Colours clash together

designer clothes

Colour was a strong feature of the designer catwalk shows for spring/summer, back in September and October, and has emerged as one of the major fashion stories for the new season. But this trend is no mere fashion-fix to freshen up your wardrobe with an accent shade, in the way you might, for example, clasp a red belt around a Little Black Dress, wear purple tights with black, stack-heel platforms, or buy a pink shirt to lift a workaday, navy trouser-suit.

This is about lightning bolts of colour: shocking pink, flaming orange, neon-lime, fiery red, fluorescent violet and electric blue. And, what is more, the idea is to wear several of them together. Clashing colour is the name of fashion's rainbow game and the aim is to make the contrast as sharp and bright as possible.

Orange and pink are two of the favourite combinations. Sinha Stanic worked these tequila sunrise shades in silk-shantung trouser suits in their catwalk show, offsetting a fuchsia jacket with orange cigarette pants or a sleeveless top over skinny trousers in the opposite colour scheme.

Antonio Berardi ran a ruffle of hot pink down one side of a tangerine bustier dress, and Nathan Jenden swirled the two together for a flounced halter-neck. Richard Nicoll added further spice with crimson, mango and beige.

At Dior, John Galliano juxtaposed daffodil-yellow with gladioli-orange, and fuchsia with scarlet, while Jonathan Saunders opted for bright lemon with cornflower-blue, a combination also seen on Hussein Chalayan's catwalk.

Josh Goot, the Australian designer, made his London Fashion Week debut with a collection that was a brilliant mix of jersey separates in emerald, orange and coral, turquoise, mustard and celadon, or else featured all the colours for psychedelic-print tunics and T-dresses.

Alber Elbaz, the colour wizard, who reigns supreme at Lanvin, blended differing tones of the same colour, with evening separates in cobalt and navy, emerald and jade or ginger and brick-red.

The clash-flash trend has been quick to catch on. Mischa Barton has already worked the Dior oranges-and-lemons duo. Alexander Wang's body-con, strapless dress, which bisects the body in wide bands of sky-blue, turquoise and black, is a celebrity must-have. Meanwhile, one of's bestsellers is Diane Von Furstenberg's cotton "Lab Coat" in red, white, turquoise, pink and black stripes.

If you're ready to play the colour-clash game, just remember – anything goes.


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