WHY BLACK IS BACK
Forget post-pandemic brights. Suddenly, there’s only one colour the most stylish stars want to be seen in...
By FARRAH STORR
IT’S official: black is back. Not the faded ‘charcoal’ black of 2022 but blackblack. Inky black. The sort of black that signals sophistication and drama. A full-body black that has been absent from catwalks and front rows and Instagram feeds for years.
It was everywhere at balenciaga’s Ready-To-Wear Fall 2024 show held on Saturday in the sunshine of LA.
We’re talking Nicole Kidman in a black velvet coat dress, black witchy shoes, black gloves, black shades, black clutch bag, black tights . . . you get the idea. Or fellow Hollywood actress Zooey Deschanel in black leggings, black tuxedo, black boots, black bag — the whole black works.
Never one to be over- shadowed, Nicola Peltz (alongside husband brooklyn beckham), Eva Longoria and Kendall Jenner also chose head-to-toe outfits in the deepest shade of black imaginable for their balenciaga ‘moment’.
Over at the 3rd Annual Academy Museum Gala in LA the next day, it was a more dazzlingly sophisticated sea of black as everyone from Olivia Wilde, Selena Gomez and Karlie Kloss opted for dramatic jet black floor-sweeping gowns. Even Margot Robbie, who has spent most of the year in barbie Pink, opted for black dress, black cape and black gloves for last week’s Gotham Awards.
Of course, you could argue that black never went out of fashion, but looking back over the past few years the LbD (little black dress) has been replaced by the CTS (colourful trouser suit), while Instagram has more or less forced every aspiring ‘influencer’ to ditch black for the photogenic hues of millennial pink, Gen Z yellow and what’s known as ‘latte dressing’ — wearing all the hues that come in your morning brew.
On the catwalk the contrast has been stark. Post-pandemic designers vied with each other over who could put on the most colourful spectacle, culminating in Valentino’s seminal Pink Collection for Autumn/Winter 2022/23.
BUT this year, the major fashion houses from Dior to Givenchy, even the bling- loving Versace, have saturated their collections with black. Perhaps most tellingly, when former Celine creative director Phoebe Philo finally launched her own long-awaited first collection last month, it was dominated by contrasting textures of black.
Times are serious. And tough. They call for a hue that’s not only practical, but always looks far more expensive than it actually is — and black is that hue.
It’s dependable at a time when nothing else seems to be; it’s dramatic without feeling too ‘look at me’. black is a friend to all body shapes and foe to the algorithms — it won’t make you stand out on social media. (but since no one seems to be bothered charting their Outfit of the Day any more, that’s no bad thing.)
There is no colour on Earth quite as wonderful as black. And, after all the raspberry pinks and neons and in-your-face logos that dominated wardrobes and catwalks post-Covid, it seems right that the fashion pendulum has swung back once again to the colour that, as Coco Chanel herself said, ‘has it all’.
dmg media (UK)