Runway To Real Way: Black + White And Chic All Over

July 15, 2013 • Magazine, Runway To Real Way


The 4th of July has passed, and summer is officially in full swing! And while we’re sure you’re bursting at the seams to bring out every color of the rainbow that’s been waiting patiently in your closet, there is one combo that knows no season, no temperature, and no time of year to stay chic. The old black and white stand-by continues to surprise us in all its incarnations, despite how timeless a combo it’s become. This summer has been no exception, with our favorite BFFs —B + W  — coming through with all types of pattern and print to choose from. Take a gander at some of the picks we’ve plucked off the runway and make them your own this summer!

It’s hard to find more of a classic and effortlessly elegant combo than black and white stripes. Thick, thin, horizontal, vertical, you can basically do no wrong. In Alice + Olivia’s 50’s sock hop-themed presentation for Spring 2013, a frisky B + W frock stuck out to us. Fun and flirty, yet still with enough subtle sparkle for evening, we realized just how much a piece like this had been missing from our wardrobes. We found a suitable alternative from Modcloth in a demure silhouette that Audrey Hepburn would have approved of. With over-sized sunnies, a top knot and ballet flats we’d be ready for any occasion from London to NYC.

What better time to put florals on display than during the seasons everything is in bloom? And who better to put said florals on display than the queen of diaphanous confections, Lela Rose? Her Spring/Summer 2013 show was awash in stenciled prints over sheer panels, an embellishment too decadently delicate to pass up. While on the hunt, we found an equally delicate print int his cap-sleeved, speckle print dress by British-based label Reiss. A little more streamlined silhouette and a little more work friendly cut, and we have ourselves a year long staple that can take us from Labor Day to the holidays.

Geometric and graphic prints were a huge trend on runways from New York to Paris to Milan. The best iteration of the oddly abstract prints were in loose and blousey shapes, perfect for layering like in Vivienne Tam’s Spring/Summer 2013 show. Since we tend to stick to one pieces for the summer (dresses, rompers, one piece pajamas) we took the trend and splashed it across a very cool Trompe L’oeil Shift dress, courtesy of Antoni & Alison. The off kilter print and asymmetrical “belt” make the dress both modern and edgy while the sleeveless silhouette is still easy enough to pass off for just about any occasion. You’ll just be the coolest one there. 

Possibly the most current trend in this group is that of the mighty color-blocking. Color blocking is so easy and fun to pull off, people can’t seem to get enough of it this season. And while it’s typically a mashup of some wild and crazy colors, the old black and white pairing is arguably still the most chic. Pamella Roland, who lives for the long, lean and ultra-feminine silhouette made her signature evening wear a little more “9 to 5” with black and white color blocked bodice. Taking cues from her strategically placed panels, we thought we’d push the blocking envelope further and find a dress that proves to be a head to toe look. This sophisticated sheath from David Meister fit the bill perfectly, doesn’t break the bank, and boasts so many slimming and lengthening lines we may have to write him to request it in more colors! The best part of all of these pieces is, besides being fun, flirty and more than a little Old Hollywood glam, they will hang in your closet forever and be worth every single one of these (few!) dollars spent.

Look 1: Striped Dress
Runway: Alice + Olivia Spring/Summer 2013 RTW
Real Way: Modcloth An Elegant Edge Dress, $124.99

Look 2: Floral Dress
Runway: Lela Rose Spring/Summer 2013 RTW
Real Way: Reiss Gilda Speckle Print Dress, $230

Look 3: Abstract Print
Runway: Vivienne Tam Spring/Summer 2013 RTW
Real Way: Antoni & Alison Trompe L’oeil Shift Dress, now $427.28

Look 4: Color block Dress
Runway: Pamella Roland Spring/Summer 2013 RTW
Real Way: David Meister Belted Color Block Dress, now $297.50

–Alia Rajput

Runway Photos: WWD and NY Mag

Image Layout: Second City Style

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