Fashion: Back in black

By Rosie Dawson-Hewes


Maybe it was having Amy Winehouse on repeat. Maybe it was rebellion against all that colour blocking. Or maybe it was grief brought on by the lack of summer? I'm not sure what spurred it on, but I've gone back to black.

At the end of last year I was determined to embrace colour, but I couldn't do it. I did try for a bit. I even bought a bright orange blazer. But it never felt right. It just wasn't me. For the past month or so I've been mooching around, dressed in layer upon layer of black, and I've never felt more myself. Consider it proof I really am a New Zealander.

Our love of black is a well-documented affair. When "The New Zealand Four" (Karen Walker, Zambesi, Nom*D and World) took London Fashion Week by storm in 1999, the international media described them as "dark and intellectual". Instead of shunning the description, the New Zealand fashion crowd embraced it. Since then, our adoration of black has been the subject of gallery exhibitions, public seminars and many books, including the recently released Black: The History of Black in Fashion, Society and Culture in New Zealand, by the New Zealand Fashion Museum.

Obviously, not all our clothes are actually black. Even Neville and Liz Findlay of Zambesi have neon yellow and bright kingfisher blue in their winter collection this year (and they're the bonafide king and queen of black).

But I feel my best in black. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. My temporary foray into colour has only served to remind me that I should stay true to my (black) heart and not follow trends, no matter how tantalising they may seem.

And as for that bright orange blazer? I dyed it black last weekend.

- Hamilton News

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