Black will forever be fashionable.
It’s casual, it’s formal, it’s chic, it’s easy.
For any occasion, you can rely on black.
It’s a go-to colour for most people. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have a collection of black staples in their wardrobe.
And also for any item of clothing.
Underwear, outerwear, activewear.
You get the point.
But lately, well, say the last 6-9 months, a ‘new’ colour has emerged on my horizon and is giving black a run for its money.
That colour your Mum tried to pass off, as ‘just-as-good-as-black’, when you were a kid, but you knew better.
Navy has silently but stealthily hovered in the background for a long time and every now and then you see it pop up. Especially in stripes.
Slowly it has been inching its way into my wardrobe, and not just by way of denim (although I do love a deep saturated indigo).
But by way of shirts. A deep, dark, solid, dependable navy.
And in a crisp cotton poplin. The kind that softens the more you wash and wear.
Paired with any colour demim, charcoals, blue hues or brighter colours. A white tank underneath or just on its own. It’s formal yet casual. It does everything that black can do, as well as giving me a fresh feeling in my wardrobe. I love it.
My favourite outfit at the moment is an oversized mens COS shirt with slim black jeans.
A close second is a classic navy shirt dress (with pockets #bonuspoints), also from COS.
It’s my invincible outfit.
I can go anywhere, I can do anything in it. I accessorize it with an African print headscarf and my weather-worn, handcrafted Moroccan camel leather cross-body bag and either sandals or Converse. Done. Good to go.
It’s a no-brainer.
Which brings me to thinking about where this colour comes from in nature. From where and what, do we obtain this incredible colour?
And I discovered quite the history!
Indigo was referred to as Blue Gold throughout Europe up until the late 1600’s, when it began to be imported directly from China. A high value trading commodity, due to the distance traveled and levies imposed by traders along the route from India.
Aside from creating an amazing spectrum of blue hues, I discovered articles stating it had been used as a medicinal plant as an emetic (a substance that induces vomiting, for the treatment of swallowed poisons), and also treating scorpion bites and ovarian and stomach cancer. Cleansing the liver, detoxifying the blood and reducing inflammation to name a few more.
Note : I did not find any clinical studies on these, so please ask your doctor before nibbling on a leaf!
Indigo is still used as a natural dye today.
“The indigo dyeing process is a fascinating one. The endurance of multiple dips – 14 perhaps – in a healthy indigo vat may reward the artisan with a deep navy blue.”
Daphne Woo, a Natural Dye Artist and Slow Fashion Advocate.
And navy is making its way into kate&frances.
It started with a limited edition tee that I made for the SP2019, FirstPickYVR back in March this year. A deep, dark navy boxy tee.
And keep your eyes peeled for the new kate&frances collection 4.0, due to be released soon.
Navy makes itself seen, heard and felt.
It’s safely becoming a staple in my wardrobe!