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It’s that time of the year, where we start shopping for the coming season as winter (Dry/Harmattan season in Nigeria) gradually fades off.  The shops have shipped out the last of their sale stock while replenishing heavily with fresh items – inspired by the International Fashion Weeks 6months ago.  Since the International A/W2012-13 Fashion Week has just kicked off, I figured it would be great timing to release the FASHIONABLE COLOURS YOU SHOULD BE SEEN IN FOR SPRING/SUMMER.

I have compiled this list of colour trends as it helps to know what you should be keeping from the previous season, what you should be throwing out and what you should be replacing.  The very popular colours of this season are BRIGHT and BOLD.  Some of the other colours are very PRETTY, SOFT and DREAMY, that you almost feel like being by the seaside all day long.  And the rest of the pack are just NEUTRALS you can mix with your BRIGHTS and PRETTY colours for some balanace. This season, we are encouraged to have MONOTONE (Head to Toe)looks, if you are brave enough to pull it off in your chosen colour.  All in all, we have a great colour spectrum to work with – there is something for everyone.

So people, let’s get INSPIRED with these colours straight from the international runways and this would come in very handy for the BRIDES of 2012 as well in picking aso ebi and wedding colours.  I have arranged the list starting with the STRONGEST colour trend.  Our very own TRENDY Fashionista TIWA SAVAGE has already started experimenting with some of these colours.

THIS IS THE COLOUR OF THE SEASON. If you don’t buy into any colour this season, this is one you shouldn’t pass up on.  It’s a colour that looks great on every skin tone.  It would brighten up the mood of any dull outfit. GO MONOTONE (head to toe) with this colour, yes, your skin tone can take it and you’ll get COMPLIMENTS for being so BOLD.  Not brave enough, then add a dash of it. This colour is appearing on anything and everything you can think of, including lipsticks.  From the lightest shade of ORANGE to the darkest shade, from plain to heavily patterned, the spectrum is yours to play with it.  Take a cue from Tiwa Savage (first  image from the left below), who stepped out earlier this year looking very hot in a PEACH top, ORANGE trousers and ORANGE LIPSTICK with little hints of black in her shoes and skinny belt. She has also worn the vibrant shade in dresses too. Just Have Fun!

Tiwa Savage inspired by ORANGE.

Yes, WHITE is a big colour choice this season.  It’s all about the ALL WHITE LOOK and the LITTLE WHITE DRESS.  Your white can be as BRILLIANT as you want it.  Pick your WHITE in soft pleats, in sheer, in lace for the prettiest looks or in stiffer fabrics like cotton or gabardine for a more structured look or Jersey for form fitting.  If you are doing WHITE, just make sure your overall look is very MINIMAL, keep the lines clean to maintain an elegant silhouette.  And luckily in our parts of the world, you can wear this shade all year round although, the rainy season might be tricky.

Trendsetter Tiwa wore this last year to the HEADIES. (Pix: Bella Naija)

This is the PRETTIEST colour palette of the season.  This colour spectrum is so SWEET, you just want to eat them all.  They are the lightest shades of the colours you already love. They are the ICE CREAM SHADES.  You can COLOUR BLOCK with these shades, you can mix with BRIGHTS in the same family shade or get experimental and CONTRAST with other BRIGHTS, you can mix with NEUTRALS, the possibilities are endless.  You’ll find these colours as coral, banana, light pink, pale blue, sky blue, seafoam, caramel, peach, light green, lilac, lavender, pistachio, pale yellow, coconut ice cream shade and more. Whichever ice cream shade you pick, you are bound to be the belle of the ball. This is also a brilliant colour scheme to work into your wedding colours. I predict this to be HUGE in Nigeria.

Sweet SUMMER YELLOW is the 4th biggest colour for S/S 2012.  Most designers clearly had a great time working with this colour especially in dresses which are absolutely divine.  You have the whole spectrum of YELLOW to choose from – lightest to the darkest and even seeping in some hint of green.  This is a great colour choice for Spring/Summer as it’s a good mixer with other colours on the trend wheel.  The BEST way to wear your YELLOW would be with ORANGE or ELECTRIC BLUE.  Pair your YELLOW dress with red lips for additional wow factor.  We are blessed with such a wonderful skintone that whichever YELLOW you pick this Spring/Summer would work brilliantly. Our dear Tiwa Savage already picked up on this trend by wearing a form fitting CANARY YELLOW column dress sometime in December.

Tiwa in her Yellow dress.

As Beyonce has stated recently, THE YEAR OF BLUE and with the shades that would be hitting the shops for Spring/Summer, we’d say she would be right.  Yes, we saw some shades of BLUE trickle through in 2011 but for 2012 it’s bigger. The designers have worked with the entire BLUE colour spectrum – from the most calming lightest shade of BLUE (Baby Blue, Sky blue, Ocean Blue), to the most VIVID BLUE(Sapphire, Electric Blue, Turquoise, Royal Blue) you can think of, to the DARKEST darkest of BLUES (Navy).

Beyonce and Jay-Z have already kick started the trend by naming their child BLUE.  MoCheddah, rocked a Royal Blue Sequined dress for her birthday in January.  So ensure you get your dose of the BLUE FEELING this Spring/Summer.


Tips: Work your ELECTRIC BLUE with Orange; Rather than BLACK go for NAVY BLUE; Go for an ALL BLUE look; Wear PALE BLUE with CARAMEL.

Red is always a constant but this time around we are going to find more RED items in shops for Spring/Summer.  RED is a pick me up colour.  It’s a SEXY colour.  It’s a colour you can use in bits or full on.  It’s also a colour that you can almost add on to any other colour for a little VAVAVOOM. The shades are from BRIGHT REDS of orange reds to DARK REDS of claret.  The choice is yours. Although there is a certain added sexiness to wearing RED in a fluid fabric. It’s just so great to look at and feels great on the skin too.

This shade is the simplest of the colours and most basic that can be worn on it’s own or mixed conveniently with any of the other colours on this list.  Only thing with NUDE is you have work with your skin tone to pick the right shade.  NUDE with GOLD undertone is better on African skin. Keep your choice of fabrics soft or sheer and it would work amazingly well.  NUDE is a brilliant colour to combine with RED especially.

MONOCHROME Black and white
This is a continuation of 2011 and it’s still a big colour combination to work with. It’s a fresh way to work your OLD WHITES or BLACKS. Expect to see wonderful interpretations of this colour combination. We should see them in the prettiest fabrics.

Despite the sea of colours, BLACK is always a favourite. It’s always the fall back colour. It’s the colour anyone can wear confidently and conveniently. You can blend it with any of your BRIGHTS or PASTELS for great balance.  Expect to see BLACK in softer and lacy fabrics this season.

So there you have it, the STRONGEST colours you should start seeing in shops to prepare for SPRING/SUMMER 2012 or perhaps Harmattan/Rainy season, depending on your side of the Atlantic. As the Arise Fashion Week Lagos hits in March, expect to see a lot of these colours in huge doses  from our Nigerian Fashion Designers. The most important thing is to have a lot of fun and not be afraid to try something new.  It’s never REALLY about the TRENDS it’s about your PERSONAL STYLE, your PERSONAL INTERPRETATION.



Maryanne Alabi, popularly known as Mayreejay is a wardrobe consultant, CEO of her self named company "Maryanne Alabi". Deputy editor for Bloke mag, contributing Fashion editor for Y!Mag. Fierce lover of and everything Glamorous!! Follow me on twitter @mayreejay for fab fashion updates.


  1. I think this article should be tailored to our Nigerian weather, since this is a Nigeria blog, that caters for Nigerians. We don’t experience winter and summer here. I know I have never.

  2. Let’s go 9ja pls. Great article, but when Tiwa was mentioned, was expecting to see her in the dress mentioned. Same with Mo’chedda. Pls try n write for Nigerians in Nigeria next time

  3. Glad to see you take advice and look at the comments. It goes a long way, because more people than you think read your fashion articles, and I know I just voiced out their concerns. Its really all about giving it a Nigerian vibe. These are gorgeous colours and absolutely workable in Nigeria too. But we don’t always have to ‘oyiborize’ everything, slapping winter, autumn, summer and spring on them. But keep up the good job, truly. Thanks for all the updates

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