The last issue of Marie Claire magazine I read had a pages-long spread on the black and white trend that carried throughout the Spring/Summer 2013 runway shows. Bold, structured bags with blocks of black and white, silk blouses with vertical black and white stripes, jewelry patterned with black and white gems. Marie Claire’s lovely Colombian editor and Project Runway host (I prefer her taste to Heidi’s and Michael’s), Nina Garcia, writes that this theme of stark black and white contrast shouldn’t be simplified as another case of fashion history repeating itself. She admits that it is a return to the mod styles of the 1960s, but that it is also an artistic reaction to the worldly climate of economic and political uncertainly. This trend, she raises, like its vertical stripes, offered an outlet for order, structure, and solidity. Lit crit in fashion, who knew?
This trend, especially the vertical stripes, has been creeping its way back into street fashion for the past year or so. What has inspired this? Beetlejuice? Yes, naturally, but also, I honestly think that people realized that black and white doesn’t have to be stuffy or tacky. I remember growing up that vertical stripes were a thing to be avoided like the plague. They would make you look much larger than you really were, no one wants that. And by the 1990s, two-toned black and white get-ups were already becoming costumey and outdated. The things being done with black and white now are totally redefining all of those old notions. Black and white is chic, it’s edgy, it’s new. Well, it certainly feels new, because we’ve banished it for far too long.
- Fashion 2013: Going Black & White (jewelrygalblog.com)
- My Life in Black + White Stripes (desmitten.wordpress.com)