Why black is never ‘back’ – it never left

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The repetitively alliterated headlines of ‘black is back’ are as ridiculous as the puns they are trying to form.
Black is a universal colour. When I wear black I’m a waitress and a CEO all in one. I’m Édith Piaf. I’m frickin’ Johnny Cash. Since black bid adieu to being only acceptable during periods of mourning, the colour (or lack of) has always been a staple in fashion. And there are numerous reasons as to why this is a beautiful, austere thing.
An all-black outfit always is, although a decidedly bleak, blank canvas. Black allows you to gorge yourself on all manner of accessories. Nothing is off limits in black, allowing you to dress up or dress down your look as you please. (However, upon learning the origins of the scarf was in Roman times where it was referred to as a sudarium, aka ‘’sweat cloth’’, that accessory has become decidedly less glamorous.)
I could not possibly mention black without tipping a hat to every girl’s fashion staple.  The timeless essential that is the little black dress (LBD to those in the know) born, disputably, from the mind of Coco Chanel. In 1926, Vogue hailed the LBD as ‘Chanel’s Ford’ due to its accessibility to women of all social classes. The colour- minimalist frock was then encapsulated forever in the Givenchy number worn by Aubrey Hepburn. Who doesn’t want to replicate Hepburn or Chanel? Exactly.
As well as all of the above, black is slimming. This visual effect was discovered by Helmholtz, and the occurrence is called irradiation illusion. If you had taken my previous suggestion of ‘gorging’ yourself on accessories literally, the desire to wear black may have just doubled.

Additionally, a child in all black is creepy, but a woman in all black is demure and elegant. Unless your father is named Gomez Addams and you are fascinated with the macabre, all black is incredibly difficult to pull off in your pre-teens.  A little black number gently reminds the world of your transmission into womanhood


Black also, bizarrely, paves the way for you to experiment with colour. A bold plum lipstick, fuchsia shoes, you name it and black compliments it. Injecting a pop a colour immediately de-drabs any all black ensemble.


The colour of black in fashion will never diminish, because it never faded in the first place. Sure, we’ll flirt with floral print and neon, but we’ll always collapse into the dark familiar arms of black, swooning in its brooding arms.






Georgia van Gils – Journalism student at the University of Gloucestershire

This is part of the CFW and University of Gloucestershire collision.

Twitter – @GeorgiaBelinda