Friday, May 23, 2014

The New Black and White Dress

Perhaps, this has happened to you: You're out and about--shopping, running errands, spending the day in a city--when you notice a garment or accessory on a man or woman and think: "Well, there's something different." Then, maybe a few blocks later or a couple of hours later, you'll see someone else modeling the same look. After it happens a third time, you realize: "Wow! It's a new trend!" Does that happen to you? It happens to me a lot when I'm in New York City. Spotting new trends on the street is fun--kind of like a scavenger hunt.  However, it also happens off the street. I'll have the same sort of "fashion ah-ha" moment while watching television and/or reading the newspaper.

Case in point: The new black and white dress. Recently, I saw a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker, 49, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala 2014 in the New York Times (above). She was wearing a striking Oscar de la Renta black and white gown. The gown's skirt was mostly white with intersecting thin black lines. The following evening, I watched an interview with Katie Couric, 57, on The Daly Show with Jon Stewart (below). She was wearing a 'fit and flare' dress--mostly white with thin black stripes. Seeing two stylish women in similar dresses, I realized I was seeing a new spring trend. Last night I was in the city and saw a woman with a pair of slacks with a similar fabric. (Sorry, I was dashing and didn't have time to take a photo.) 

Are white garments with thin, intersecting black line going to replace last year's tsunami of bold striped fashions? Doubtful. I suspect in another week, women everywhere will be covered in thick stripes once again. However, I appreciate this new take on the black and white trend and the geometric patterns trend. Or is it new? It seems a bit nostalgic to me. It reminds me of Yves Saint Laurent's famous "Mondrian" dresses (below) from the 1960s, without the colored squares.

I know some women over 50 feel their complexion is washed out by white. I also know plenty of other women consider white garments a wardrobe staple. Katie Couric keeps her look bold, not washed out, by pairing her mostly white dress with a short black cardigan.

Here are a couple of other white dresses with thin black lines...

Halston Heritage Crochet Insert Cotton Voile Faux Wrap Fit & Flare Shirtdress ($398)

BB Dakota Colorblock Cotton Blend Fit & Flare Dress ($78). I love this dress design. Unfortunately, the dress length is only 35".  It will only work for over 50 women who are shorter than me. (My fav dress length is 36".)