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25-08-2005
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25-08-2005
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25-08-2005
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thought this might be interesting. okay. i saw some good stuffs in there.
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25-08-2005
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i have been to I.T. but haven't check out Joyce yet.

what stuffs do they stock?

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25-08-2005
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Whoa this is awesome...the clothes! I love black! Thanks a ton BB!

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25-08-2005
  66
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Black is definitely back for fall, but with new textures, shapes and embellishments.

It definitely plays up the Victoriana trend very well for a more romantic, haunting vibe.

Interesting pictures BB!

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25-08-2005
  67
etre soi-meme
 
Lena's Avatar
 
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black IS certainly back and even though i dont appreciate the trend, i want to thank butbeautiful for the great pictures posted

kudos and karma to you

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25-08-2005
  68
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Josh L's Avatar
 
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BLACK FASHION ALL THE WAY

Even thought I think if you want to wear black and make it look good on ya...You should atleast mix it with a other colors like White, Red, Pink, LightBlue, LightGreen ...etc or Textures

peace

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28-08-2005
  69
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The darkness

After seasons of butterfly-bright colours and candy-sweet creations, the perennial favourite of style editors (and goths) is back on the catwalks. Justine Picardie unwraps the magic of black

Sunday August 28, 2005
The Observer



You probably feel like you've read it all before: those familiar headlines that shout, BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK, or BACK TO BLACK, or other alliterative messages along the same lines. And you would be right, because in the circling language of fashion, black is a recurrent feature, more constant in its forceful repetitions than anything else in the lexicon. Which is why, after a concerted effort on the part of the fashion industry to make us wear colour for the past year or so, the message has changed this season. There are sweeping black evening gowns from Alexander McQueen and Rochas; perfect little black dresses from Chanel and Prada; black lace from Miu Miu, Versace and Valentino; black Victoriana by Yves St Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier and Junya Watanabe; plus deftly fitted black jackets, trousers, suits and coats from just about everyone. Then there's the beaded black and feathered black; beatnik black and Edwardian black; baby-doll black and peasant black; voluminous black and slim-cut black; black bloomers and boleros, pin tucks and puffballs; black wool sweaters and black chiffon blouses; black velvet and taffeta; and more, far more. So, apologies all round, but yes, black is most definitely back. Again.

That it has returned to the catwalks is therefore predictable, but it's still worth asking, why now? Why is it so pervasive, this colour of mourning that has also become a signifier of power; a colour associated with Italian fascism and the Nazi SS, yet also with Fifties Left Bank rebellion and Sixties anarchy; a blank negation, perhaps, at the same time as a symbol of strength?

The simple answer is to do with the swing of fashion's pendulum; away from the light, candy-coloured creations worn by high-wattage film stars on the red carpet, and back to the dark materials again. 'Fashion is perverse and motivated by the desire for change,' says Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, 'so once our eyes have become accustomed to gypsy skirts and patterns, the return of the plain black shift looks interesting.' But it's not just about cleansing our palate (or palette); because, this time round, black is being used to display skilful, exact tailoring; or, in the words of Miuccia Prada, 'to go back to something structured, strong and womanly, to strip back on stupid frills, print and decoration'. All of which might be rather galling for anyone who has invested in last season's embellished, butterfly-bright pieces, from Prada and elsewhere. Yet, as Alexandra Shulman remarks: 'Designers know it's far more difficult for their work to be ripped off by the high street if they're showing perfectly cut black, which relies on the precision of the line and the quality of the cloth. It's worth spending money on black.'

Black, therefore, is linked with the economy, as it has been before; albeit in an endlessly shifting and elusive equation, governed by a mutable imperative all of its own. In the Roaring Twenties, Coco Chanel made the little black dress emblematic of freedom and chic sophistication, yet after the Crash of 1929, white satin superseded black crepe. 'People don't want to wear sombre clothes in an already gloomy era,' observes Shulman, which may be why black became so pre-eminent as a Wall Street uniform in the boom years of the Eighties, when Donna Karan was catapulted to success with her sharp black suits for ambitious women.

Then there was Black Monday, in October 1987, and it would be tempting to link that collapse in the stock market with a shift away from black in the fashion industry; but even as we lurched into the red, many of us remained in black. True, this was the era of vivid Versace prints and Margaret Thatcher resplendent in royal blue; yet it was impossible to give up on the little black dress, 60 years after American Vogue had first predicted that it would 'become a sort of uniform for all women of taste'. That the prediction would prove to be uncannily accurate is still evident in the funereal front row of most fashion shows. Anna Wintour, the powerful editor of American Vogue, has explained this predominant uniform as a merging into the background: 'My editors say it makes them kind of anonymous when they go to shows. They can sort of black themselves out. It makes them think about fashion on the runway in a clearer way.'

Not that all blacks are created equal in the precise yet arcane code of fashion. The influential stylist Katie Grand recalls: About two years ago, at the shows, every single woman had to be wearing black Balenciaga pencil trousers with some kind of Balenciaga black jacket - and it really was a uniform, it was like the fashion editors' handbook.' But for the uniform to stay desirable, it must also remain exclusive; changing with the seasons, so that what was in goes out, what was sought-after is then discarded. Nowhere was this more apparent than in 1997, when the High Priestess of radical style, Comme des Garcons's Rei Kawakubo, created a collection of bulbously unsettling clothes, body-hugging pieces bulging, tumour-like, from the back and belly; inspired, according to her partner, by her 'anger at seeing a Gap window filled with banal black clothes'.

High fashion is about many things, but does not often concern itself with democracy; yet, paradoxically, it must also sell itself, almost in spite of itself. As John Harvey writes in his book, Men in Black: 'Black has a particular merit for insurgent or ascendant elites, in that being colourless, it can pretend to be classless.'

If black has become a mark of hardedged or supercilious ambition, it makes sense that in last year's remake of The Stepford Wives, a long-overshadowed husband demands of his executive wife, 'We're in the country now, so no more black.' Black, he says, is the garb of high-powered, castrating career women; submissive Stepford Wives wear sugar-plum pink and baby blue.

For all that, the intriguing thing about wearing black is that it can mean whatever you want it to; chaste or sexy; classless or elitist; wanton or religious; seductive or austere; nun or dominatrix. Think of Princess Diana's judicious choice of dresses, at significant points in her career: first, in 1985, a blue-black velvet dress in which she pirouetted with John Travolta at a White House party; then unassailably glamorous in a little black dress, diamonds and high heels, stealing the show from her husband on the night he admitted, in a television interview, to his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles; and finally, bereft in funeral mourning at Gianni Versace's funeral, just a few months before her own death.


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28-08-2005
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Thus black, apparently the strictest and most immovable of colours, reveals itself to be infinitely adaptable: 'the purest colour', according to designer Ann Demeulemeester, 'the most poetic, but at the same time the strongest. It's the colour of poets and writers and of rebels.' (I guess it was something like that which my mother had in mind when she chose a black wedding dress in 1960; a runaway bride on the cusp of a new decade.)

'Black is the supreme colour, synthesis and sum of all colours,' declare Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who sent out black-clad models on a patent-black cat-walk this season. 'For us, it represents absolute elegance and Mediterranean beauty: black is the colour worn by southern women when they go to church, black are the lace bras that peek out of low necklines and black are the stockings that wrap around your legs, outlining rather than hiding them.'

Katie Grand, however, has an altogether different take on this season's black, which she sees as exemplified by the collections from Marc Jacobs, Giles Deacon and Miuccia Prada: 'Dark and Gothic and slightly macabre or morbid. There are times when a sexy black dress looks really great - say, an Azzedine Alaia dress in 1988, or, in the early Nineties, the Gianni Versace collections, when it was about power-dressing and big shoulders - but now black isn't very sexy, it's that Tim Burton girl - Christina Ricci - looking weird and Gothic.'

For all that, she also freely admits to the economic imperative, again, which has little to do with subversion, or poetry for that matter. 'Black is a very commercially successful colour to use, as you'll always have stores that want to order black. Black is very convenient - people look thinner in black, and you don't have to think about it, it's like putting on a pair of jeans, it's something that you're used to and you know it works ... I don't know how much people want to worry about their appearance, at this particular time - everyone thinks that there are much bigger things that they should be worrying about.' Or, to frame a similar idea in another form, we might turn to the gospel according to Miuccia Prada. 'We are talking about minimalism again, [but] it cannot be depressing,' reveals the oracle. 'Last year we used fashion to escape from our problems. Now, we need to show ourselves to be more substantial.'

So, just when you think you've got black pinned down as being the colour of exclusivity, it doubles back on itself. Black, after all, hides the stains; it is sufficiently practical to be worn by maids and waitresses; is the colour of lowly service, as well as of the Victorian bourgeoisie, and of high fashion. 'Black says two different things at the same time,' says Elizabeth Wilson, professor at the London College of Fashion. 'On the one hand, it's a uniform, but on the other, everybody's different in it.'

It's also not necessarily as easy to wear as it's made out to be. 'Black is the hardest colour in the world to get right - except for grey,' said Diana Vreeland, who preferred her own shade of red. But get it right and you've got the makings of iconography; Jackie O in mourning, or Marilyn Monroe in Bert Stern's famous final photographs before her death (a blonde angel caught in a shadowy place); the Duchess of Windsor, exiled with her duke in pre-war Paris, or Edie Sedgwick, the Sixties pin-up for the beautiful and damned. No wonder, then, that Winona Ryder chose demure black to appear in court on shop-lifting charges; or that Elizabeth Hurley picked black Versace for her first big public outing with Hugh Grant, a show-stopping safety-pinned creation thereafter referred to as 'that dress', the one that made her famous not for what she had done, but for what she had worn.

Look at it this way, and black becomes anything other than neutral; less to do with the absence of light, than with a sense of presence. Which is very odd, when we have been taught to associate it with suppression - with blacking out, losing consciousness, with censorship, repression and concealment.

So, it's all up to you. Gap or Comme des Garcons; widow's weeds or working girl; princess or pauper; vampire or victim; extinguishing or liberating? Look closely, and black contains a rainbow of variations, but remember, finally, the choice is yours ...

· My Mother's Wedding Dress by Justine Picardie is published by Picador at £12.99

Bettine McCabe, 20, is a model and student. She is studying fashion promotion at Central Saint Martins and is currently in the Tommy Hilfiger ad campaign
'I only have three non-black items in my wardrobe. If I buy a vintage piece that I love the shape of, I will take it apart and remake it in black, that's how much I love black. I spray-painted a blue dress just to get it black. The only colour I would consider mixing with black is gold. Metallics work quite well with it. It bugs me when I see people mixing black with colour, it's sacrilege to me. I get quite offended by it!'

Daisy Lowe, 16 is a student and model, about to start her A levels. She appears in the current issue of L'Uomo Vogue and next month's Vogue. She was also in Agent Provocateur's recent ad campaign
'I love this dress, it's quite rock'n'roll and I love the boots. I'd definitely wear them, but maybe only when I was clubbing. My wardrobe has only about a quarter black, but all my underwear is black, as it goes with everything. Black makes me feel much slimmer and classy, too.'

Pearl Lowe, 35, is a singer and is six months pregnant with her fourth child. Her album, Aches and Pains, is due to be released after she has her baby. She has just finished filming Rock Women for Sky, and is working on a new project with Channel 4
'I do own a lot of black, most of it vintage. It looks great when you're pale; it looks great when you have a tan; it's slimming ... It can be anything you want it to be. It makes me feel classy and sophisticated. I'm a Goth at heart.'

Michele Paradise, 40 is a style coach and works with models, brides-to-be and red-carpet regulars
'There is a safe feeling you get with black. It gives you a confidence that other colours don't. I think the Rochas outfit is wonderful. It feels very Victorian, but with an edge. It accentuates the bottom and distracts from the bust, which is unusual in today's fashion, which seems to flaunt both. The hat finishes it off perfectly. My favourite black outfit of all time was an Anthony Price dress that I wore in a Philip Treacy show. It had a built-up bust and hips, and gave me a Marilyn Monroe figure. I felt so sexy and so fabulous. That's what black can do.'

Ninivah Kohmo, 49, is a fashion designer and lives in London. She has been designing her own label for 28 years. Her signature is animal print and black
'Black to me is a uniform: 90 per cent of what I wear and own is black. It goes with everything, is easy to put together and you can go crazy with colourful shoes and accessories. I often wear black with my Manolos. I might have the same style of garment in several fabrics, such as devore and silk, but always black and maybe with a touch of animal print. As long as there's a bit of leopard incorporated, then I'm quite happy.' Daphne Selfe, 77, is a Fifties store model who was rediscovered after modelling for the Red or Dead show at London Fashion Week. From there, she was shot by Nick Knight for Vogue and signed to Models 1. She was one of the three models featured in the Channel 4 documentary, This Model Life
'I do wear a lot of black, but I refuse to wear it in the summer. I feel very smart in black, it's right for every occasion. If you don't know what to wear, then wear black. I love the outfit I am wearing in this portrait. I feel very elegant, it shows off the fact that I still have a waist and it makes me feel thin. It's a supportive dress, but I can still kick my legs. I hate to feel imprisoned in clothing.'

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28-08-2005
  71
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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hmmm...yes....black is back in a big bad way....
so lovely and warm and dark...
oh, strong and beautiful black...

......

...
Quote:
because, this time round, black is being used to display skilful, exact tailoring; or, in the words of Miuccia Prada, 'to go back to something structured, strong and womanly, to strip back on stupid frills, print and decoration'
Quote:
we might turn to the gospel according to Miuccia Prada. 'We are talking about minimalism again, [but] it cannot be depressing,' reveals the oracle. 'Last year we used fashion to escape from our problems. Now, we need to show ourselves to be more substantial.'
Quote:
Thus black, apparently the strictest and most immovable of colours, reveals itself to be infinitely adaptable: 'the purest colour', according to designer Ann Demeulemeester, 'the most poetic, but at the same time the strongest. It's the colour of poets and writers and of rebels.'
Quote:
Katie Grand, however, has an altogether different take on this season's black, which she sees as exemplified by the collections from Marc Jacobs, Giles Deacon and Miuccia Prada: 'Dark and Gothic and slightly macabre or morbid. ...it's that Tim Burton girl - Christina Ricci - looking weird and Gothic.'

yes!!!......

thx helena...

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28-08-2005
  72
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Great article Helena!

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28-08-2005
  73
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^ YEs , wow. Thanks! I was reading harper's and they had this whole article about black and how it's back but don't over do it and stuff. I recommend you to read it!

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28-08-2005
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just mix it with grey and you're golden...


http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums...ight=soft+grey


**can you tell i'm really excited for this coming fall?!?!....

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28-08-2005
  75
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Wearing black has never gone away from me, seeing has how I've worn it since I came out of the womb (almost literally), so I'm quite happy to see it.

I'm on my way out, but I just wanted to say that I appreciate all the images and articles. Thank you guys for posting.

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