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Ode to Black: 4 Ways to Wear Fashion’s Favourite Colour

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ot for nothing did Dior say black could be worn “for almost any occasion.” What started out as a colour strictly for those in mourning has spread across womenswear like a spilled vial of ink; reaching every point of fast fashion and integrating itself in every facet of workwear.

For a colour that has next to no variety, the spectrum of personalities that black has been adopted by proves that our love for the single hue is no fashion fad. Putting forward the case for New Yorkers ‘owning’ black, Amy Larocca makes a valid point of how in the years when it was a considered negative colour, it was adopted by multiple subcultures and re-branded their own, all without losing its mainstream appeal. Over time, “black was the uniform of the jazz musician, then the downtown beatnik, then the punk…which makes it all the more remarkable that the Park Avenue hostess does too, knowing she could never go wrong if she just wore it with pearls.” Now, we have come full-circle; for the modern working woman, whether fashion editor or legal mastermind, black has become an essential in building the perfect working wardrobe and rarely is workwear selection seen without it. 

The appeal of fashion’s favourite colour is no accident, but rather thanks to culturally cemented-association with intelligence. In Stanley Donan’s Funny Face, fashion editor (and Diane Vreeland parody) Maggie Prescott is dancing around her office, encouraging girls to “think pink” but then hires Audrey Hepburn as a model; an educated and intelligent “woman who thinks” - who appears in most scenes head-to-toe in black (and looking incredibly stylish at that). Today, the association is the same; a recent survey of 1,000 people analysing the psychology and emotional connection of colour revealed black came out on top in association with positive personal attributes, such as confidence, intelligence and attractiveness (with the opposite reaction for less admirable traits such as arrogance). It would seem there is truth in Neiman Marcus’s musings; “women who wear black lead colourful lives.”

Ultimately, what Hepburn’s antics as a fictional model teaches us us that black is the colour that grounds is in our own reality: it is effortless, reliable, and gives us a sense of anonymity when we need it most. It’s the chic shake-of-the-shoulders we need on a Monday morning and the sultry seal of approval for a Friday night. Plus, Anna Wintour has already vetoed head-to-toe black in any issue of Vogue, thus giving us free reign to our single shade of realism – and these 4 work-proof ways to wear it.  

— 1 —
The Little Black Dress

Shop the Look: Adeline Dress by Madderson London | Fenestra Ring by House of Demu | The Strategist Clutch by She Lion | Bond Blazer by Viktoria Chan | Whitehall Shoes by Lucy Choi

Transcending the temporary trends of fashion, the Little Black Dress is as timeless as the colour itself; a style icon and an office staple in which one is always perfectly dressed for work. Elevate the simplicity of the black base with a dash of colour to by embellishing the subtle gold French-tweed hem of Madderson London’s Adeline Dress with a dash of sparkling citrine from House of Demu and throw on Viktoria Chan’s Bond Blazer on top for a smart outer shell. Simplicity is the secret in wearing black and tying three simple pieces together with a dash of colour transforms an outfit into the epitome of ‘easy-chic’.

— 2 —
The Texture Triad

Shop the Look: Rachel Dress by Wear Cecily | Cross-Stitch cardigan by EmmaJane Knight | Genisis shoes by Lucy Choi

Add an extra dimension with a trio of textures, using the single shade of black as your base. Start off smooth with Cecily’s Rachel dress and create a contrast by pulling the bow over EmmaJane Knight’s Cross-Stitch cardigan for a feminine silhouette. Keep the look typically elegant with a simple pair of heels such as Lucy Choi’s Genesis heels, swapping the reliable patent course with the fun and feminine lace finish.   

— 3 —
Proportion Play

Shop the Look: Ingrid Dress by Viktoria Chan | Trumpet blouse by Viktoria Chan | Leather belt by EmmaJane Knight | Black Pearl Studs by ORA | Campbell Black heels by Lucy Choi

The beauty of black means a changing silhouette is still just as striking. Distort the balance using abstract pieces by Viktoria Chan; tucking the Trumpet Blouse underneath the Ingrid Asymmetric dress and pull out the sleeves for a bold, alternative approach to the hour-glass shape. Similarly, clinch in the voluminous shape of THISISNON’s Kimono dress with the skinny leather belt by EmmaJane Knight to indulge in the ease of oversized shapes. Compliment both looks with the clean-cut lines of Lucy Choi’s Campbell Black heels for a sharp and simple finish.

— 4 —
The Tuxedo


Shop the look: Black Satin Tuxedo Jacket by Stefanie Renoma | Black Slim-fit tuxedo trousers by Stefanie Renoma | Black Python clutch by ALLEGRA LONDON | Swift Nero Heels by Chillerton | Black Pearl Drop Pendant by ORA

No longer exclusively for a man’s evening affairs, the tuxedo is a stylish and substantial way to indulge in the dark side. For a slick interpretation for an evening out or a work event, pair Chillerton's Swift Nero and Allegra London’s black python clutch with Stefanie Renoma’s Satin Tuxedo for the perfect combination of classics vs. contemporary. For the daytime, save your tuxedo for boardroom battles; the important meetings or upper-tier presentations. When it is time to whip out the armour, pair it up with Lucy Choi’s Calaban Black Lace Heels and the Trailblazer Tablet compendium by She Lion to create the perfect power set.

Words by Emily Freund
Lifestyle & Fashion

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