Color blocking is a design element that features simple – often geometric shapes of color in combination with more neutral colors and patterns. It’s an element seen in many areas of modern art. For instance the
paintings of the Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian, feature some of the most famous examples of color blocking in the modern world with his “Composition” pieces.
In fact, Mondrian’s style of color blocking became immortalized in the realm of pop culture on the television show, “The Partridge Family”. Their touring bus was painted in a Mondrian style. Yet, the color blocking
generally seen today can differ greatly. In more current fashions, color blocking may be an integrated aspect of the design of the fabric/garment itself, or can refer to the style created by using predominantly
neutral base garments in company with a single item of a contrasting – although flattering – color.
Examples of Color Blocking
As you can see in the accompanying illustrations, the inclusion of color blocking in the design of a garment has a bold impact visually, while the concept of color blocking in the creation of a style can be useful in
coping with any number of unflattering traits. For example, a simple black ensemble of shift, jackets and trousers, when paired with a folded rectangular scarf draped over one shoulder and pinned into place creates a
classic “color blocking” look that is slimming and can look truly elegant.
Other styling options involve partially open blouses with a shell of a contrasting color inside revealed as a triangle of color, or a simple pencil skirt of a bold color paired with a neutral turtleneck and leggings in
the same shade.
The essence of the color blocking concept is that the colors are limited in their presence in the look. As opposed to a patterned fabric where one or more colors are spread throughout the look, color blocking typically
has its colors in well-defined segments. Whether incorporated into a design, or constructed by the use of varied items of apparel, the color elements of color blocking are kept in balance and used for their simple design
strengths rather than in more over-the-top ways.
Color Blocking in Hair Coloring
The element of color blocking has been translated into hair color techniques as well, with flattering results. There are a number of ways in which color blocking techniques translate to the hair. In a sense, chunky
highlighting or lowlighting would classify as color blocking, although most of the traditional color blocking looks don’t have multiple areas of the same color. Here’s a look at the best ways to incorporate color
blocking into your hair style.
One such technique is the “peek-a-boo” panel technique, which features an accent color applied to a wide panel on an interior layer of the hair. The end result is that as the hair moves, the color is revealed in
flashes and perhaps odd shapes. Often the hair may be styled into up-dos and such which reveal the color panel as a bold accent to the style.