Elegant, yet effortless to throw together, it’s hardly surprising that monochrome has become a fashion classic. This week, we take a look at some key styles in the history of one of this season’s biggest trends.
In 1926, US Vogue published a drawing of what was to be one of Coco Chanel’s most iconic designs: a black crepe calf-length dress, paired with a string of white pearls. While Vogue predicted that the little black dress would become a uniform in its own right (and they were pretty damn correct), equally as significant was Chanel’s black dress and white pearls combo.
As the ‘30s rolled round, delicately beaded, loose fitting black flapper dresses went down a storm, while more conservative styles featured sweet white lace and satin details on black fabric. Its simple elegance and ability to match practically everything made the LBD the perfect base to dress up during Depression and wartime eras. Perhaps the ‘50s saw monochrome at its most elegant: white dresses accessorised with a thin black belts, full-skirted gingham and polka dot creations and demure skirt and shirt combos.
Enter the ‘60s. Sleek, sharp and minimal, Op Art prints and mod fashion were a perfect match. Modish shift dresses featured the geometric prints and dizzying line play of Op Art: chequered coats, trousers emblazoned with zig-zag motifs and striped dresses (white tights obligatory).
Words by Anam Rahim