Thursday, 31 July 2014

Back to Black – July 2014

I have proudly disclosed that I love wearing bright colours, but I must admit I love wearing black in equal measure, and I have been wearing a lot of black lately specifically, all black. There’s just something about black that makes me feel comfortable, confident and chic.

Colours can be used to enhance our overall appearance and like our clothes, the colours we wear are a form of non-verbal communication; another way to visually express our personality as well as convey our mood and vibe to the external world. As the darkest colour, because it absorbs all light, black is connected with all that’s dark, dangerous, intense and mysterious; Black Friday, black magic, black mood, black thoughts, blackmail…but, colours hold different meanings for everyone and black certainly has a colourful past, symbolising everything from abundance to grief, holiness to sin, luxury to poverty, power and authority to sorcery and secrecy, nobility and romanticism to youth and rebellion.

For me, no other colour presents so many contradictions: conservative – provocative, assertive – submissive, commanding – demure, formal – casual, glamorous – drab, sexy – modest. I believe Coco Chanel articulated it best with her comment “I have said that black has it all” and, it was this very lady who revolutionised women’s fashion and redefined black as the colour of supreme sophistication when American Vogue published her design of a simple black dress in 1926. Soon thereafter, other designers embraced black as the colour of fashion and the rest as they say is history. So, what is it about black that secures our devotion?
Practical – black is easy to wear because it’s the perfect base colour to mix and match with other colours, even other shades of black, so you don’t have to think too much when putting on black as you know it will work with anything

Immaculate – doesn’t show dirt or stains in most cases or at least, not as obviously as its lighter counterparts
Stylish – black is always in vogue! Sure, every now and again announcements are made by the fashion industry that navy or grey is the ‘New Black’ but for me there is no substitute: black is always the ‘New Black’. There really is no comparison and for this reason, black is forever fashionable
Elegant – black is classy; it looks sharp, smart and swanky even if it’s inexpensive
Versatile – can be worn on all occasions, throughout every season, suits all complexions and hair colours and best of all, you are able to be inventive and create numerous, unique looks by incorporating interesting, colourful accessories - jewellery, shoes and bags as statement pieces to an outfit.
Flattering – a well-designed item of simple, precise lines and a perfect cut will outline and accentuate the lines of the body making you appear slender and longer hence, produce a slimming effect.
Interchangeable – you can ‘dress up’ your black-on-black ensemble and go instantly and seamlessly from day into night with the simple change of a lipstick colour; nude or soft pink lips during the day to a dazzling hot pink or bold red lip at night.
On the surface, black gives an impression of respectability and refinement. It also transmits confidence even when you are lacking in confidence and feeling uncertain and quite vulnerable. On a deeper level, wearing black implies self-control; an ability to remain level-headed and keep your emotions in check during challenging situations. Additionally, it suggests a secretive side to you. Due to black’s contradictory nature, it doesn’t communicate anything definitive about you and this elusiveness raises many unknowns about your true self and, much like the trench coat, creates an aura of mystery and intrigue, arousing curiosity thus causing people to speculate about you. Furthermore, we instinctively wear black to conceal information about ourselves such as, cover the few extra kilos we have put on and hide our insecurities and self-consciousness from everyone and, because black exudes such intense energy and has a powerful effect on the senses it can be overwhelming, even intimidating, enough to keep people at arm’s length so much so French style guru Madame Genevieve Antoine Dariaux advised against wearing black before 1pm!

Writing this, I realise that I have been wearing black as a barrier between myself and the world to conceal my feelings, especially what’s going on in my heart and protect myself from others prying into my life. In black, I feel composed and in complete control of my emotions despite the turmoil within and am able to remain calm, sweet and positive as I ride through this difficult period.
Finally, you’re wondering if, as the most worn colour, I feel as though I get lost in the crowd and blend in. No. On the contrary, the darkness of black is a striking contrast against my fair skin and hair so, I feel I stand out more and although it doesn’t yell “look at me!” like the bright, vibrant colours I wear do, it definitely demands its own attention and admiration. In fact, I wear black when I want to express my individuality. I personalise all my outfits to my suit my personality and style so I always look different to others. In my opinion, black possesses magical properties because of its ability to transform me into everything I want to be, allowing me to flaunt my sensuality and sexiness in a way no other colour can and leave an absolutely unforgettable impression.

“Women who wear black lead colourful lives.” ~ Nieman Marcus ad