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Despite being a colour convert, black is slowly creeping back into my wardrobe – even for spring. I’m not talking eveningwear either – LBDs and tuxedos will always be high on my list, but what's on my radar right now is black in the day. So long as the fabric is lightweight and breathes, black can be an antidote to the pretty florals and prints that usually take up space in our spring/summer wardrobes. Always on the lookout for what feels fresh, modern but wearable, it's black that’s striking a chord. And it doesn’t have to be boring – quite the opposite. Whether your look nods to Dolce & Gabbana’s Sicilian world or favours a Prada minimalism, it's silhouette and structure that count.
I have a real thing for rich-looking black cotton – particularly in long and lean silhouettes. Merlette has an incredibly focused, easy-to-wear collection that spans cool dresses and voluminous midi skirts with interesting cut-outs and contrasting stitching. Its Tiana shirt has just the right amount of detailing for the day, and its Elinga skirt fits like a glove. I'm obsessing over midis that have a more form-hugging waistline and low gathered volume – they look more modern and work with the simplest of tops, like racer-back vests or a simple tee. Aje does this style brilliantly, with lots of cleverly placed pleating. Another Tomorrow is worth checking out if you prefer a more minimalist, streamlined approach. Sea NY isn’t one to miss, either. Though I love its more decorative designs, its Steph dress really stands out – so simple and modern. You need a serious budget to invest in Johanna Ortiz, but her Lotus Jewel poplin midi dress really is an example of black done beautifully. Exaggerated sleeves, a cut-out waist and a stunning broderie hemline – it sounds like it might be too much, but all those elements work together to make this so much more than your average summer dress.
If you’ve fallen a little out of love with dresses, a co-ord is an obvious way to go. Jigsaw has done a broderie anglaise shirt dress and matching palazzo trousers that I love – both have a vintage resort vibe to them and will work equally hard as separates. I also love a flared, decorative trouser – and because these ones are black, I can take them in a more minimalist direction with an oversized black t-shirt or boxy linen blazer. Nanushka isn't just known for its vegan leather and knitwear, its silk pieces are seriously cool. I have my eye on a simple satin shirt and wide-leg pair of trousers that will take me from day to night – just swap out heavy sliders for elegant mules. Deiji Studio also has a black cotton shorts-and-shirt set that would look great with statement jewellery and a bucket hat. Even if shorts aren’t your thing, make sure you check out the scalloped styles from Kiki Vargas and Sea NY – it's clever, simple details like this that bring black to life. Finally, if in doubt, a simple pair of black cycling shorts will always work well with an oversized shirt or sweatshirt on casual days.
As for accessories, I wouldn’t try to mix things up too much with tan leather or other colours. Head-to-toe colour keeps the look modern and succinct. Prada's woven bag is about as flashy as I would go in terms of branding, otherwise Hereu's raffia tote adds some texture into the mix and is an elegant, practical shape. Also, Nanushka's buckets bags are always versatile and sleek.
In terms of shows, there are so many chunky flat sandals out there at every price point – Zara and Isabel Marant are two of my current favourite places to look. A kitten heel brings modern, ladylike elegance to all of these looks and you can't go wrong with Prada. As ever, gold statement jewellery really is your best friend with an all-black look. YSSO is a new find for me – sculpted, bold, modern, its pieces feel a little different and, while the price point is special, it’s not killer. Finally, sunglasses are always my accessory of choice – particularly with a harder, more minimalist look for spring – so I recommend checking out Celine and Anine Bing.