French maids, magpies and Newcastle United FC supporters are all to be found sporting a black-and-white look. But don’t let such associations deter you from experimenting with the most classic of high-contrast combinations. This season, French Connection has gone mad for monochrome with a capsule collection dedicated to black-and-white pieces.
Sporty shapes come with a hefty dose of street-ready attitude thanks to logos, exposed zips and body-con detailing. Masculine tailoring-inspired pieces may appeal more to fashion classicists, while lace detailing adds a feminine balance.
The campaign shot on model-of-the-moment Adwoa Aboah best demonstrates how to wear the collection – keeping things simple with minimal make-up and slicked-back hair allows the clean contrast of the two colours to really resonate. In practice, a swipe of bold lipstick (red is a classic for a reason) will really stand out against such a pared-back palette.
The return of the monochrome trend for spring/summer is hardly surprising; a black-and-white palette tends to reappear along with nautical stripes and floral prints on the catwalks every September. This season big proponents of the trend are Moschino, Jil Sander and Victoria Beckham, whose clean lines and masculine tailoring are referenced in the French Connection collection. So too is the sporty swagger of Alexander Wang’s eponymous line, not least in the tongue-in-cheek proposition of a “French?” mesh intarsia logo T-shirt.
Black-and-white dressing does of course create all manner of concerns, not least how to do the washing without turning everything grey. But the beauty of this collection is that most of the pieces are separates that can be mixed and matched into your existing wardrobe with flying colours.