BLACK, WHITE & SHADES OF GREY
A few weeks ago I said that I wasn’t ready to give up colour and embrace a black-and-white wardrobe.
While that still holds true, I’m starting to see the appeal of a little monochromatic action. I test-drove it the other day with the outfit above; OK, I admit it’s because I was going to the opening of Eveline Kotai’s exhibition at the Conny Dietzschold Gallery and I thought I’d fit in better with the art crowd, but I enjoyed the ease of it all.
Monochrome was big on the international fall runways, and offers a good alternative to our upcoming summer’s pastels-versus-neons debate. It doesn’t have the immediate grab of, say, a pair of lemon-yellow jeans or a fluoro-print top, but there are ways to wear head-to-toe monochrome without feeling like a waiter, a nurse or a Greek widow (depending on your choice of shade). Here are three of them…
My recent foray falls into this category, as I paired leather with lace and cashmere with cork. I also love this photo above, which shows grey marle mixed with fleece and heavy cream lace. Any kind of texture goes, so choose a fringed or embroidered skirt, a lace tee or a leather jacket.
My outfit: J. Crew cashmere cardigan; Sportsgirl lace T-shirt; Vanessa Bruno Athé leather pants; Prada wedges; Venessa Arizaga bracelet; ToyWatch watch.
Play with proportion
Aka oversized on top, narrow on the bottom. I wrote about the inverted triangle silhouette last week and while there’s no denying it can be tricky to master, it’s been spotted often enough that it’s probably here to stay. Borrow from Proenza Schouler (above left) and try a boxy top paired with a mini-kilt, or take a leaf out of Céline’s book (above right) and throw a big, mannish coat in ivory (or this textured Diesel cape) over narrow black pants.
Make it graphic
Checks, zig-zags, polka dots – all are fun in technicolour but pack so much more punch in black and white. Phillip Lim made graphic monochrome the cornerstone of his fall collection (above left) and Taylor Tomasi Hill nails it in Dries Van Noten (above right), but I also love this oversized gingham jumper from Gorman and would wear it with cropped black jeans or a leather mini skirt.
*Michelle Bateman is a freelance writer and editor who blogs about fashion, beauty and the arts on The Modernity Project, as well as contributing to Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar and Emporium, among other titles. When not testing new lipsticks (and the occasional gloss), she can be found rearranging her wardrobe in a perpetual quest for more space. This season, she is enjoying mixing patterns and clashing colours; she has always been a sucker for a good leopard print.