THE POWER COLOR: When it comes to fashion, you just can’t go wrong with black. And never has black been so right as it is now. Put on a black turtle neck sweater for an imposing 1950s French couture look. Use black jewelry to quietly enhance a Bostonian black power suit. Glitz up an all-black outfit with black sequins and crystals, embroidery and beads. Black makes everything a little better. A little richer. A little more intense. Black sets the tone for many fashion stories this year, from jeans to evening gowns, necklaces to evening bags. Black is everywhere!
For example, Punk or Grunge is back, and isn’t it fitting for a season of black extravagance? Think black belts with silver buckles, silver watches with black straps, high black boots, black tights or black lace stockings, long shimmery black tanks over black and red plaid pants. Play up the Brits, with remembrance of the Queen of Punk, Vivienne Westwood, and all her wild and incorrigible street ensembles.
You see, the look is multi-faceted, but always black. You can go Punk, or Biker, or you can go elegant and classic. Maybe you want to play up the Batman modality, with black ties, black sequined jackets, black crystal evening bags and – absolutely! –black stone bracelets galore. Don’t forget to add on pointy spindly low black booties and a shortie jacket to mimic a black cape. Fast and dangerous! Very IN, but not for everyone.
Not all black is solid and uncompromising. Black is also effective as a base color with brights (or smoldering darks) worked into it. Think about a black T with an eye-stopping orange-red skull design on the front. Or black and red shortie boots. Black sunglasses are an absolute with this look, along with black-based scarves with multi-colored designs. Black jazzed up with silver studs also makes it big this season, especially on sharp Italian leather jackets. Don’t miss out on the fingerless black gloves here.
SILVER SCREEN STYLE: Feathers filled the runways for spring and they are still there now, for fall and winter, only this time they are mostly sexy, old Hollywood black. Whew…! This is really some look! Add on shoes and clothes with discrete cutouts that suggest…! We’re talking about black feathers around the neck, used on short skirts, on hats and purses, you name it!
Even though this is basically black refined and not black scary, there are some dark points in the present black infusion into fashion. Black spider pins, for example, are hot, hot, hot!! (Think of Armani’s marvelous black spider pin with emerald green head.) Black crosses and crucifixes are also big, especially worn in multiples and hung off long, swingy silver or gold chains. And black stone spiked rings. Surprisingly, there isn’t much bondage out there, even though the look has designer Helmut Lang influences.
The basic fashion lines used for much of the black rush for fall are spiked, too, and sharp, like long, skinny triangles or diamonds. — Watch it! You could get hurt here.
TOP OF THE LINE: For both ladylike, refined black (the black of the International Set, the classic black of New York) and the wilder, almost blacker (if that’s possible) black, one jewelry item is KING now:
Think money and intrigue. Think James Bond. This is what swash-buckling pirate movies and exciting novels about aristocratic jewel thieves are all about. Drama. Fascination. Riches. Millionaire matters. Red diamonds, yellow diamonds, clear diamonds: None of them quite make it when compared to black. That’s probably why Swarovski calls its top level black crystal stone black diamond.
But black crystal is just one form of black jewelry hitting high notes on the fashion circuit. Also think black rhinestones. And Onyx. Even black stone jewelry or man-made beads. Black crystal brooches are elegant and can be riveting on a little black dress. Multiple strand black glass seed beads make a dynamite fashion statement now. Dangling black bow earrings are charming.
TIME MACHINE: Black crosses time lines with ease. Consider the use of black to make things look old: vintage or even ancient. And all black materials are particularly hot when shined up to a slithery wet very modern look. Beyond that, black crosses over markets, young and old. For example, even playful jewelry has been commandeered by the black brigade this year. Designer Giles Deacon, a Brit with a sense of humor, uses black to glorify childhood television characters – Orville the Duck, Nookie Bear – in wonderful Swarovski crystal bracelets and necklaces. His Swarovski crystal choice: you guessed it, black diamond!
Mixing color with black is a big item now. Julstin Giunta is an outstanding modern jewelry designer accredited with almost changing the face of jewelry design with layers of chains, old beads, charms, and the like. Now he is working with an intense color palette of black and winter green for what he calls a “new macabre edge.” Giunta uses Swarovski crystals to create jewelry that looks at home in a ballroom or at a rock concert. His long chandelier earrings in black and green with black crystal hang-offs are beauties.
A variant of black, and one that makes for extremely handsome jewelry is hematite, in a deep, dark graphite color. Genuine hematite necklaces with black gemstones accessorize black and other colors in a very updated fashion manner this year. Look for them in a mirror finish for even greater trendy effect. Black hematite balls, chips, and tubular beads are all stunning. Important now: Hematite crosses, earrings, and charms, such as little hearts. Also look for popular themes in hematite, like dolphins and butterflies.