The new black and white

Black and white is a classic combination that has stood the test of time. From a historical standpoint, it is reminiscent of timeless elegance and tradition: the refinement of a well-tailored tuxedo, the lustre of grand piano keys or the echo of checkered marble flooring.

In more recent years, the minimalist contemporary nature of design rendered black and white a clinical and almost frigid combination. Pure blacks and whites were coupled with cool grey tones, glass, chrome and other lacquered surfaces.

This season, black and white are once again back on runways and in homes.

This time, they are harbouring a more subdued allure. We are witnessing a more organic face of the classic combo, reminding us that black and white can, in fact, be warm and inviting. We are trading the pure whites and jet blacks for warmer variations on the theme: variations that spell comfort and nuances; and variations that feel more organic and human. The cooler shades are replaced by the fullness of black pepper and licorice, and the enveloping shades of meringue, almond and marshmallow. In some cases, warm shades of camel and tan or soft muddy pastels are getting thrown into the mix. Favoured materials are also undergoing a casual makeunder.

Luxurious materials are being replaced by simple and pure textures: iron, enamel, whitewashed wood and Belgian linen.

The prevalence of black and white comes and goes like waves in the ocean: we can always count on their return, but we never know which shape they’re going to take. This is what makes the combination beloved and iconic yet malleable and current. This is also the reason why we can invest in the two colours knowing that they will never go out of style.