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Color-Blocking Block Party — A Summer Fashion Trend Scoop

The late Dutch painter Piet Mondrian would smile in tacit approval as he observed the prominent color-blocking trend in Spring/Summer 2011 fashion, reveling in the way designers have nodded to the principles of composition and color that he expounded as one of the main proponents of the De Stijl art movement. Though designers have gone beyond the primary colors Mondrian favored, they’ve clung to the geometric roots of his work, using color to create contrast and symmetry.

Here, you’ll find some of our favorite color-blocked pieces: retro  belted dresses, Rubik’s cube-inspired rings, two-toned handbags, draped blouses, and much more. It’s a block-buster of a round-up!
Alice + Olivia Cody Color Block Dress, $368. Available at Shop.AliceandOlivia.com

Made of 97% polyester and 3% spandex, this belted sleeveless Alice + Olivia  dress features the concentric square shapes (or, rather, the corner of a square) in alternating aqua and white hues. The length of the skirt (which hits the knee), the slim white leather belt, and the usage of light aqua all help to imbue this fridge with a flirtatious 1960s housewife vibe that’s delightfully June Cleaver-ish.
Angela Adams and Sea Bags for J.Crew Dipped Sail Bag, $198. Available at JCrew.com

With all the sailing trips, beach adventures, and pool parties scheduled for the summer, you’ll need a roomy tote that’s sturdy and preferably waterproof. Maine-bred designer Angela Adams and Sea Bags owners Beth Shiller and Hannah Kubiak joined forces to provide their water-loving consumers with just such an item. The result is the water-resistant, eco-friendly Dipped Sail bag, a white-and-orange tote fashioned out of recycled Dacron sails. Measuring 14″ in height, 14″ in width and 7″ in depth, the nautical-flavored tote features hemp handles twisted into a rope-like shape.



Miss Wax “Out the Box” Retro Ring, $96. Available at MissWax.com

Like one side of a Rubik’s cube, this handmade, 14k gold-plated square ring, which measures 2″ x 2″,  features laser-cut acrylic tile insets stacked atop and next to each other for a puzzle-like effect that epitomizes ’80s cool.


Etro Color Block Silk Dress, $925. Available at MyTheresa.com

Deep cobalt, electric blue, and ochre orange create the perfect surfer-y wave of color to usher in the summer season. This 100% silk dress is perfectly tailored to fit the major trends of the summer season — from the renewed interest in the color orange to the resurgence of color-blocking motifs. The darker blue shade framing the rounded neckline and the arm holes create a slimming effect at the bodice.


United Nude Elastic Tangle Hi in Green Mix, $235 . Available at UnitedNude.com

These forward-thinking strappy sandals feature contrasting strips of elastic in vibrant colors. Four elastic strands wraps around the ankle, then overlap at the middle of the foot, splitting into opposite directions for a crisscrossed effect. Similarly, a crisscrossed effect is created by overlapping these straps over those along the toe area.


Nissa Jewelry Triple Twist Necklace in Rose Gold, $220. Available at NissaJewelry.com

How can you apply color-blocking to a necklace? Just check out this tri-color necklace from New York City-based line Nissa Jewelry. Measuring 20.5″ in length, the twisted chain necklace is divided into three sections: one in a rose gold hue, one in a yellow gold, and one in a rhodium color.



Milly Nylon Tote, $325. Available at NeimanMarcus.com

This ode to seafaring style features a navy nylon body with strips of white running vertically along the front side of the bag and a red zipper at its center. To complete the cheeky color-blocked effect, the Milly NY tote, measuring 13″ in height and 16″ in width, features a removable red luggage tag, slim red leather piping along the sides, strips of red nylon running horizontally along the top of the rectangular tore, and red leather top handles.



Skinny Jewelry The Double Finger Candy Color Blocked Rings, $95 each. Available at SkinnyStyle.com

Each slim two-finger ring features enamel trim in turquoise, honeysuckle pink, perky orange, and crisp white along its top half, while the edges of the flat top remain golden. These double finger rings can be worn alone or stacked atop one another for a bolder look.


Mason by Michelle Mason Color Block Tee, $99. Available at Barneys.com

This unassuming, stretch jersey top features a rounded scoopneck and a contrasting, darker color along one sleeve, which itself features a coquette-ish cut-out detail.


Be & D Harley Shoulder Bag, $550. Available at BeandD.com

This adorable honeysuckle pink bag featured a top flap shaped like the back of a letter envelope, with a tan center and black trim along the perimeter. The gold-toned turn-lock closure and the slim, twisted rope golden chain strap work to add a dainty femininity to the cross-body bag.



Jonathan Saunders Bresie One-Shoulder Dress, $124. Available at TheOutnet.com

Since conquering London runways in 2003, designer Jonathan Saunders has become synonymous with color blocking. This one-shoulder jersey dress perfectly captures the Saunders spirit with a figure-hugging shape that’s modern and sleek, and contrasting triangle shapes arranged to slim, lengthen, and streamline the silhouette.




Banana Republic Color Block Market Tote, $120. Available at BananaRepublic.com

If you’re a bit too timid to go full-throttle with the color-blocking trend, this tote allows you to ease into the look, to dip your big toe into the pool before diving in, if you will. The 100% lambskin leather tote is a textured mahogany brown with a solid strip of blush pink running horizontally along the bottom of the bag.


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