Trend Report: Black Outlines

Images via: (Clockwise) “Wire pattern” by Mark Skipper, “IMG_3612” by Gritty Jane, “crossing lines |1|” by Krzysztof Aaron, “black and white framework” by TschiAe, “shadows on the deck” by Liz West

We spied a terrific trend emerging on the Spring ’14 runway and loved its simplicity–black outlines on white or cream ground. Take a look at our Pinterest board on the topic to see how the designers put this trend into practice, from loose and sketchy marks to detailed, vaguely tattoo-like florals. A fun and quick way to try out this trend is contour drawing, putting pen or pencil to paper and drawing an object in a continuous, unbroken line, like the face sketch in the images above. Interesting shapes can emerge when you make the decision to keep your pen on the page instead of lifting between strokes, and can make for beautiful abstract designs or just an interesting way to capture details like creases and shadows. The subject matter on the runway ranged from highly stylized Art Nouveau-inspired florals at Anna Sui, to loose and layered doodles of swirls, faces and gridlines at Cushnie et Ochs that felt like they could have been pulled from many an artists’ sketchbook. Have a sketchbook filled with black outlines lying around? Scan a few and see how they can be combined and layered to form a unique standout print for your portfolio. -Chelsea

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