When the dutch painter Piet Mondrain painted his abstract paintings in his little studio in paris in the 1920s, little would he have known that it would start a fashion trend that has sustained through the years till today – that of color blocking. In fashion, color blocking is a technique in which large blocks of fabric in single solid colors are joined together to form a harmonious whole.
The whole look of color blocking is one of an abstract painting like the ones that Piet Montarin painted. This fabric is used to create a single garment that have a modern look and feel. The painter used rectangular blocks in his painting, each in a single bright and bold color or neutral color like black or white. They were based on his principles of neoplasticism.
Color blocking in fashion
The method of using these bold colors in the garment to bring in a visually striking effect was introduced into the fashion world by the fashion designer Yves St Laurent in his 1946 collection. He was very much influenced by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. His clothes almost replicated the red, blue, and yellow squares framed with black lines like that of the paintings. It was picked up with enthusiasm by fashion lovers.
Even today fashion designers use this technique for giving a bold, graphic and modern look and feel to their designs. You can find this technique increasingly used in sweatshirts, tshirts, track pants etc. When used well, it can give a vivid look which is at the same time minimalistic; and also that of movement and vitality.
When sewing your own clothes, Color blocking is a method you can use to stitch up fabric pieces from old clothes or fabric scraps from other sewing projects. You will have to use similar weight fabrics to get this right.