Every few years designers seems to triumphantly announce via the catwalk that there's is a return to black. I always found this to be a strange thing since in many of the major cities like New York, black is a given uniform that would be sought out and worn heavily whether it was proclaimed to be the color to wear or not.
There is now a shift however. Instead of proposing black to suggest we fall in love with its hauntingly lack of color again, designers are delving more into the aesthetic value of black in terms of the thing the pushes fashion forward; the silhouette. I've always found that it's more effective to propose a strong shape or form by focusing on a lack of color than color that is too strong. Steering away from color sometimes sends the message that wearer is not supposed to be distracted by a color transporting them to another place or conjuring up some memory. Rather, they should be drawn into the mystique of black, the cleanliness of white or the somberness of grey to uncover the shape, the outline, the proposition that lies within.
This hinting for this upcoming Fall 2012 menswear season seems to involve the textural play of blacks on proportion, the framing monolithic shapes created by a wall of black and a call to notice cut and craftsmanship above all else from all the different design houses. So essentially black becomes more than just the new black; it becomes a familiar experience with new outcomes. Pay attention!
From voluminous overcoats to fitted bombers the strength of using just black lies in the play of different textures and fabrications to define shape or create a lack thereof.
L to R: Balenciaga, Tim Coppens, Tommy Hilfiger
Below L to R: Lacoste, Lanvin, Raf Simons
L to R: Maison Martin Margiela, McQ, Jil Sander
Below L to R: Y3, Paul Smith, Givenchy
L to R: Moncler, Rick Owens, Neil Barrett
Below L to R: Y3, Raf Simons, Siki Im
L to R: Yigal Azrouël and Issey Miyake
The subtle changing suit does a harmonious dance when paired with the different textures of black. Clever seaming, finishing details and button stances are more recognizable when there are no colorful bells and whistles in the mix. Your discerning eye implores the brain to seek out what's new and clever.
L to R: Rad by Rad Hourani, Dries Van Noten, Kris Van Assche
Below L to R: Ports 1961, Marc by Marc Jacobs, YSL
L to R: Hermes, Dior Homme, Michael Kors
Below L to R: Calvin Klein, Duckie Brown, Prada
Below: Billy Reid
Cable knits remixed, irreverent woven knit pairings and the sumptuous blending of luxury textiles in unexpected ways can tell a story as loud as any color could.
L to R: Alexandre Plokhov, Hermes, Just Cavalli
Below L to R: Calvin Klein, N. Hoolywood, Michael Bastian
*Photos courtesy of Style.com