Black & White

January comes to the North with nothing but blowing white snow starkly contrasting with the bare black of the trees. Contemplating the whole barren world outside got me thinking of repeating this theme in a B&W photo shoot with my favorite photographer, MJ . For this occasion I donned two vintage dresses, found hanging in the way back of my closet, both gathering dust from an earlier time … You remember those nights when you rendezvoused with your best besties to swap everything down to the accessories before you all headed out on the town…

Just putting this dress on made me remember long long nights of drama and dancing and lost loves along with plenty of laughter. I paired this white brocade knee-length dress with a sheer black scarf twisted in my hair and patterned black gloves.

Imagine, I found this hand-stitched dress years ago at a yard sale! The brocade pattern is rich in texture and feel. Something about it just makes you want to sit tall and say just the right thing… I always found wearing this a paradox in the night scene where lies form easily on everyone’s painted lips.

My second look centered around a wool and crepe dress, also from a bygone era. For this shot I positioned myself by the porch post with our century old sugar maple in the background. A silver band in my hair and a green beaded necklace are all that’s needed to compliment this gorgeous dress.

In this close-up you can really see the texture of this dress; it moves as you move and flares on the dance floor like nothing else. The gold bangles on my wrist are also vintage and delicate and gold and make the look!

Long before lycra seamstresses used other tricks to make your dress form-fitting: these metal disks, sewn inside just below the waist do the job. All these years later, this antique dress still makes magic.

Alright, every girl has to raid her partner’s closet sometimes, right? While not exactly vintage, this tuxedo shirt and vest make a B&W statement that screams dare me! Throw on some fishnets and black boots and you are set for a night of anything goes.

I love the detail in John Lawrence Sullivan’s beautifully crafted shirt, right down to the cuffs. And yes, pile on the rings: mixing metals works best, gold and silver and even brass: remember everything is possible!

While putting together your looks, don’t forget a hat; there was a time when no woman (or man for that matter) dared step out without a covered head; judging from the rise in milliners, I would say hats are making a comeback! Mine is black felt with a fabulous cloth flower on the side.

For the finale, I pulled on my vintage fur coat. Although I am not one to support the fur industry, I bought this for a few dollars two decades ago in a thrift store. Since then I break it out of storage for all my winter parties and once outside never feel the cold! The coat says celebrate like no other… and come January, I love the reminder!

Curious? This is persian lamb with a mink collar…black warmth like no other.

B&W never gets old…In fact, I say during this stark month, embrace it.

Bring your oldies out of the mothballs and plan your own B&W revival party!

3 thoughts on “Black & White

  1. Oh my,how you hit home again ,NINECENTGIRL!!!!! When i was growing up,my Aunt Didie left us a Persian lamb coat. We three girls put a mark on it….when you had a date for Saturday night.We shared the honor of going out in style. It did NOT have a mink collar.but the feeling was the same and we wowed the boys when we stepped out! You look fabulous in your outfits….so much more elegant than we did! One night i had NOTHING to wear…my sister Pat was out with the best stuff. I asked my sister Marj if i could borrow her simple,but beautifully made red suit. Simple,very light wool,I think. IMy date took me to the Stork Club and he said i was a hit in my beautiful,tasteful suit. All the other women wore black gorgeous diamonds and dresses…..We tore off to another supper club in New Jersey and when we got home,he proposed. I didn’t marry him,of course,but never forgot the effect of a subtle ,sweet outfit. You know,clothes make a difference. We feel it,,,,,we know it!!!!!!


  2. i’m so impressed!!! you look amazing and black and white is my fave combo. well well done. and you better keep those dresses in the front of your closet 😉


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