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Fred N: Black Magic

Fred N.
Fred N.

You smell it in the air, it’s almost over, and the heat will pull back, because it’s time for a new season. Fashion once again embraces its longtime muse: the color black, giving rise to the cry that black is, once again, most definitely the new black.

I have always enjoyed a rather complicated relationship with black fashion; on one hand, this ‘non-color’ is viewed as mysterious, a cover-up and maybe a symbol of death. On the other, it represents sensuality and sophistication. Those who wear it with a quietly powerful confidence. Everyone has at least one black period in life.

About a couple of months ago, just back from the winter edition of the fashion shows in Amsterdam, I rushed back to my own closet. Everything was black, black, black. One of my handbags even started a conversation with me! The black patent Dior clutch said to me: ‘What do you think about dying your hair the color of the season?’ The truth is, I was thrilled, I spent my early childhood till now killing my original dark color with bleach, and sometimes created a terrible dryness. After a while i got it more browner to chestnut tresses, this would be the time, and my calling to go back to my roots.

Because I wore extensions all the time or dye different hints of color, I discovered that transformation is far from easy.
My colleague, the hair colourist, says that if I dye my hair, for the third time that month, it would take two years to get the healthy length of my hair back because it would make my hair start to break off. So I go for Plan B: a wig. Images of gorgeous black-bowl-wigged Yves Saint Laurent models instantly spring to mind. But then I try one on, it feels tight, hot and as though it could be whipped off at any second. How does Cher manage, I wonder? The color isn’t a shiny brown, but hard bluebottle black. The people at the wigstore start giggling, I begin to have second thoughts…

The next day I visit a friend of mine, also a hairstylist, to have my hair tightly plaited and pinned to my head. ‘Nobody is going to recognize you’, he says with a chuckle, as he cuts the wig hair with a funky fringe. When he is finished, even I cannot recognize myself. After looking in my bathroom mirror the whole evening, I left my hair as it was and spend an uncomfortable night with the pins digging into my scalp. Dressing the next day is impossible; I feel as though I have someone else’s wardrobe. Nothing suits me: soft colors look wrong, and wearing all black -as I often do- feels like I’ve hit a depression. I start to dought about the opportunity to create a new persona.

‘Blonds grow up with an air of confidence that comes with getting things their way’, a friend says. ‘The rest of us have to work to get what we want.’ Strangers seem less welcoming but more respectful – people seem to expect attitude, and it becomes easy not to disappoint them. The ultimate test: go for drinks with your friends. ‘You look scary’, says one of my friends. ‘I wouldn’t want to get into an argument with you.’ Or: ‘you look like you’re in a bad Swedish rock band’. Everyone reacts the same way – backing away, quickly. I’m not sure it is a hit with men either.

By the end of the evening my head feels itchy; I find my nails wiggling the wig around and decide to pull it off, and put the wig on a very confused girl, who had too many tequilla shots and told me the whole night that she loved it. Well, there you go! At least one fan for that night. I was liberated, happy and decided to stay with my fake brown chesnut color as long as I can. Wonder what happend to the black patent Dior clutch? She never made it…

Eén reactie

  1. Ken september 13, 2009

    love it.

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