Diana Vreeland once stated that "Black is the hardest color in the world to get right-except for gray..." and she's absolutely right. Done wrong, black can look tired and worn in the wrong shade- or even worse, it can suck the life out of you. But done well, it can be the strongest, most sophisticated statement you can make. Lush textures and bold silhouettes add depth to our current fave five pieces that are anything but boring.
This red carpet-ready gown is one of the signature statements from Ralph Lauren's A/W 2013 runway through his romantic trip through Russia. Here, he has transformed the tough armor-like nature of leather into a soft, supple, and airy gown fit for any czarina by creating a leather bodice from thin ribbons of lambskin on a base of silk georgette. We love how the leather reflects the light with subtle shine, while the silk crepe absorbs light, giving the sheer fabric a deep richness. The contrast of weights, textures, and materials is everything we could ever want in one black dress.
It's all about the details with this woven ribbon jacket by Chanel. Thousands of super skinny ribbons periodically stamped with the iconic chanel logo type are woven together to form the tweed-like surface of this jacket. A familiar double-breasted peacoat silhouette is given a facelift with this treatment, which features hidden surprises throughout. Clear acrylic buttons are adorned with metal scrollwork, and a raw edge hem highlights bracelet length sleeves. Together, they add layer upon layer of texture for a result that is anything but boring.
This asymmetrical tiered chiffon skirt by Chanel is our new go-to piece that isn't a pant. Sheer, silky, soft, and romantic with a high slit combine so many of the qualities that we love in a timeless Chanel piece. Layers of silk chiffon build upon another to create a sheer-yet-opaque skirt that magically works with nearly everything in your closet.
A soft leather jacket that's flattering in all the right places, and not the least bit boxy? Yes please! We are in love with this belted leather wrap jacket by Alaïa. Roomy enough to move and stylish so you never look like you're wearing the same boring biker jacket as the next gal, everything about this piece is a winner. Supple leather adds a little natural shine to your look while never appearing patent or plastic, and we'd put it over everything flowy for a superb silhouette.
This unique take on a black palazzo pant by Ann Demeulemeester is anything but basic. On the hanger, this wide-leg gown-like jumpsuit is actually a very long pair of trouser pants with an extra-long rise. We love how the swath of silk charmeuse transforms on the body, creating a feminine gothy silhouette that dramatically drapes and puddles on the ground like a dark, liquid abyss. Show a little collarbone and leave the rest to the imagination, this is the perfect black statement piece to make your own.
by Erica Sanae