Last week we drove past an old building covered in glorious graffiti. The business that used to be in the building was closed down, but the building itself has become a “free wall”, a legal canvas for graffiti artists. Since Spring and Summer 2012 is a season of colour and pattern, we decided to make this graffiti wall a backdrop for our photoshoot. And I had just the colourful outfit that could give the graffiti a run for its money. 

After seeing Carlos Miele’s Spring Collection in 2010, I really wanted a pair of dressy red trousers. But it took a while to find the right pair because I didn’t want red jeans or a cropped silhouette. After trying on designer pair after designer pair, I just wasn’t happy with the weight of the fabric, the shade of red, or the length of the inseams. To my surprise, the Columnist at Express fit the bill, and was a great length for low heels, (I like my bootcut inseams just a quarter of an inch above the ground). I’ve worn these red trousers quite a bit, finding them very versatile. 

It’s blindingly bright to pair red trousers with a citron blouse, and it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. I can’t help but feel energized by the hectic combination just because I love these colours so, so much. I also like wearing the same citron blouse with a tomato red skirt.

I’m tucking blouses into all my trousers these days because I like the boy-ish vibe and how it allows you to showcase a belt. I took extra care matching the belt here because the loud colour blocked effect of the top and bottom creates a strong horizontal line across the body. Although it’s an animal print, the tones create a low colour contrast against the red, which minimizes the horizontal line to my eye. My low contrasting animal print pumps add further vertical integrity. Imagine how different this outfit would look with black belt and footwear. I finished off with gold watch and handbag, and left off the jewelry. 

It’s still too cold to wear this outfit as is so my red wool coat, cream trench coat, or off white leather jacket go over the lot as an extra insulating layer. I am wholeheartedly embracing colour this season – especially against a fabulous wall of graffiti. 

We saw some of the graffiti artists in action during the photo shoot and Greg began talking to them while I shot back into the car to thaw with Yorkie Rosie. Apparently, Ana Dyson, known as “AB” and one of the few female Seattle graffiti artists, passed away recently. A lot of the art on these walls at the moment is paying tribute to her. Sad and beautiful at the same time.