Summer in black

The Haute Couture Spring Summer 2018 collections highlight black among diverse garments. While black is a colour commonly associated with the winter period, it is also a colour which connotes elegance and sophistication, and is perfect for wearing during the day or at night depending on the occasion

At the beginning of the last century or even in the mid 1950s, it wasn’t common to consider black as an actual colour. But that is no longer the case, today. Black has ­recovered the status it had for many centuries and even millennia: the right to be considered a colour, without forgetting that it is the pole of all colour systems.

The truth is that between the end of the Middle Ages and the 17th century, black lost its status as a colour, having had a close relationship with the colour white for a long time. At the beginning of the last century, from the 1910s, artists were the first to bring back the status that the colours black and white had before the Middle Ages: of being authentic colours. Then followed scientists, who faced some resistance. Finally, the general public ended up assimilating black and white in ­social codes and daily life. As Michel ­Pastoureau pointed out, in the well-known exhibition held in 1946 by the Gallery Maeght, in Paris, titled “Black is a colour,” the intention was not to provoke but to bring attention to the importance of this colour in schools of fine arts.

Currently, black is a banal colour compared to the symbolism it had in the past. Today, no one chooses this colour to be revolutionary. However, this is a colour of elegance, sophistication, and for some cultures, of mourning. That mourning can be asso­ciated with fighting for a cause, as is the case of the movement “Time’s Up,” which was born recently in the United States to contest the inequality of professional opportunities between women and men or the abuses against women in areas like entertainment (cinema and music), without forgetting other professional areas.

The SS 2018 collections of Haute Couture and also the ‘Prêt-à-Porter’ maintain black as a colour of undoubted reverence in the world of fashion. In integral pieces, in details or in ­accessories, the colour black values those who wear it, having the ability to create illusions in more voluminous or shorter silhouettes. Curiously, Viktor&Rolf were among the few brands to have the colour black in its Haute Couture SS 2018 collection, reinforcing the chromatic vibration of the pieces presented. No wardrobe of excellence exists without black pieces, ­including dresses for ceremonies, evening wear, jackets and especially trousers, skirts, blouses, gloves, shoes, wallets, boots among others. Even in makeup, black is present in eyeliner, lipstick, mascara, nail varnish and eye shadow. Dressing in black deserves attitude and mystery… Let yourself be seduced by this timeless and controversial colour!