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Inspired By: Color Blocking

Often, trends in Irish dance mirror real-world fashion trends. They may be subtle and hard to see, but designers will often take a real world fashion trend and adapt it for Irish dance dresses. Bubble skirts are a great example of this:

A party dress with a bubble skirt in real world fashion transforms to

A bubble skirt in Irish dance dress fashion!

Color blocking has been all over the real world fashion scene and its expected to be very hot for this Fall. If you haven’t heard about it yet, color blocking involves using wide swatches of bold color in outfit design. Check out this outfits for an example:

Typically, the Irish dance world is a season or so behind on real world trends, but this time we hit it dead on. Irish dance dresses are all about being seen on stage and standing out. We’ve known color blocking can create a bold image on stage for a while now, but recently designers have kicked it up.

Gavin, especially, has been all over this trend. For example, see these dresses from the North American Nationals that put an Irish dancing twist on color blocking.

Doire has been using it in their designs as well!

I think its a great look in real life and in the Irish dance world. In the real world, it draws attention in a classy, 1960s way. In the Irish dance world, it adds that extra pop to make you stand out. However, to pull off the look in both worlds it takes a slightly different approach, but starts with the same foundations.

Some foundations for using color blocking in the real world:

1. Use a maximum of four colors to avoid looking like a crayon carton. Feel free to use neon colors, but only use one neon in an outfit. Let it be a pop rather than the whole outfit.

2. Accessories are a great place to start with this trend if you’re hesitant about it. Try a bag or shoes with color blocking to start!

3. An easy way to make color blocking work is to pair a bold color with a neutral like khaki, white or black.

4. Here are some good color combinations to get your started from Lucky Mag.

1. Cobalt Blue, Yellow, Orange

2. Chocolate Brown, Pink, Peach

3. Purple, Bright Blue, Teal

4. Deep Blue, Bright Pink, White

5. Coral, Grey, Ivory

Here’s some great advice from Indian Makeup and Beauty Blog for how to make color blocking work for your body shape:

“A darker column of color down the torso will have a slimming effect and can easily be created by wearing a colored cardigan, jacket or blouse worn open. Generally a color blocked outfit will work best if you stick to the usual rules for your body shape. If you are pear shaped, opt for darker colors on the bottom half. If you are apple shaped avoid horizontal blocks of color around the stomach area but highlight legs with color blocks created by brightly colored tights. If you are hourglass, a color block around the waist is a great way of highlighting it and drawing attention to you womanly figure.”

For some inspiration, check out this outfit.

colorblock by feisonista featuring a colorblock dress

You can also use this trend in your off-duty feis wear! Here’s an outfit to keep you standing out off the stage, without looking absurd.

feiscolorblock by feisonista featuring a scoop neck tank

Here are some tips on making color blocking work In the Irish Dance world:

1. With Irish dance dresses, you can be a little more adventurous with color choices and design. Use that to your advantage and dive into it! Go big with this trend! Play with colors and designs. Try investigating opposite colors to make the color blocking really pop.

2. Just like in real life, color blocking works great with neutrals. For maximum contrast on stage, incorporate a neutral color into your design in some fashion.

3. Color block and asymmetrics were made for each other. Use two different colors in bold swatches to create your asymmetric design.

4. Consider keeping the bodice one color and then using layers of color in the skirt. It’s a way to still stand out and use color blocking while looking a bit more elegant.

5. While you can do more with this trend on Irish dance dresses than in the real world, there is still a limit. Keep colors to 3 and make swatches bold, large and clean. For the judge’s sake, limit the neon to one. Using more than that will definitely make you stand out, but not in a great way!

Here’s a great dress (for sale on Dance-again) that incorporates the color blocking trend perfectly in the Irish Dance world.

What do you think? Do you use color blocking in your real world fashion or in your Irish dance dress? What about guys? Any color blocking in vests?

Stay Fashionable, Feisers!




  1. Pingback: Inspired By: Color Blocking | Diddlyi Mag - September 20, 2011

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