Tatler Throwback: A Black & White Fashion Flashback
May 25, 2017 | BY Rebecca Cairns
Monochrome never goes out of style
To celebrate Hong Kong Tatler's 40th anniversary, we've been combing through the archives and reliving the good ol' days. Amongst some of the quirkier fashion looks that we're glad were just a phase, we found some stoic classics that seem to be eternally on-trend.
In March 1987, Hong Kong Tatler celebrated a decade by taking a look at 10 years of fashion:
"Colours in their moods have been and gone; there was the khaki phase, the jungle look, then pastels and later fluorescent pinks and sickening lime greens. But throughout, lingered the couplet of black and white, with their stark and often illusory effect."
The past few years have taken on a similar hue (lime green is Pantone's colour of the year), but with monochrome still bossing the runways, it seems that not much has changed. Check out these 10 black and white looks from the '70s and '80s—which ones would you still wear?
Dots and stripes are as much a hardened classic as black and white: 1978 saw the introduction of the bold, thick horizontal stripe, thanks to Christian Dior.
Whether it's formal or office wear, monochrome is always a safe way to go. Chanel's take on a fit-and-flare ball gown is as striking now as it was in 1979. A velvet double-breasted blazer signals the start of the '80s: this was the era of Working Girl and Nine to Five, and masculine shoulder pads are just around the corner.
'Ladies weren't ladies until they dressed like men.' Welcome to the '80s—the age of the oversized smock. Christian Dior went with sequin-chic, while Krizia embraced frosty winters with a reversible cape.
Black and white are great for creating optical illusions, which arrived in force in 1983. Lace and frills became all the rage in 1984, as fashion moved from boyish to girly again.
Fur, faux or real, has been a fashion obsession for centuries and the '80s weren't any different. Optical illusions prevailed, and while these checkered sunglasses are a bold fashion statement, the Chanel coat dress and white collar are perhaps a little more timeless.
See also: The Best Vintage Ads From The '70s
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