Fashion & Style: SUSANNAH FRANKEL ; `Anna's in a Really Bad Mood. [That's Wintour.] She Thinks We're All Wearing Too Much Black'
Frankel, Susannah, The Independent (London, England)
Sitting whiling away the waiting-time at a fashion show in Paris last March, an esteemed colleague and I were discussing the wardrobe of Kate Moss - as you do. This was, you understand, pre-heavy- pregnancy stage, pre-Pucci-print dresses in St-Tropez and unzipped jeans in Sloane Street. That's another story. This was around the time the lady was snapped wearing a black Balenciaga dress at the opening to Mario Testino's National Portrait Gallery retrospective (as pictured, right) or an (also black) Alexander McQueen signature jersey cutaway version at a gala dinner hosted by Vogue.
"Kate Moss," sighed my friend. "She used to be so stylish. These days, though, she just always wears black."
Now, anyone who knows anything about yours truly will sense that this was perhaps not the most diplomatic of comments. The endless parade of garments that is the pret-a-porter addles our brains, apparently, making us insult our colleagues unwittingly, and leaving us too stupid to talk about anything other than a famous model's wardrobe - I hold my hands up in shame.
Six months down the line, however, safe in the knowledge that, as the autumn/winter collections fill the stores, black is once again the colour of the season, I feel somewhat vindicated. I do so not only as a woman who, for most of her adult life, has worn black - or, if I'm feeling dangerous, French navy, olive, brown, grey or white - but also in the belief that there are an awful lot of others out there doing just the same.
But black has had something of a rough ride recently - poor black. Blame Vogue magazine, if you will, and American and British Vogue in particular. Both titles have promoted a more blithe and colourful image of womanhood in recent years. Overheard in the Ladies at the Milan shows not so long ago: "Anna's in a really bad mood. …