Colour blocking - it's simply the zest

Jo Haywood discovers that this isn't the season for wilting wallflowers

Spring looks set to be a season of extremes when it comes to colour with neon brights and muted nudes sharing equal time on the catwalks. Colour blocking is the phrase of the moment in fashion, but it doesn't necessarily imply that we will all be marching round Waitrose in marigold yellow dresses and cerise tights (although it's a nice thought and would certainly put the wind up the security men). The great thing about colour blocking is that you can do as much or as little as you like. You can stick to your usual neutral tones and simply add a zingy orange bag or snazzy yellow shoes, or you can go all out with a cerise skirt, ice blue blouse and purple tights. If you are feeling quite daring, try teaming colours from the same family together for an eyecatching yet harmonious look. John Galliano has put peachy pink and warm orange together to great effect for the coming season, softening the look with lots and lots of ruffles. For an even more jaw-dropping ensemble you have to venture to the very extremes of the spectrum, allowing regal purple to clash gloriously with daffodil yellow and lime green to crash noisily into rosebud pink. But you don't have to go blocking berserk to stay on-trend. You can always calm things down with a neutral bag or a leg lengthening pair of nude shoes. And if that's not for you, try following in the stylishly clad footsteps of Ossie Clark by tackling both trends at once with a zesty, bright top teamed with neutral pencil slim trousers. It really is the best of both worlds.

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