London Fashion week: Black is the new Black


For a few brief hours toward the end of London’s glamorous Fashion week, Black literally was the new Black.

Fashion designer and milliner to the stars, Phillip Treacy lit up the cat walk with a cast of all Black models - 25 models including Leomie Anderson, Betty Adewole and Jourdan Dunn.

Not only was this a spectacular show with Treacy’s hats which instantly becomes works of art in their own right, but the imagery of exquisite craftsmanship and Nubian beauty has rocked the industry to its core.

This bold beautiful statement confronts the fashion world’s rigidity to what is beautiful.

Carole White, founder of Premier Model Management said,

I thought it was a really beautiful show and really welcome that he decided to use all Black models. It’s always difficult for Black girls to get work in shows… you can usually count them on one hand.

The fashion magazine Vogue attempted a similar feat by issuing all-Black models for its edition. It instantly became a best seller and one of the proudest moments in the magazine’s history. But as one insider Catherine Kallon puts it:

'these are great jaw dropping moments, but without consistency we are never going to see Black beauty as the norm.’

Kallon is right, of course. Until Black men and women are given the chance to become fashion writers, editors, designers and entrepreneurs, we are spoon fed a very limited diet of what is beauty.

On an encouraging note, I know for a fact that Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been exploring ways in which she can bring the power players of the industry together to bring about positive change.

Whilst Campbell and co quietly put together a plan to move the industry to a better place, let's saviour Treacy’s show as one of the highlights of London Fashion week.

Simon Woolley