How to make tonal colour-blocking look easy by mixing patterns textures and shapes.
By Jyllian Park | July 3, 2015
Hair and makeup by Amber Prepchuk, models Graham Hansen and Una Filipovic, of Mode Models
For a time,“matching” had become a dirty word in fashion circles. Designers and celebrity stylists repeated that the colours in an ensemble shouldn’t be too matchy-matchy; instead, they should go together. Eye-catching mixes of complementary – and, sometimes, not so complementary – shades dominated the runway. But, like all trends, what was in is out, and the fashion world is once again embracing the simplicity of one-colour dressing.
Although the idea of monochromatic outfitting can seem devoid of visual interest, the unfussy palette creates the perfect backdrop for playing with patterns, textures, and shapes. Monochromatic colour blocking is less about head-to-toe hues, and more about creating a cohesive and timeless look.
Nothing seems more indicative of warmer weather than a white or cream outfit. While a top-to-bottom ivory ensemble can give off a regal air, the look often seems ill-advised. A great way to achieve a refined monochromatic look utilizing light neutrals is to play with different tones of creams, beiges and whites. By introducing the darker tan in the sport coat and watch, the outfit appears more polished and fashion-forward.
Black is the New Everything
Button up, $408, tank top, $204, pants $258, from DKNY; cuff, $225, from Michael Kors
Black is a go-to in every woman’s closet for a reason. It is a mainstay of every season, but it is coming out in full force this summer. The ease and simplicity of black transitions beautifully from the office to a night on the town, but this bold shade can often seem too heavy for warm-weather dressing. A great way to pull off an all-black outfit, while still looking season appropriate, isbymixing in sheer fabrics such as lace and chiffon. Lightweight garments will keep you cool during Edmonton’s hot summer weather while also adding visual interest to the darker colour palette. The key with mixing blacks, however, is to make sure that all the pieces in the garment are the same shade. This will keep your clothes from looking faded or worn.
Hugo Boss jacket, $1,095, J Brand jeans, $255, Stenstroms tie, $145, Magnanni belt, $175, from The Helm; Sand shirt, $189, Italia Independent sunglasses, $259, from Derks
Blue is a perennial favourite in men’s fashion. This classic colour can be manipulated into anything from the traditional blue jean to this summer’s bolder robin’s-egg-coloured polo shirts and chinos. Because of its versatility, an all-over blue outfit can be a great way to try out this trend without stepping too far out of your comfort zone. The key is finding a balance between the textures of your garments, as well as playing with patterns in order to create a dynamic overall look. The blend between the linen jacket, denim pants and knit tie creates just enough variation that the outfit doesn’t become overwhelming. The introduction of the small-scale print on the shirt adds personality without disrupting the monochromatic look.
Make Me Blush
Kimono, $98, dress, $68, belt, $38, ring, $88, fromWorkhall; bracelet, $135, necklace, $195, from Michael Kors
Blush has been a popular colour for several seasons now. This romantic and feminine shade is available in everything from dresses to flowing tops and trousers. Because of its light and airy feel, blush-coloured clothing is a perfect way to play with some of summer’s more ambitious silhouettes. The kimono has made a huge return this season, and this soft pink shade makes the garment appear less overwhelming on your frame. By matching the dress to the kimono and keeping the accessories neutral, the overall effect is effortless and chic.