Colourless Spectrum

Text by Queen Michelle

Greyscale. Monochrome. Black and White. The colourless end of the spectrum where the dark meets the light.

This tonal palette is hard to attach one specific kind of emotional association with - it can say so much.

Black, for example, can be for mourning; it can be sexy; it can be mysterious; it can be chic; it can be used to hide real or imagined imperfections; it can act as sartorial armour with which to face the world. With colour there is no denying it eludes some level of happiness and anything else is merely a bonus or by product. Grey is even harder to quantify.

It's this elusiveness that lends the colourless palette it's allure - it can mean whatever you want it to mean. The devil is all in the detail when there is no colour to say it for you.When it comes to black, white or grey, I personally like mine to express a degree of hardness; a slightly menacing undertone. I care not about being chic - that ship sailed a long time ago - I prefer instead to be a little bit scary, a little bit futuristic.

Czech designer Jakub Polanka has scary and futuristic literally all sewn up with his AW09 collection. With no colour involved I feel it imperative that texture becomes key and Polanka uses it to marvellous effect with inky black, shiny, puffy nylon coats worn with the sheerest jersey; draped dresses and tops languish over ruched leggings and snoods of dove grey snuggle up against necks. He chooses to explore looks in one single hue from top to bottom, whilst ensuring no two fabrics that sit together are the same thus presenting us with a textural feast. He mashes up the tight fitting with the loose and billowing. It's contrary yet cohesive.

Todd Lynn is another designer who appreciates that the colourless requires more creativity when it comes to selecting fabrics. Movement or structure become key. Lynn is well known for his tailored aesthetic and with his AW09 collection entitled 'Di Meliora', meaning "Heaven send us better times", he keeps on "keeping on." With leather looking like it's here to stay, Lynn keeps it sharp with skin tight trousers, slim fitting jackets, capelets and opera gloves. He adds voluminous fur and combines it with his signature sharp jacket and waiscoats. If heaven were to send me some of his creations then better times would surely ensue!

Jakub Polanka website

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