SS21: The Magic of Monochrome

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As we look to break free from the constraints of the global pandemic and find new ways to rebel, there’s no denying there’s something to be said for a hyper-bright wardrobe full of contrasting hues that allow us to express our true creative selves. That said, the more is more approach isn’t for everyone. Lucky then that designers also showed a predilection for a monochrome wardrobe this season, with black and white hues worn together in exciting combinations that more than make a statement.

Some of our favourite looks of the season, Dolce & Gabbana sent chequerboard patchwork prints down the runway which utilised archive rolls of fabric from previous collections, while at Christopher John Rogers, we saw the same print splashed across an exquisite evening gown. In fact, numerous designers looked to a monochrome palette for the kind of elegant, no-fuss eveningwear we’ve all been longing for, including minimal silhouettes at both Ports 1961 and Gabriela Hearst.

Perhaps paying tribute to Coco Chanel’s love of black, Virginie Viard played with shapes and silhouettes over at Chanel, resulting in crisp layering and understated restraint, while if it’s more of an office vibe you’re after, look to sleek androgynous suits à la Saint Laurent and Balmain, where shoulders were exquisitely exaggerated.

When it comes to styling black and white looks, there are two trains of though. Firstly you could keep the look simple with matching mono accessories – you can’t go wrong with a chalk white slingback or glossy black clutch – however as we’re celebrating a new found lease of life right now, we highly recommend amping up your look with bold colours – be it a heel, tote, or even a pair of neon sunnies, a little goes a long way. Make like Chanel and start with a printed silk scarf with a hit of colour. It’s an easy way to try out the look and you could even tie it around your neck with a blouse for a retro vibe.

The best bit? As one of the most trans-seasonal trends there is, you can easily get away with your looks for winter too, making any new purchases both fabulous and sustainable.

Saint Laurent SS21

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  • Words by Naomi Chadderton