19 October 2023

Black magic: Go back to black this season with the catwalk-inspired trend

19 October 2023

Trends come and go, but if you had to bet all your chips on one colour never going out of fashion, you can bank on black.

And as designers ditch colour in their collections and crave the fluid, liquid lines of fashion’s darkest and most addictive shade, you can embrace mood-boosting monochrome and jet black without any fear of making a fashion faux pas – or bad buy.

From a showy shoulder at Balmain – who would have thought that a PVC maxi dress could look even more sultry?

…To sexy, slinky sequins at Michael Kors; tailored, long black coats (LBC) at Max Mara, Dolce & Gabbana, Victoria Beckham and Prada, black is more than a shot in the dark this season – and the devil is in the detail.

To get the catwalk look, here’s what’s hot on the high street and will make a great first impression…

Black blazer

Call it the power blazer, Le Smoking, or straightforward tailored trouser suit, this is your wardrobe staple to look sharp.

“The trouser suit is an icon of sophistication and confidence,” says Zoe de Abreu, co-founder of Ro&Zo.

“A black blazer matched with trousers will be the perfect companion for all occasions, as it transcends perfectly from day to night.”

For a dare-to-bare aesthetic, go topless underneath – apart from a sexy black bralette – and accessorise with a cosmic choker or pukka set of pearls.

Ro&Zo Black Belted Blazer, £129; Black Pleat Detail Trousers, £109.

Reiss Alia Slim Fit Single Breasted Satin Suit Blazer, £268; Alia Flared Satin Waistband Suit Trousers, £178.

Showy shoulder

“The off-shoulder trend takes on a new dimension this autumn, adding a feminine touch to seasonal wardrobes,” opines de Abreu.

She says this trend is elegant and feminine, and can be worn in a range of textures, such as jersey, velvet and Merino wool.

Moreover, baring a shoulder is very flattering – the neckline lengthens the neck, frames the face – and is a great transitional, versatile piece with a good measure of va-va-voom.

Ro&Zo Black Jersey One Shoulder Top, £49; Ombre Sequin Skirt, £129.

Reiss Adele Velvet Off-The-Shoulder Jumpsuit, £178.

Luxe lace

Ladylike lace has been reimagined with trims adorning jersey and velvet – and it’s made a beeline for the little black dress.

Whether a flattering midi dress is crafted from a luxuriously soft jersey that contours your curves, “A delicate lace-tiered hem adds a dramatic finishing touch,” says Karen Peacock, chief creative officer and co-founder, Albaray.

Or embellished on the neckline and hemline of velvet, sheer lace channels some vintage charm with the X-factor.

In fact, if you’re feeling thrifty, be inspired by ribbon and trim shops and think about sewing a lace trim on an existing black dress for an instant update.

Albaray Jersey & Lace Mix Dress, £89.

LK Bennett Anouk Black Velvet And Lace Dress, £429.


Whether you go full-out sequins or dazzle in rhinestones, a sexy shimmer is where it’s at.

“For autumn, sequins really capture the essence of festivity, allure and drama,” notes de Abreu. “Sequins are all about adding a touch of glamour to your look, and letting your outfit take the centre stage.”

Moreover, “A flattering silhouette is created with a sequin halter top and matching flared trousers,” says Peacock.

“Wear together to make a statement, or dress down and style with jeans or a simple T-shirt,” she adds.

Next Flutter Sleeve Tie Waist Mini Dress, £60.

Albaray Sequin Top, £69; Sequin Trousers, £99 – available mid-October.

Long black coat

A long black coat may not set your pulse racing, but the LBC took to the runway in its droves, with designers making it a key piece in their collections.

And let’s face it, nothing looks more elegant or grown-up than wrapping yourself in wool. Just make sure it’s calf-length or longer.

As Peacock puts it: “A sharply tailored black coat is a true investment piece, which is both functional and stylish.”

“With the ability to style casually or formally, it will be a go-to during the colder months for years to come.”

Next Belted Long Coat, Black, £62.

John Lewis Hand Finished Robe Belt Wool Blend Coat Black, £159; other items from a selection

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