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The new monochrome

Photography by Simon Upton Styling by Thelma McQuillan Photography by Simon Upton Styling by Thelma McQuillan

The instant Holly Golightly stepped out onto Fifth Avenue, croissant in one hand, coffee in the other, monochrome cemented itself as a modern classic all over again. Who can forget that black Givenchy dress offset with a string of white pearls? Black and white are guaranteed to project Parisian chic – the perfect balance of effortless and sophistication, and minimalism at its finest.

This season monochrome has been given a makeover in the form of textures. Injections of different fabrics and unexpected details have made the black and white combo more exciting than ever. Monochrome was once simply ‘this white top with those black pants’. But add a little velvet, a touch a suede and a leather jacket, and suddenly monochrome is less predictable and more boundless. Welcome to texture play: the grey area of monochrome.

The LBD has been given a revamp this season with interesting silhouettes in alternative textures such as velvet and suede. Tiptoeing the line between grunge and Victorian Gothic, yet exuding innate sexiness, it’s surprising what a change of fabric can do. Considered cut-outs are in, and bell sleeves in soft organza and fluid fabrics are bigger than ever.

On the flipside, what Golightly did for the little black dress, Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace did for the white shirt. It’s timeless, and the perfect power-piece for any woman’s wardrobe. For a shortcut to chic, a white shirt with leather pants, or dressed down with distressed denim is a go-to winter ensemble. Experiment with modern structured shirts and explore textures by adding some fur slides or leather loafers.

The slip dress is also here to stay. Kate Moss took this lingerie-inspired garment and transformed it into a wearable wardrobe essential, and the fashion world remains grateful. To work monochrome and texture play, look for midi-length hemlines in contrasting fabrics such as velvet and satin. Warm the look up with suede thigh high boots and you’re officially winter-ready.

It’s time to redefine monochrome. 

Shop tonal texture play below.