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Bianca Todd, American painter, 1889-1952

Cooler weather always brings darker colours back into the fashion mainstream, but this season’s blacks make a bigger statement. This past year has been about prints, colours, textures and lush details, balanced by minimalist accents. But fall will be all about classic for women: simple looks accessorized with the season’s more extravagant trends, acting as a canvas on which designers and fashion-lovers can paint their looks.

Of course, black is flattering, universal and polished; this is perfectly embodied by Coco Chanel’s “little black dress”. Before the 20th century, black was worn only in times of grief. But, the trailblazing Coco Chanel foresaw a new future for black. In 1926, Chanel published a picture of her black dress in Vogue. She designed a short, simple and linear dress, as Chanel was intending to create a flattering and versatile dress with mass-market appeal. It quickly became a staple for any modern woman in France, eventually spreading internationally. Throughout the Great Depression, Hollywood continued to support the LBD’s popularity. As Technicolor boomed, black was one of the few hues that was guaranteed to be without any distortion on screen. The Second World War also supported the little black dress’s popularity due to textile rationing.

When Dior’s “New Look” gained popularity, the little black dress remained strong as a rebellious style and as a symbol for the dangerous woman. In Hollywood, sex symbols and “femme fatales” wore little black dresses to counteract the more conservative looks of the day. In the 1960s, mod fans shortened the skirt and created slits throughout the dress. But, Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy LBD in Breakfast at Tiffany’s brought back the classic look of the little black dress. Throughout the 1980s, many types of fabrics and detailing were used, following the day’s trends. In the 1990s, black dresses were paired with combat boots and punk accessories. In the late nineties, glamour made a comeback, followed by muted colours and body-conscious looks, paving the way for a new generation of little black dresses.

This fall, black is back with sass. When you think of black clothing, simple or depressing looks may come to mind. But this fall, black is anything but plain. Fall’s black utilize shapes, textures and ornamentation to make black the main accessory. One of the main prompters for this season’s extravagant blacks is Fendi’s Fall 2013 looks.  The key to work this look: make your black pieces the statement. For inspiration, check out the following pieces:

Isabel Marant suede, leather and pony fur ankle boot | Sequins | Stepping Out | Dolce & Gabanna Lace Dress | Get Funky | Marc Jacobs Silky Girls Bag


This piece was written by Rebecca MacDonald, Fashion Columnist at Rhetoric Magazine. Come back for more every Thursday!