BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
Within the fashion world, the color black is one that sparks debate of polarizing opinions. Some claim that the color is boring and too simple, while others claim that the color is classic and edgy. I’m of the second school of thought. Some of the most stylish men and women I know—both personally and within celebrity culture—wear predominantly all black.
Oscar winning director and Marc Jacobs’ muse, Sofia Coppola has built a reputation as a style icon by wearing all black. Black is a color that makes the person wearing it stand out. In Coppola’s case, when she steps onto a red carpet, she makes a statement about her character and her films, which are in contrast full of color and femininity.
Recent CDFA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) award winners Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have explored the polarity of the color; both in their personal style and in their high end label The Row. The twins explore black in a way that is both minimal and maximal at the same time, thus creating their modern take on a color considered to be too classic and boring.
For the extreme fans of the color, look no further than Marilyn Manson. Though not typically considered as a style icon like Cary Grant and Paul Newman, Manson’s style is well cultivated and carefully executed. The Goth rocker, who has been featured in Vogue, favors all black ensembles like skinny pants, lots of leather, and well-tailored, full black, three-piece suits. The only thing that makes his style odd is his hair and makeup.
Actor Justin Theroux is also a fan of black. His leather-heavy wardrobe is hyper masculine without being ironic. He looks just as punk and cool in a black tuxedo on a red carpet as he does when riding his motorcycle in downtown Manhattan.
No one in recent memory has done more with the color black than Ricardo Tisci, head designer at Givenchy. His use and experimentation with the color has given him one of the most eclectic collections of muses in the history of fashion.
Musicians Beyonce Knowles, Frank Ocean, Kanye West, artist Marina Abramovic, and even Rooney Mara, are a few of the people who have been closely associated with Tisci’s visionary transformations of the House of Givenchy and the color black.
Over the past month I’ve seen some incredible uses of black on this campus. Nicholas Wray ’17 rocks his father’s old black and white football jersey. Molly Mann ’16 and Allie Auricchio ’16 look stylish in classic black party dresses. Anna Grace Bowden uses the color in jewelry, with a chunky pair of shiny earrings.
If you’re going to wear a watch, why not defy the standards of silver and brown leather like Griffin O’Rourke ’17? Griffin’s watch is grounded on a classically minimal style, but the all black band and face with gold accents really makes it stand apart from other watches.
Within the Trinity community no one has mastered the use of black quite like Kathryn Emery ’16. Emery’s closet consists of black, white, and gray, with the occasional flash of bright pink. Whenever I see Emery around campus, in pictures, or in New York, I am always taken aback by her stunning sense of style.
Emery, an exceptional beauty, has the confidence and grace to approach the mature color with the most complex understanding of it. Emery looks classy and reserved when wearing a modest black dress during the day, stunning when rocking a short black dress to go out in, and as cool as Kate Moss when hanging out in a pair of black jeans and a black t-shirt.
The best part about Emery’s style is that while her outfits are impeccably stylish, the first thing one notices about her: is her. And that is quite a special rarity in a world where beautiful women flood themselves with ridiculous trends and heavy makeup.
If anyone on this campus desires to step up his or her style, I suggest taking after Emery. Add more black to your wardrobe, and let your style be classic, easy, and show off who you are on the inside.