Noir

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Black is a wonderful way of combining rich textures and an endless source of inspiration to designers.

John Galliano’s Autumn-Winter 94-95 show was made up from a single roll of black satin, shown in a ghostly Paris mansion.  It evoked a jazz age glamour and it marked the turning point in his career: two years later he was appointed to Givenchy and then Dior. (Read more here.)

Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Autumn-Winter 2010-11 collection for Hermes used black extensively to highlight texture.  Tuxedos, slinky satin columns, bowler hats and toppers all showed off a range of sleek black leathers offset by silver and gold hardware.

Paris Vogue’s September 2012 issue was entirely devoted to black, showing it styled in seductive lace and leather as well as in blown-out, abstract shapes reminiscent of the late eighties Japanese fashion of Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto.

Marc Jacobs’s last collection for Louis Vuitton, for Spring-Summer 2014 was entirely black, featuring beautiful gothic-style beaded jackets, ostrich feather showgirl head-dresses, biker jackets.  It got a standing ovation.

This season, J Smith Esquire’s beautiful millinery is offering more black gorgeousness.  His bespoke goat nappa and silk Opera top hat was recently featured in Damien Foxe’s always inspirational styling for the Financial Times (here) and there is more on his website here.

No shade is more versatile, more chic, more enduring.  Just don’t form a dangerous addiction.

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