By Michelle Crowe
Anita Ekberg in a still from La Dolce Vita wearing anything but basic black.
“Does this come in black?” Fashion folks and city dwellers find themselves asking this simple question nearly every season and certainly in the winter months when our favorite absence of color feels especially right and looks smashing for nearly every occasion.
Perhaps it’s because women who wear black lead colorful lives, or perhaps it’s just a sort of sartorial security blanket. We hear that Anna Wintour is no fan of black and that it’s best to turn up for your Vogue interview in a bit of color. Until that day there are many things to love about a wardrobe filled with black.
Elizabeth Taylor’s lovely dress is the ideal backdrop for her Cartier necklace.
Plays well with others
Most colors look marvelous when paired with black. Winter white, of course, is about as brilliant and classic as one can get. Emerald green or ruby red are divine choices for the festive season. Bill Blass even made yellow and black work beautifully- not even a hint of bumble bee in his spirited work.
Nancy Reagan and Betsy Bloomingdale in bold, beautiful dresses that might seem wild in color, but perfect in black and white.
Texture & Shine
Sequin palazzo pants would be an awfully big risk in a brazen color, but in black the wearer is surely the chicest lady at the party. A voluminous tulle skirt, a crystal-studded dress, most adventurous style choices can be rationalized more easily when done in black.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel working in Paris, 1959. The model is wearing what just might be the ultimate little black dress.
Shares the Spotlight
Are you breaking out the cabochon emeralds or ruby necklace from the vault? Well then, black is the backdrop to show off every karat. Ditto amazing shoes and statement coats.
French Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt often wears layers of black. Each piece makes the others look better than if they were worn on their own.
All Together Now
When all your favorite pieces look great together, the possibilities are endless, the world is your stage and you’re bound to feel chic, sleek, and the best version of yourself as you step out the door. That’s why Mademoiselle Chanel knew that black is the best fashion color and why so many of us will never entirely give up black even though our heads are turned by other colors and prints.