Style Tips

Black – Out of the Darkness

Vivienne Westwood RTW Spring 2020

The equalizer, Black. The tone brings its own baggage and as well as you’ll say it (Saint Laurent says it best, for the record) – you have to say it right. Once a year it’ll get a glossy re-appraisal as if anyone really needed reminding what it might mean. This year, for example, Balenciaga were breathing like Darth Vader in an opium nightmare for Fall 2020. It didn’t bode well.

Black right now – bit of a faux depart. Looking back in time, for spring/summer it was the tone of political fermentation; clouds of discontent; contracts being forged against the common will.

You get the impression that when this things lifts, it’ll be colour that people are dancing to. But black will return, and may even be the best sombre re-entry point to a working world still trying to figure out how it feels.


Alberta Ferretti

You’ve been told a lot about contrast with black (black works best on those with darker complexions and hair), but understand that black and whatever colour your face and hair are provide their own form of contrast. The key to success is letting these elements play off each other and – if necessary – bringing something else to the show to help things along. 

Level of confidence is key. If you’re still a little self-conscious (with brown or blonde hair) then add some camel colouring to bring out your features or – better still – undo your top button and let your neck and upper chest be the paler frame. Shades or a tie can also bring out your natural colours.

In all honesty, those with jet black hair and olive skin do look better in black naturally, but they have less flexibility because all eyes refer to those monochrome essentials.

A problem with all of these inflections is that – eventually – you’re going to look like everyone else on the tube. With camel especially too, quality is of the upmost importance and – frequently – the people with enough cash to fork on camel look like bankers. Here’s a way to look different – buttons: for perhaps a total of £20 more you can snip of the generic plastic ones and go all black or metallic Swarovski or metal and look like you’re the kind of person who wears black because you have sophisticated blood, not because you want to look like you do. 

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