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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Sophistique Noir's Monthly theme: Black and White



We wear a lot of black. We've been wearing black since the eighties. Hence, in the same way that friends and family are surprised and compliment me when I wear anything that doesn't make me look like I jumped in a coal bunker, the alternative fashion community is increasingly stirring to the sound of what could arguably considered our antithesis: white.

Lady Amaranth, photographed by Kestrel Photography.

The Mutant Stomp Friends correctly marked white as the colour of the year back in January, but it's been invading dark fashion as well; I first noticed this on instagram, with the stunning Torture Gardens' penchant for ghostly victorian frocks, but it's showing elsewhere; on the other end of the scale, pastel goth has been rocking this since its inception. I'm hesitant to call this a trend, as we've been playing with the concept through 'Ice Goth' for years - hell, Ra was rocking it back in 2012. Perhaps I'm just waking up to how common it really is?

Patience Kingsley of @Torturegardens.

We dark fashion fans like white for the same reasons we like black; whilst black has obvious funereal and occult connotations (as well as being the colour of fashion designers), white is associated with purity and the ethereal side of death. Its religious use at communion and weddings lends it an unearthly quality, which works well in horror.

Image from tumblr: source unknown. Harness by Creepyyeha

 In some ways, white is almost more indulgent than wearing all black; it takes balls to wear an ivory dress for an entire day. It also makes you stand out more - lots of people can wear all black, but white really turns heads. White can alternately lend a crispness or softness, but it's when it's paired in harmony with black that, for dark fashion, it really comes into its own; a leather harness, dark lipstick or other signifiers of your normal style can really make an otherwise bleached outfit. I anticipate most outfit posts on this month's black and white theme will be predominantly black with white touches, so I figure this is a nice alternative suggestion.


Me? I think white is lovely, and there's a wonderful clean optimism about it... but then my gaze drifts back to my wardrobe, and I just want to take out my velvets and my silks and my leather, rub my face into their fabric and drown in a Fitzgerald-esque pile of luxurious decadence. I am haunted by black. 

Plus, it hides stains far better. 





Fiona C.


23 comments:

  1. "I am haunted by black. Plus, it hides stains far better." -> great way to put it! XD
    The pictures are really inspiring, but I use white only to create a contrast to my black clothes - I am not 'Ice Goth' enough for more ; )
    I really enjoyed reading it!
    ~Tea

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    1. Thank you! I'm so goth I rarely use white accents, but I think white dresses are definitely going to be making appearances in my wardrobe next summer - at least for practicality reasons.

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  2. Lovely post... And those last lines-perfection.

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    1. I walked around the cemetery today thinking of your post. It reminded me that when I was a teen (I'm 40 now) there was a goth magazine that had a spread of some male goths in white. I hate that I've even thrown away any of these magazines... sigh. I wish I could even recall the magazine. Those boys were terribly handsome in white.

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  3. Beautiful pictures! I do like the white look... but you are right it takes balls to wear... when I last wore my white polka dot dress I had to wear super heavy makup and huge hair just to feel balanced out and more like myself. And then my dog came and put her muddy face in my lap and ruined the look. Lol

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    1. Cheers! I am a very messy eater, and furthermore spend a significant amount of time covered in paint and ink - and that's before the dust and grime of daily life.

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  4. I absolutely agree with you ... black hides the stains better. I can't understand white, especially for skirts and slacks ... and especially in NYC. Things get dirty here, and quickly. I'll avoid white, but maybe not for eyeliner or nail polish.

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    1. White is gorgeous, but utterly impractical for me; in contrast to my Gatsby reference, there is a reason Fitzgerald associates it with luxury and wealth. I could have certainly used more white this summer, however, and the white trend is visually gorgeous.

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  5. Yes, white is really eye-catching. One splash of it is good, but all white makes a huge statement. It's funny, but it's so easy to hide in black clothes, in the colour of individualism and alternative. Then you take the opposite colour thinking it's more 'socially acceptable', but suddenly it occurs to you that NOOO. I wonder why white is so powerful and sort of taboo to be worn casually in culture of the West... interesting, I might do some research about it.

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    1. I'm very partial to a splash of white - but I don't actually have enough to go full on. Black strangely does provide anonymity though, I agree!

      I think it's primarily the wedding/religious connotations of it; being such a bright colour it also really catches the eye. Furthermore, an all white outfit is not going to stay all white, so there's an element of luxury in wearing it.

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  6. White is certainly statement making; admittedly I want to wear lighter colors... but the furthest I think I'll get is pastels... heh.
    That outfit you put together looks like it would be pretty gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks! I wish I had the kind of lifestyle (and extra room in my wardrobe), to wear it myself.

      I'm probably not even a pastels girl, I have to admit; black may well be my life partner!

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  7. Lovely post! White is a colour that I can feel comfortable in and it is a great contrast colour for clothes for people with black hair.

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    1. Thanks! It certainly goes well with black hair; I don't have much white beyond shirts and some tank tops, but it's something fun for goths to play with.

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  8. White is a powerful color, as powerful as the black color.
    I'm not use white, because I think "so happy" for my taste. Thinking of your post, I think I'll risk buying something in white andmix with black to see what effect that will cause me.
    I like this post, made ​​me think of other ideas.

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    1. Wow, I'm so humbled to hear that my post inspired you! I do like mixing in some white myself, so I hope that it works well for you.

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  9. Thank you for contributing this excellent post to the Black & White theme! It was an entertaining read, and with so many wonderful inspirations in white. Truly, I think wearing white does take more bravery than black, and is more challenging to coordinate. I've been wanting to put together an all-white club outfit (now that I finally have a white corset) but another problem is that it's almost more difficult to get whites to match than to get blacks to match! At least with black, the color shifts are not too noticeable.

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    1. Thank you for hosting the monthly theme again! I'd love to see an all white outfit from you; I think the trick is in mixing material types? Good luck for it anyway!

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  10. lol so true! I love white. I've been told it looks great on my skin tone but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm just too messy. Lovely pictures

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    1. Cheers! I am too, I fear - nonetheless, I can handle the occasional white item.

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  11. very thought provoking post. I giggled at the thought that black hides stains better because I always say that black makes doing laundry that much easier LOL

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, all black makes for very easy laundry.

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