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Image / Fashion

How Victoria Beckham sparked my colour-blocking obsession


by Marie Kelly
31st Oct 2018
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I have a fashion confession to make, an obsession I indulge in wherever I am and whatever time of day – before I go to sleep, first thing when I wake and at every stolen moment in between. My name is Marie, and I’m addicted to Googling Victoria Beckham’s outfits. I started dabbling when she was spotted sporting an exquisite velvet pleated skirt from her 2016 collection. Paired with a plain boyish white shirt, it looked so, well, efficiently chic, such an obvious answer to any woman’s workwear dilemma. My interest was piqued. I casually continued to search her style, but in an easy-breezy kind of way you understand. This was just a passing fad, a bit of fun. Not a fixation.

Then Beckham began to colour-block, and my addiction spiralled out of control. Her vibrant two-tone outfits looked so fresh and modern – coral and cobalt blue, tangerine and lime green, raspberry and burgundy. It was as if every day Beckham deep dived into the Pantone archives, resurfacing wearing a sartorial masterclass in how to make just the right kind of colour statement. She never looked garish, and always understood that delicate balance between colour and cut, in reality (if one is bold, keep the other benign) as well as on the catwalk. I was constantly hungry for more and she fed my addiction daily. As she became more confident with colour, I became more crazed. I abandoned Google and began logging onto Getty Images to get my hit (Instagram was no use, her official feed is diluted with family posts and beauty booty, and it was the pure paparrazzi style shots I was after).

Now suddenly pairing any shade with black (except navy, which always suggests you’ve thought about your outfit but never appears as if you’re trying too hard) seems a little lazy, or a little like I’ve lost my nerve mid-way through getting dressed. These days I feel as if I haven’t made an effort unless I’m chartering new colour coding territory, such as pink and tangerine (it works). What was it Claude Monet said, “Colour is my day-long obsession, my joy and torment.” I get it.

 

The most popular way to colour-block right now is with red, mixing shades of ketchup through to strawberry and chilli. A pop of punchy fuchsia will also work when paired with richer shades of red and can help to elevate your outfit above those in the crowd. Otherwise, mustard and oxblood is a classic combination, while cobalt blue and burnt orange have a surprising synergy. Cornflower I’ve discovered works with everything, and I’m dying to get my hands on something teal, which I think will help to reinvigorate earthy browns and muddy brickish hues.

If like me, you’re drawn to clean lines and minimal detailing, this trend could be your sartorial awakening. It’s such a simple way of adding personality and individuality to a look without compromising that pared back aesthetic. And if you’re worried about where to begin, simply use the colour wheel as your compass. But don’t start Googling Victoria Beckham. That’s a rabbit hole you may never crawl out of. And anyway, it appears that she’s now moved onto tonal dressing – not that I’ve been looking.

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