“Can you hear the people sing,
singing the song of angry (wo)men?”
The bold pairing of red and black hues has popped up in capital after capital this Fashion Week. Striking and provocative, the look was back for a second season in London and was of course expected in Milan, where the eye-catching color scheme has long been emblematic of the Italian city. Back in full force now in Paris for Fall 2018’s grand finale, the trend takes on unavoidable Les Mis overtones.
Yes, Les Misérables! With these ensembles, the famous chorus may as well be turned up full blast all along the boulevards of the City of Light: “Black — the dark of ages past! Red — a world about to dawn! Black — the night that ends at last!”
The lyrics of the beloved musical really do sum up what this Fashion Week and the last few months in general have been all about, politically and stylistically. The mood on the sidewalks is the same as the #TimesUp Movement, with its red carpet blackouts. It’s anger, hope, and determination all rolled into one.
The issues at stake are gender and racial equality. And there can be no doubt that a revolution is underway, much like in Victor Hugo’s classic. Paired together, these heart-pounding hues are the modern equivalent of the barricades that sprang up in these very avenues during the revolts of the 1700s and 1800s.
On the sidewalks of Paris, today’s street style pros are getting their #MeToo message across loud and clear. Sometimes the red and black motif is subtle, just a dollop of red lipstick rounding off an ensemble of solid monochrome. Other times it’s more in-your-face, such as bright bursts of cherry alternating with somber black.
Familiar faces leading the charge include Zoey Deutch, who teamed a billowing scarlet dress with a leather Christian Dior bag.
Contrast Zoey’s elegant take on the trend with Bella Hadid’s. The top model partially covered up her ensemble with a crinkled Sankuanz jacket trailing loose red threads. But the rough-edged item didn’t hide her Jadon Doc Martens, her crimson collar, or her shiny vinyl cap, which topped off the deliberately undone outfit with a touch of vintage charm.
Red and black. It’s the incendiary uniform of “a people who will not be slaves again.” — jas