Wear, what, why when? Black Comme des Garçons is the blue-collar of fashion

Fashion editors love fashion. Sometimes we’re even willing to put it on our backs

One of the missiles often thrown at the fashion world is that, despite proselytising over the clothes worn on the catwalks, many of the journalists don’t sport the designers they deify. Instead, it’s a sea of black at the international collections.

That’s more practical than aesthetic, though. From my own experience at the shows – having just come out of a round of menswear and couture that stretched, almost unbroken, from mid-June to last Wednesday – black is always back. It doesn’t show the creases or the stains. You can sweat in black and it won’t mark. It goes with everything: especially if everything is black. It’s simple, and it’s brainless.

“We were once described as ‘black crows’… in a uniform of Comme des Garçons or Yohji Yamamoto,” said Suzy Menkes, former fashion editor of this newspaper, now of the International Herald Tribune.

Black is the fashion clan’s working wardrobe – a black jacket is our blue-collar. But it’s not really fashion. Fashion is about dressing up, showing off. If we weren’t living out of a suitcase for six weeks, we wouldn’t wear black. Turn to Menkes again for the authoritative example: a selection of her wardrobe is about to go under the hammer at Christie’s in London, under the whimsical title “In My Fashion”. And very little of it is black. Instead, you get Ossie Clark chiffons, Christian Lacroix checks, and an Yves Saint Laurent jacket in ice-cream shades of duchesse satin, emblazoned with an embroidered sun. Menkes sported it at her first catwalk show as fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune in 1988.

Menkes isn’t the only editor whose frocks have fallen under the hammer of late: on 25 June, a selection of the late, great Diana Vreeland’s garments was auctioned in London. There was plenty of black there – but Vreeland’s black was encrusted with Indian embroidery to match a Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Gala theme. Again, it was Saint Laurent.

What am I getting at here? The fact that fashion editors genuinely love fashion – the best of them, at least. Sometimes we’re even willing to put it on our backs. You couldn’t do this job otherwise.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

    £28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

    £22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

    £13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

    £20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory