Color Code

Color Code
Wednesday, September, 07, 2011 Fall color palettes tend to err on the sober side--black, charcoal, chocolate brown--but things are looking a bit zippier this year. Don't worry, it won't be all neon, all season long, but we did spot a number of surprisingly bright, color-blocked pieces on the autumn runways and frankly, we adore this look! Unlike spring's insanely bright outfits and boldly striped separates, this trend calls for deeper, richer colors and feels a bit more sophisticated. Whether it's a marigold and lemon crewneck at Celine or a bordeaux and denim-blue jacket at Marc by Marc Jacobs, one thing's for sure: we'll be following this Color Code until well into winter!

To give you a sense of how this new interpretation of color blocking was shown on the runways, we present the following four examples: Celine, Chloe, Fendi, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. At Celine, the trend was presented via a key piece for fall--the graphic crewneck--specifically, the Baby Camel Graphic Cashmere and Polyester Sweater ($1400, 310.274.8800), which was paired with Black Wool Felt Large Straight Pants ($2200, 310.274.8800), Black Wool Felt Large Straight Pants ($2200, 310.274.8800), and a very chic Black Folio iPad Organizer ($1,050, 310.274.8800). The same was true at Chloe, where designer Hannah MacGibbon showed a Color-Block Wool Sweater ($1515) with Lambskin Baggy Trousers (price upon request, 323.602.0000) as part of her final collection for the French fashion house. We love the deep neutral hues of said sweater and how the single mint-colored panel enlivens the whole piece. Outerwear is another way of dipping into this trend, as seen at Fendi, via the label's Wool Colorblock Coat ($3070, 212.759.4646) with its red and yellow patches, as well as Marc by Marc Jacobs' Prairie Indigo Multi Babylon Blanket Jacket ($628). Both options are certain to brighten up a gloomy autumn afternoon without being too riotously colorful, which is exactly what you want, isn't it?

The Color Code look works quite nicely in real life too, and can be dialed up or down depending on your personal taste and the time of year, as Solange Knowles demonstrated last month at a party celebrating Anna Dello Russo's guest-editor-at-large appointment for International Concept at Macy's. The well-dressed musician paired INC's Three Quarter Sleeve Colorblock Sweater ($45) and mustard yellow, cropped trousers from J. Crew for the late summer party, and the result is dazzling. Of course, while we love the ambitious mix of colors, it's certainly not necessary. If you're a bit less adventurous, you could always pair said top with a quieter choice, like black pants.

If you're ready to incorporate this runway look in your everyday wardrobe, we have found a few pieces to help you along your merry way. If you're dying for a sweater version, we approve of INC's Long Sleeve Colorblock Sweater ($69.50), Topshop's Knitted Chevron Jumper ($76) and See By Chloe's Mohair Colorblock Sweater ($295). We also like Rag & Bone's Fulton Sweater ($275) for a brighter choice and Jason Wu's Quillan Colorblock Sweater ($530) as an investment piece. As for clothes, DKNY makes a couple of stylish options, including the Colorblock Pleat Detail Dress ($345) and the System Dress with Color Block Skirt ($325). Last, but not least, we're also quite fond of Topshop's Colour Block Pleat Skirt ($75) and BCBGMaxAzria's The Nouveau Pleated Skirt ($348), which are all kinds of lovely!

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