Gaga over black and white

Feb 10, 2013, 10:43 IST | Kaveri Waghela

Checkerboard squares, pin stripes and even suits have all gone the black and white route this spring as international fashion labels and designers give it the big thumbs up

COCO Chanel, the connoisseur of style and elegance once said, “Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” How right she was! And now, even men are becoming believers in this style sutra that promises to rule much of 2013.

A printed black and  white dress by Anita Dongre

 Such has been the hold of black and white on labels and designers. Louis Vuitton recently came up with funky black and white cubicle motifs in their Spring Summer 2013 collection, adding a dash of playfulness to things. Others like Calvin Klein and Givenchy too followed suit.

This graphic print dress by Anita Dongre  can add a 3D dimension to a look. 

Closer to home, India’s top designers too have done away with the many shades of grey that come between black and white. Ravi Bajaj, one of the pioneers of designer menswear in India explains, “Black and white will always remain a classic. I don’t think it even needs mixing and matching. The simpler it is kept, the better it gets.”

A classic Nehru collar spells sophistication

Of course it may come across as plain and boring at times. For the ones who like to experiment with patterns, Bajaj has some handy tips. “Try mixing patterns such as hounds tooth, checks or even polka dots. Women should experiment with sarees and skirts while men should stick to shirts and accessories with this combination.”

 But fellow designer Raghavendra Rathore feels instead of patterns, one should try pairing these monochromatic hues with a pop of a solid colour that makes a stark difference to the overall ensemble. “Black and white is at two extremes in the colour spectrum. Patterns are fixed. Instead, one should break the monotony by pairing a darker colour like a red, maroon or even a purple with black and white.”

 Yet, it is this versatility of these two colours that makes designers go back to them. Anita Dongre’s AND label now sports an array of Black and white clothes, “Black and white has never gone out of style really. As designers, we always go back to it, as one can play around with textures as well as cuts. Women can team a black and white printed dress with a thin coloured belt that can give a 3D effect while for men, a well fitting black and white formal suit can look very dapper,” she explains.

 This is also probably the only combination that can be worn during the day as well as in the evening. Rathore elaborates, “A checkered black and white shirt with slim fit pants make for an interesting daywear. For evening wear, one can opt for a well-tailored black suit; a little peep of the checkered shirt adds glamour without making it look over-the-top.”

So whether you want to keep it simple with staples, jazz it up with different textures or go graphic, black and white will remain evergreen!

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