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Black is the New Black
By Marcie Cooperman on Dec, 5 2016
Alexander WangAlexander Wang

Black is the most amazing hue used in fashion today.  It is by far the most highly demanded, and not just in the big cities.  More than any other hue, most consumers are emotionally attached to it because of associations with personality and style.  Punk or classic, high-brow or low, a good color or bad to the bone, it’s always good.

What is it about black? 

Black is architectural.  Because it’s achromatic, we look past the hue and see shape.  Because it’s so dark, we see only the exterior shape and no interior details.  Don’t try to knit a black sweater at night; it’s invisible, and it’s not because you’re getting older.  But the invisibility of black can be mitigated by transparency and lace, and shiny things show up.

Because we can’t discern the external outlines of black, its slimming effect is legendary.

Black is singular - the lowest value existing.  It can contrast well with every other hue, making it seem brighter in comparison, because black is the opposite of bright.

Black can elevate any outfit into suaveness and elegance, even making it seem expensive (especially paired with good shoes.)  This season, designers found out how much fun they could have making it into a jigsaw puzzle.

In the cover images, Alexander Wang gives homage to iconic shapes, but alters our emotional response through surprising textures.  The Elizabethan Empire dress takes on a menacing look with leather bodice.  The flippy little black dress is tough with shine but sweet with flowers.  The lacy black suit comes across as tough.  The coat is elegant, yet riské against the lacy top and leggings.  The lace dresses are just eye candy.

Alexander WangAlexander Wang

Balmain is mostly concerned with using cutouts to define shapes that follow the female form.


John Galliano uses trendy lace and fringes to do the same.

John GallianoJohn Galliano

Ellory highlights texture:  shine raises the visibility of black snakeskin textures, especially elegant in full trousers.  A black cold shoulder looks good against skin, and the red boots look especially fiery against it.  The ruffle outlines are crucial to the frilliness and width of the skirt and slim black boots.


At Hermes, tiny details like the angled zippered pockets pop against the darkness of black.  Velvet stripes enhance the fullness of the jacket over a slender transparent skirt.


At Noir Kei Nimomiya, emotional iconic shapes rule the day.  We don’t really see the shape of the coat over skirt, but we get the insouciance with floating straps, cutouts and asymmetrical closure.  The leather jacket, and the coat and jacket cutouts look bad to the bone.
The soft dropped shoulders of the LBD are especially elegant outlined with hardware contrasts.  The textures in the dress are an exotic mix.

Noir Kei NimomiyaNoir Kei Nimomiya

Noir Kei NimomiyaNoir Kei Nimomiya

Chanel works with the slender column, highlighted by textures such as shine and transparency.


Better than any other hue, black can highlight shape, and strengthen the contrast between light versus dark.  Techniques like sparkle, texture, shine, can all benefit from its qualities.