Black is back!:

Ah — but did it ever really leave — or lose its standing and cache as the fashion world’s favorite color? We may flirt with wearing pastels and eye popping brights from time to time, and white may well seem novel and fresh, but NOTHING makes one feel more chic, more urbane, more sophistocated and more polished (not to mention instantly taller and skinnier) than black.

The return to black even made news in several newspapers recently. ‘Black is Back’ was the caption for a gossip piece which found it’s way into Page Six of The New York Post, August 14th. This was in reference to the news that Bloomingdale’s Chairman and CEO Michael Gould had just inforced an all black dress code for sales associates in their New York stores. Apparently, he was so enamored of the way in which the minimal and sleek uniform looked on the sales staff of the newest Soho shop, he decided this should apply to all. (Unsurprisingly, it was also reported that many are unhappy they are being told what to wear. Dressing IS a form of self expression, no?)

And one of the cover stories on the front page of WWD on August 25th, recounted that “At Barneys New York, black is back in quarter as owners evaluate bids”. Retailers, while adoring the effect of glorious color on their floors and in their store windows, love nothing more than ‘being in the black’ (as Martha Stewart will tell you, “It’s a good thing”). Coincidentally, this news coincided with a decidely ‘colorful’, well publicized, and jam packed party the high end Madison Avenue shop threw to celebrate the launch of ‘T’.

Oh– and by the way — one of the best places to find memorable black items just happens to be Barneys. Standouts include the amazingly sculptural pieces designed by Nicolas Guesquiere for the house of Balenciaga, which were based on the houses’s legendary archives. The balloon shaped knee length dress is a notable example (the store’s fashion director Julie Gilhart listed this as one of her favorite fall items in the new issue of ‘T’).

And then of course there is the glorious Yohji Yamamoto department located on the 4th floor. For fall/winter 2004, Yohji once again relied on his signature black to form the basis of a collection filled with artfully mindblowing coats and jackets done in a thick boiled wool, many of which feature oversized pockets (talk about mixing form and function). While I was told by a sales associate that alas, they have almost completely sold out of all the best pieces from Fall 1, Fall 2 will be in the stores shortly, and it too will be a veritable ‘black out’.

Is there any better way to ‘jump start’ fall than chosing black? It is an instant way to get your mind set off the beach and back to business. And is there any better color which more successfully shows off your ‘bling’? (You DO have a stache of glittery pins, don’t you???).Even Patrick MacDonald, the dandy about town who is known for his colorful, patterned, and textural haberdashery admitted to me that he is in a new mood these days, and black will form the basis of his Fashion Week wardrobe.

– Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

1 Comment
  1. i really enjoed the reading on fashion. Fashion plays a tremendous role in today’s life. I asked myself several questions about the fashion industry. Once involved, do the person enjoy it? What is there to not like about fashion? I really enjoy the life of fashion. I want to become a fashion designer and run my own company one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.