Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Black and White

(A favorite black and white look, fall-appropriate! Pants by Ksenia Schnaider, vintage Ann Demeulemeester coat, Phillip Lim sweatshirt, Cheap Monday boots, pashmina from Cyprus, and a bag from Hier Apparel.)

"Black and white for work? Revolutionary!" to very loosely paraphrase Miranda Priestly. And it's true, black and white can be quite boring -- white shirt, black pants are the mainstay of waiters and office workers the world over, and it is difficult to be excited about this combo.

Yet, black and white on the runway can be quite striking and anything but soul-killing. Runway of course doesn't always translate to workplace, but there are many ways of making black and white work for most office environments, never tipping too far into either high-fashion territory or the yawn-land. Personally, I love those looks. Not that those tricks are new, but they are effective, and work for minimalists and not.

Adding texture immediately makes a garment more interesting. I love this top by JW Anderson:

It has a beautiful floral embroidery and a draped neckline that elevate its simple shape from a t-shirt into sublime. Here it is worn with Vince wool tuxedo pants and black slingbacks:

Simple? Yes. Work appropriate? Absolutely. Interesting? I'd like to think so.

Things could be punched up further with embellishments, like this Robert Rodriguez top worn with Theyskens' Theory textured pants:

I opted for black and white Tibi sandals here, and I think that their simple shape and clean design work well with the more elaborate detailing of the blouse.

Here's another look with textured and patterned pants (Ksenia Schnaider again), worn with Razu.Mikhina blouse. The shoes are basic Carven oxfords. Here's another shot of the blouse, in Razu.Mikhina's store I visited this summer:

As you can see, the detailing is intricate although subtle, and I think works well with the polka-dot pants.

And of course, if the clothes are simple, shoes can be turned up to eleven, like here:

The streamlined Protagonist silk t-shirt (not technically white, but pale enough peach to count) and Tibi skirt allow for some kicky Marie Antoinette action from these H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection beauties:

So yeah, I don't foresee ever being tired of black and white! And if I do, there is always grey, camel, and ivory.

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