Rhapsody in Blue

The blue palette is strong for spring and summer, offering heavenly looks for all. Stephanie Smith explains the bright ideas that show your true colours.

The colour of the sky and the sea, clear, calming and heavenly – no wonder blue is universally adored.

As bold, bright colour brings a welcome note of interest to the fashion palette for spring/summer 2010, providing a much-needed injection of vibrancy amid all those pale and nude tones, blue stands out as a major player.

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Blue is, and has always been, an important colour in fashion and design. At its boldest and brightest, blue has a clarity that stops it from becoming garish (unlike red and yellow), which means it is much easier to work and play with and tends to be accepted by a broader spectrum of wearers than the other primary colours.

Strongly associated with tranquillity and calmness, in heraldry, blue is used to symbolise piety and sincerity. Light blue is associated with health, understanding and softness, while dark blue represents knowledge and power. Blue talks to us.

In fashion terms, we have the full range of blues, from pale and almost grey-like through to navy and midnight shades. But it's the brights – the electric and cobalt shades that are providing the excitement, both by themselves, as a background for prints and as an accent colour to the nude tones. Satin electric and cobalt blue shift dresses are a key staple for this season and look lovely accessorised with nude shoe-boots or platform sandals and bag. The pairing is less successful with gold and silver tones because this brings a garish feel to the whole ensemble, which just makes it a bit too '80s for most tastes. Navy, meanwhile, can certainly be the new black this season if you want it to be, and it works particularly well for spring's all-in-ones. Gold works just fab with navy, so pile on the bling for the perfect day-to-night ensemble.

Note,too, the gorgeous blue shoes and bags with which we are being regaled for this spring and summer, especially in patent – great investments as blue never goes out of fashion.

So, whatever the hue, bring on the blue