while, anyway) and listen to your inner Grace Jones. For inspiration, look to Lanvin, Haider Ackermann and Saint Laurent, who all worked the metallic-noir vibe for spring.
Think sleek black satin tuxedos paired with heavy gold neck-plates; bronze jackets over sheer black chiffon blouses; bold gold accessories and slinky black jumpsuits. A bit hard-edged, like a Black Russian Sobranie cocktail cigarette, while simultaneously super-forgiving. A trend that, with a judicious give and take, pretty much suits every woman – whatever shape, size or age.
The first rule – don’t hold back on the jewelry. Think of its ancient talismanic power, the weight of it, how it has been such a potent status symbol since the beginning of time. Indeed, you should be dripping in it, but – and here is the second rule – keep your “canvas” on which to display it simple. By canvas, I mean something clean, black and semi- structural, just this side of severe, to offset your riches. A tuxedo
jacket will be your most crucial piece. Check out designs by Saint Laurent, Givenchy or, if you like a longer version, J.Crew.
Underneath, a sheer black blouse by Joseph or a cami from By Malene Birger.
Then maybe a high-waisted, superbly tailored pant from J.W.Anderson, Lanvin or Alexander McQueen. I also like the idea of a good pencil skirt (look to The Row) belted over the top to cinch in the waist, as demonstrated to perfection on the Balmain and Tom Ford runways.
Amber Valletta, Sofia Coppola, Victoria Beckham – research the way they pair a tuxedo or black jumpsuit with the right gold accessories on the red carpet. That is the look you want.
Now for the accessories themselves. Kenneth
“You should be dripping in GOLD, but keep the canvas on which to display it SIMPLE”
Jay Lane is very good at those retro chunky chain bracelets and statement neckpieces, while Givenchy and Versace are bang on the money with the coin trend. Mix and match bracelets and bangles of varying weights to create a totem-pole effect up one’s arm.
In your hand? A fabulously OTT minaudière from Valentino embellished with gold iguanas; a black and gold Falabella from Stella McCartney; or a black raffia circle purse from Dolce & Gabbana with gold-coin detailing (coins are big – figuratively and literally – for spring/summer).
Then picture yourself in a sparse tuxedo, with nothing underneath save a big, fat gold chain around your neck, if you dare. One buttock perched atop a boardroom table, arms folded like you mean business, jangling with an assortment of gold cuffs from Ileana Makri and Fred Leighton. Hair buckled à la Veronica Lake so it falls just over the one eye. Red nails, red lips and velvety skin, naturally. Get it right, and this look will help you conquer the world.
BACK TO BLACK
This is the time for head-to-toe black.
OFF THE CUFF
Gilt pieces highlight a dark canvas.
Luxe, gold-detailed accessories make a powerful statement.