Colour blocking first appeared in the 1960s on Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian dresses and recently re-emerged on the spring/summer runways of John Galliano and Luella.
One thing I love about it is that it suits most women and it's a great alternative to patterns or prints. The way to take the trend into summer is to be adventurous and pick colours that you wouldn't normally pair together.
For a simple approach, take a look at Aki (above), who has matched a white cotton drape dress with a burgundy cardigan. I like the burgundy - it's rich and a nice contrast to the white. To complete the look she has added two more colours: black leggings and dark brick-red shoes. I like the way she has chosen colours in the same family.
Elaine (below) has gone for colours that are less bold but equally chic. Her classic monochrome combination is given a retro touch thanks to her simple shift dress. Details such as a high waistline make her legs look even longer, and her white leather bow belt adds to the vintage feel. Her sequinned zebra-print box bag and lace-up Oxford heels finish the ensemble.
When it comes to colour blocking, you don't need many colours. In fact, two colours can look just as fashion forward and allow you to mix and match items you have already. If you go for a muted colour palette, accessorise with a loud bag or dazzling heels. If your clothes are colourful, finish up with nude/beige heels and a bag in a darker hue.
Some colour combinations I like are orange with pink, yellow with black and various pink shades. For those who like bright colours, try mixing electric blue with mustard yellow, as seen at Marc Jacobs.
I saw a cotton short-sleeve dress in charcoal grey, beige and lemon yellow with gold buttons at Marc by Marc Jacobs (Shop 206, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 2918 0812) that would work nicely for the summer. In the new Matthew Williamson for H&M collection (68 Queen's Road, Central, tel: 2110 9546) there's a pair of silk-mix cropped pants in electric blue which is great to play with. Y-3 (J-01, Shop B, Haywood Mansion, 57 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2808 0501) has a sporty lycra-cotton monochrome dress that's chic, while DKNY (Shop 110-12, Lee Gardens Two, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, tel: 2970 2288) has a sleeveless bandage dress in neon yellow, hot pink and black that makes a statement.