On Loving a Color that Isn’t Really a Color
Coco Chanel once said “black has it all: its beauty is absolute, it’s the perfect harmony.” I couldn’t agree more.
I am going to be honest with you here: yes, I am a model, brand ambassador and TV host, and yes, I do love fashion (who doesn’t?), but at the end of the day, like most women around the world, I simply dress the way I feel.
Fashion to me is a synonym of expression. Different outfits reflect different aspects of my personality. I can be both casual and elegant, minimal and eclectic, sporty and formal. Underneath it all, it’s still me, but at the same time, it’s never quite the same Paulina, but rather the Paulina I decide to show in that very moment. Which explains why my style tends to change a lot, depending on the mood of the day. Sometimes I go for very basic outfits, other times I play a bit more and opt for the fun and risky ones. I also have to keep in mind the schedule for the day and be very practical by making choices that work with everything I have planned.
Regardless of the chosen style, clothes are like a second skin to me: whatever outfit I put on, I want for me to wear it, and never the contrary. This is my rule of thumb.
Comfort is also essential. I am certainly not for the beauty-is-pain approach, but I have to admit that the creativity and craftsmanship of some outfits are so irresistible that I compromise a little. Beauty can be (just a bit) painful at times…but it better be worth it!
There is one color that keeps coming back again and again in my wardrobe, independent of mood, season, and occasion: black, a.k.a. the king of my closet. Black is that one color that manages to make me feel good in pretty much any situation. It’s such a versatile color that you can hardly ever go wrong with it.
It must be the sense of authority it gives the wearer. Or the mystery it represents. Or its simplicity. You can wear it with anything—or nothing—added on. It can be casual or classy. Austere or ornate. Poised or laid-back. Black is a color that graciously works for everyone. Because it is one of the most common colors in fashion, it is also very easy to find in stores and to mix and match with other shades.
For a color that isn’t really a color, I guess that’s a great accomplishment!
Not that everyone will agree with the above statement either. Scientists might say that yes, of course black isn’t a color: there is no light in it! While artists might strongly disagree: as long as you see it on a surface, it is a color.
Color or not, black is often associated with power and with the unknown, with anything that can’t be explained. And with elegance and sophistication. Think of black-tie events, for example, where the dress code is composed of a tuxedo with a white dress shirt and a black bowtie for men, and an evening gown for women.
Personally, I like black because I find it enigmatic. Or rather, wearing it makes me feel enigmatic and mysterious. I feel like am in charge, I am the one deciding how much I want to reveal of myself, which is always true, of course, but wearing black somehow gives me that extra push of self-assurance.
Imagine a black panther in the jungle, in the middle of the night. It’s dark and the only noise around comes from nature. Something is about to happen, but no one knows what. A scene where power and expectations and a bit of magic are predominant. This is black to me: a promise that something not quite defined or explainable is about to happen and it brings mystery, magic and a bit of danger with it.
The other big reason why black is such a staple in my closet is its simplicity. Leonardo da Vinci put it into words well: simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Black is exactly that: simple and therefore, sophisticated.
For my last few hours as Miss Universe, I chose to wear a black dress with delicately shiny silver details on the collar and back. I was about to pass my crown to the future Miss Universe 2015 and I had no doubt what color to go with.
Most of my predecessors have chosen very colorful outfits for the same purpose, but I wanted to feel good, elegant and simple; I wanted to be me, and black gave me exactly that!
And what about you? Do you like black? How does wearing it make you feel?
Photo Credits for header: Camilo Villabona