Obscurity is vertiginous....
When the eye sees black,
the spirit sees trouble....
In the night, even the strong
(Victor Hugo, Les Misérables)
Glamorous and modest at the same time, seductive and practical, mysterious and versatile, elegant and powerful, modern, and timeless, the black outfit has its own role as a fashion statement for centuries. It can tell us the most fascinating stories about personalities who wore memorable black clothes in the past and it can draw a picture of creative soul who is still wearing a solemn black attire even today.
Black is the color of authority, intellectuality and dignity. It is also the most flattering of all colors. No one ever looked more contemporary, more appropriate to urban environment appropriate and
elegant than those who chose black in order to impress the world with their appearance, Black is unusual in having attained its status originally through the Church, a standing which was strengthened by its acceptance in courts across Europe, - from Burgundy in the 15th century to Spain in the 16th century. It finally achieved a universality with the merchant classes of 17th century Holland, from whom it had spread to all Western world by the 19th century. By then, its religious asceticism and modesty had been considerably watered down and it had achieved a certain literary romanticism. [2.]
Black also carries associations of power and a special mysterious allure. The black-clad figure is at once terrifying and seductive, whether a Spanish courtier of the time of Philip II, a Hell's Angel, a Punk or a Goth. Even the plain black suit of a banker or civil servant contains a hint of mystery.
The allure of the black outfit has captured the imagination of generations of couturiers and artists and served as the signature of society's most powerful and enigmatic personalities. And therefore, there is a good reason to look back at some moments of history, looking for answers to popularity of black attire!
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My name is Edīte Parute and I am a fashion historian and researcher from Latvia, association member at "The Association of Dress Historians" (UK) and author of the book "Stila un modes enciklopēdija"/"Encyclopedia of Style and Fashion" (2010) as well as author of many publications.