Thursday, February 11, 2010

Decoding Black

Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart – Coco Chanel

So why would anyone ever choose black?  Well, sometimes it is the right choice. 

Legendary costume designer, Edith Head, wore black almost exclusively when fitting actors. She had a very good reason, and it’s the reason you might want to re-think that option.  Edith wore black as she didn't want to draw any attention to herself. She wanted the focus to be on the actor and on the costume.  So if you want the focus to be on something other than's your color!

 I know, black is a safe choice…and so does everybody else! Does it really make you look slimmer? A little.  But maybe not enough to make up for it's drawbacks. It shows a lack of imagination and warmth. Black drains the color from your face. It deepens shadows and creates a somber, depressed effect. It looks like you are hiding something...usually weight. 

Black may also make you appear unapproachable. Just look at some of the words and phrases associated with it!

Black widow
Black hearted
Black sheep
Black death

I'm not saying never wear black, it's also the color of sophistication. It's sexy and mysterious. What I'm saying is consider the powerful message it sends and make sure it's the one you intend!

 Coco Chanel designed "The Little Black Dress" in the 1920's that Audrey Hepburn later made famous.   Notice how Coco used ropes of pearls to soften the effect of her all black outfit. She still looks pretty severe, however!


Angelina Jolie wears a lot of black and while I think of her as sophisticated and sexy, I don't think of her as all that warm and friendly.

I use black in my designs all the time. It can be edgy and mysterious.

 For The Craft I used it to make the girls (especially Fairuza Balk)appear as outsiders to the rest of the school.  

If you're over 40 think about adding a splash of color around your face when you wear black.  You want pretty color reflecting up, not black draining light from your beautiful face!

Black isn't a great choice if you are selling yourself or your business (unless you are a tattoo artist or the like). If you want to excite your 'audience' and open them up to your message ....use beautiful, glorious color.  You're sure to be a stand out - knock out!

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