Spring 2013: Black And White Is The New Black
It's official. Black and white is having a mega-moment this spring. The Spring 2013 collections are full of bold, graphic interpretations of the trend, from Miuccia Prada's stark floral shifts inspired by Japanese Kimonos to Marc Jacobs' bold houndstooth and stripe pairings for Louis Vuitton, black and white is not so much making a statement, as it is shouting from the mountaintops. But this is not your tired and typical black-pants-with-a-white-shirt approach. Nor is it an out-an-out revival of the 60's Mod movement, although it cannot be denied that the 60's influence does weigh-in heavily. What is different about this permutation of this graphic, monochromatic look is the use of the unexpected.
One of the things that sets this season's graphic black and white trend apart from that of years gone by is the particular attention to detail in pattern-mixing, á la Marc Jacobs. Stripes are being paired with florals, which in turn are being paired with polka dots...you get the idea. This new approach is perhaps the key ingredient in keeping something so basic looking fresh and cutting-edge. The beauty of this new approach also may lie in its accessibility. Every style-conscious woman on the planet will have black and white clothes in her wardrobe, and with just a few well-placed accessories, suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opens-up.
For those who don't have the nerves for pattern-mixing, this trend still has plenty to offer. As one fashion stylist mentioned:
Wrapping scarves is also a fun easy trick. Buy yourself a black scarf and a white scarf. Wrap them together in a fun simple twisting method and pair with any color shirt for a fabulous look. Pair a simple black pair of pants or pencil skirt with a white blouse and top it with a lightweight black cashmere scarf. Perfect modern, sleek office look!
The always ahead-of-the-pack Phoebe Philo of design house C é line showed a host of all-white looks on her Spring 2013 runway, paired with a strong black shoe. As usual, Ms. Philo's offerings for spring are considered to be one of the most influential shows of the season, so pattern-shy trend watchers can look forward to a more demure alternative to the boisterousness of the pattern-mixing trend.
Also adding to the Spring 2013 penchant for the unexpected is the prevalence of white accessories. A well placed white belt or a pair of white shoes...yes, you heard me right....white shoes, seem to be topping the must-have list for the season. Once thought-of as a harbinger of poor taste, white shoes in particular were the most frequently-spotted items gracing the feet of the fashion pack outside of the fashion week shows. It's fair to say that it is only a matter of time until the reverberations of this embracing of a previously-maligned sartorial item are felt across all of the major retail outlets.
As it turns out, there is some science behind this season's love of all things black and white. As recently reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Nielsen NeuroFocus consulting group, a firm that specialises in studying consumers' responses to market stimuli, reports that the stark contrast of black and white is stimulating to our brains. Additionally, the graphic elements of the season's bold designs add another element of stimulation. From a neurological as well as a sartorial perspective, Spring 2013 seems to be shaping-up (pun intended) to be one of the most stimulating seasons yet.
Photo Credit: Vivmag.com