Though initially reported as part of a 6 part series exploring this emerging trend in womenswear and design (link 1,2,3,4,5,6), this trend direction has quickly spilled over with equal influence into menswear. Most aggressively displayed in the prints and body paints of the Versace SP14 menswear show, floating color details were also seen in countless additional collections.
The two forms most typical in the development of this trend exist in tandem, but do seem at odds with each other to a degree.
In the E. Tautz, Versace, and No Editions collections, we find these colors appearing as splashes; irregular and seemingly random organic shapes. Some reminiscent of paint splatters or madly slap dashed paint strokes, others almost like amoeba blown out of proportion and infecting their fashionable host.
Best visually represented by the Paul Smith look above, the innovators on the other side of this developing trend are moving forward more in step with my original forecast. They utilize strong, bright, saturated colors as a way of geometrically breaking up the human form. The end result seems almost cold and mathematical, but with an artistic energy that is simultaneously revitalizing.
It is hard to not relate this developmental iteration of the trend to the early 20th century De Stijl movement in design. However, where De Stijl reveled in the serenity of bringing extreme order to the design elements filling our world, the shapes emerging in the floating color trend seem to do the opposite. Yes, they do still cordon off designs into color blocks. but where De Stijl created order, floating color is more of a chaotic visual assault. The tools may be the same, but the hands that hold them are different.