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Black is Back in Style
Ebony Tops Fall 2008 & Winter 2009 Fashion Trends

t is at once chic, sleek and understated, mysterious, sophisticated and slimming. Pitch, raven, jet, or ink – whatever you call it, black was, is, and always will be the color of choice in fashion.

The Timelessness of Black

Okay, let’s face it: black has always been in style; it has never been demoted from its classic status in the wardrobes of die-hard fashionistas. After a brief hiatus in the closet, during a season of glittery eye-candy ornamentation and vivid color, hypnotic ebony hues are back with a stylish vengeance for fall and winter 2008.

Designers have taken a dramatic approach to fall by crossing over to the dark side. The great ones have ditched the razzle-dazzle glitter of summer for the enduring staple of style.

While black may seem less intimidating for many women (especially when compared to combining an array of colors and multi-toned patterns) please don’t insult this everlasting standard by thinking that you can lead the trend by slapping on any garment of a stormy hue approximating black.

The New Black

There are two main schools of thought in this, black’s first official incarnation in the 21st century; concurrent trends collide with black making an appearance in looks inspired by Russian dressing and a new brand Victorian sexiness, stretching the boundaries of femininity from soft and lustrous to structured military.

Russian-inspired looks combine luxury with a folksy feel by implementing embroidery, military pomp, and (of course) fur. The Age of Innocence adds a demure aura by adding a feminine silhouette and a dash of the delicate texture of lace. The elegant look may borrow from the likes of Mary Poppins, but this season’s version of prim and proper has a distinct sensual undertone.

Getting The Look in Black

Think black on black embellishment, embroidery, appliqué, satin, ribbon, onyx, glossy patent leather, the touch-me texture of velvet, rock it out in crocodile black, black stiletto pumps and a kick-ass black boot. Combine edgy lines and fierce structure with the pliable coziness of an Italian grandmother’s black lace.

Black Must-Haves

• Bundle up in a fabulous swingy black coat – trust me, it will be in style as long as you own it.
• Fall for a flirty black cocktail dress – a svelte form-fitting shift for a timeless look or opt for voluminous proportions for a seasonal style that is sexy in its own playful way.
• Suits are hot; go for the governess look in tailored wool, or get racy by showing off your curves in luminous satin. And don’t be afraid to sweep the floors; hemlines are dropping from above the knee and down. Sexy structure lets you pull it off without seeming matronly.

Practical Tips to Remember When Wearing Black

There are many shades and conditions of black. Go ahead and mix textures, but please… match your blacks! Pairing a crisp, bold black suit jacket with a faded, washed-out trouser will bring your FQ (Fashion Quotient) way down.

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By Johneen Manning



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