Wearing black is a sign of the season, I hear you cry – it is winter after all. But for Jess, 34, Refinery29’s lifestyle director, the sun-soaked days of 2020 were filled with black, too. “I wore a lot of black before the pandemic, it was a staple along with blue, white and grey, but I noticed I was wearing more [of it] in lockdown last year,” she says. “I usually branch out a bit in the summer but this time I just…didn’t.” Just as colour loyalists like myself were enticed by black on even the sunniest of days, designers at SS21 fashion month were drawn to a darker palette. Molly Goddard and Christopher John Rogers may have galvanised customers with cheerful brights and jubilant prints but the likes of Burberry, Balenciaga, Altuzarra and Loewe held an obsidian outlook for the season. Trend forecaster WGSN reported that, at 29%, black held the largest share of the colour mix on the catwalks – no mean feat for a season supposedly readying us for the breezy days and balmy nights of summer. Net-A-Porter has seen double-digit sales growth for black items from brands like Alaïa, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen, while shopping platform Lyst reports that global search for black pieces has grown 23% year on year.