recanting my earlier concerns about the colour orange and Celtic complexions, I have stepped on to that Road to Damascus (in colourful heels, but of course) and now I love tangerine, especially when coupled with turquoise. I went into overkill with turquoise, wearing it constantly on the 'Afternoon Show', but after a break in the colour romance, I'm back loving those jade tones.

Turquoise is a gem of a colour, because it works with everything, especially a tan, and it is a hard-working choice for summer bags and heels. It's a good place to start if you are worried about neons and bold sorbet shades.

But back to orange. The fab Sixties-style dress from our double-D shoot (snapper Daniel and model Danielle) comes in at under €50 and you will find it at Pamela Scott's 23 stores around the country. If you are reluctant to leave the beach, you can order it online from your sand-covered phone (www.pame lascott.ie). The turquoise bag, by the way, is €79.99 but bargain of the week has to be the shocking-pink chiffon dress from the USCO label for €49.95.

I have an insatiable appetite for discovering new labels and my latest find is Damsel in a Dress, a new label to Pamela Scott. I adore it because it's nostalgic vintage fused with catwalk modernity and the styles have a timeless quality. The Lily Diva silk, floral-print dress comes in a pleasing fuchsia pink and soft-grey combo, and prices start from €179 and run to €209.

Yes, I definitely think our fashion formula for summer should be lots of Little Pink Dresses (LPD) and Little Orange Dresses (LOD). We'll park the LBD. For now.

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