Black is the New Black

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by TINA WILSON, Illustrator ~

I wear mostly black. Perhaps it is the New Yorker in me or perhaps it is the forgiving silhouette it portrays, whatever the reason, I cannot change. I have accepted this and yet I sometimes feel the need to wear more color.

The other day I had the joy of reconnecting for lunch and a stroll with a dear friend I worked with years ago, someone I don’t get to see enough of. It was a cold clear day in NYC and Chelsea was busier than you would think. After lunch she suggested we hit the Pace Gallery to see the Mark Rothko exhibition in its final days, it was bustling and I was happy. Upon entering the gallery, you saw square upon square of varying versions of black… blueish black, reddish black, purplish black, brown black and combinations thereof. I’m no art critic so I won’t bore you or embarrass myself by trying to describe the beauty.

“It’s like a Donna Karan color card”! I exclaimed to my friend. “What”? she replied. I explained to her that every season I would get a card of swatches from Donna Karan when we were to begin designing for that season. Those colors were gospel, they were to be followed exactly and only those colors were to be used. Often I would receive three or four colors that at first glance all looked like black, and once and only once did I make the mistake of saying that out loud. Donna was the queen of all things black. From her I learned the subtlety of the diversity in colors, especially black, and in lingerie that is of great importance.

Black is sexy, quiet, moody, gloomy, demanding, taunting, cruel, evasive, forgiving and forbidden….by acknowledging that black is not a single color but many shades we open our wardrobe to new possibilities. I love the idea of mixing a blue black bra with a reddish black brief or shades of black embroidery on a black slip dress. All blacks are not the same and each shade can cast a different spell on you.

I chose to illustrate by sketching over photos of the Rothko paintings however sacrilegious that may be.

See more at Tina Wilson’s website: Marronage… A world of design, illustration, storytelling and ultimately escape.

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Discussion about this post

  1. Karen Bromley says:

    Love the sketches over Rothko! And of course I love black! Nice?I

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