What are you wearing? What proportion of it is black, white, cream, grey, navy, camel, nude or beige? Be honest, now. Here's a little snippet from 'Basic Instinct', my feature in the latest issue of PHOENIX which examines the chromatic quirks of the fash pack.
The lust was palpable. As London’s designers – young and old, established and raw, buttoned-up and bold - paraded their vision for spring/summer 2012, the imaginations of a monochrome, wind-chilled audience sprouted a rainbow.
Jewel tones normally reserved for autumn shone on in Roksanda Ilincic’s fuchsia and gold structured dresses and Mark Fast’s ruby and garnet skirt suits. Meadham Kirchoff and Richard Nicoll tapped the sweeter end of the spectrum with kitsch, sugary pastels. Peter Pilotto’s Indonesian prints blossomed in a tropical kaleidoscope of greens, pinks, blues and yellows, while Antonio Berardi employed a dramatic scarlet note with Valentino-esque aplomb.
So why, then, will the majority of that enraptured audience, clad like a murder of expensive crows, fail to buy a single item that veers this side of charcoal? And why will so many of the rest of us drool over rich dyes in magazines and then compromise on a lighter shade of ebony in the shop? At both Net-a-Porter and eBay, the volume of black clothes, shoes and accessories bought and sold is higher than for any other colour, regardless of the season; so bitching about fashion folk’s penchant for the dark side is pot-kettlery of the highest order.
It all begs the simple question: why do so few of us wear colour well?
If you haven't already stumbled upon it at London Fashion Week, PHOENIX is a quarterly print magazine that represents all that is young, rising and provocative in London's fashion and culture scenes. Our sixth issue is about everything bespoke, handcrafted and personal, and PHOENIX's new website has also just launched, with everything from a gorgeous original fashion shoot 'Post Modernists', to to a feature on social fashion apps, to an interview with London mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.
Imagine that a sexy fashion version of Wired marries New Scientist and has an aspirational affair with The New Yorker, and you have an idea of what we're aiming for. Ambitious? Maybe. But we're going to have a hell of a lot of fun trying.
This is my second issue as features editor, and I'm really proud of how PHOENIX is evolving. It's a privilege to work with the likes of high editrix and wordqueen Hannah Kane; creative director Leigh Keily; fashion editor Rebekah Roy; beauty editor Lan Nyguyen; music editor Kate Nash and books editor Abigail Tarttelin. Click through and get to know them; these aren't just young, hard-working creatives at the peak of their game, they're wonderfully down to earth and unpretentious people with a passion for producing something heartfelt, witty and intelligent in what can be a rather po-faced industry.
We'd love you to help us improve and grow. One way is by subscribing or buying a copy and then submitting all your feedback and ideas for what and who we should be talking about - here, through Twitter, or on our blog. But you could also become part of PHOENIX. I'm looking to showcase seriously superior young writing talent so if you have a pitch for a feature online or in the print issue, get in touch.
Oh, and if you're wondering, right now I am wearing a pair of bright coral Uniqlo jeans. Screw black. Spring is in the air.