Before colour photography was invented, we were limited to capturing the world in black and white (aside from paintings, which can only ever be interpretation). Perhaps this is why traditional views are also black and white. The real world functions in shades of grey, with no right or wrong, only a variance of opinion. But sometimes stripping an image of colour can add a certain clarity. Viewing pictures in black and white forces contrast, allowing otherwise obscured details to emerge.
Black and white are complete opposites, both neutrals but in utter contrast to one another, why is why they work so well together. A black and white outfit conveys strength, order, conviction, but also whimsy if deployed in equal measure. In creating this post I put together the outfit you see above and I find that I quite like it. Usually, in my real life, my outfits are dominated by colour, but now that I’ve challenged myself to put together something based on such contrast I can see no reason not to wear it for realsies.
There is also something soothing about the contrast between black and white. I discovered this as I was putting together my colour boards for this post. I find the above montage rather mesmerizing. Moody, perhaps even creepy, but pleasingly so. Perhaps it is the purity of white mixing with the power of black. Both colours, or neutrals if you prefer, are as stark as can be and together they create something graphic and geometric even when the shapes conveyed are organic in nature. I find myself hard pressed to think of any other configuration of colour that will be so aesthetically pleasing.
There is a celebrity, Janelle Monae, whose aesthetic is almost exclusively black&white and she rocks it. Perhaps we should all take a page from her book.