I've often felt that kuro and shiro lolita are very under-appreciated. There is this kind of misconception about these 2 sub-styles that sticking to all-black or all-white outfits can perhaps be a bit... boring. Adding colours can be one way of adding a bit of excitement to a lolita outfit so to stick rigidly to one colour can be a bit stifling. I think that this is a real shame. There are some absolutely beautiful solid black and white dresses out there. Some dresses by Atelier Pierrot and Alice and the Pirates come instantly to my mind, although there are lots of budget options out there too which are also really pretty. But I think a lot of misconceptions about these 2 sub-styles come from how they are typically styled. Usually, kuro lolita gets lumped in with gothic lolita, and it is easy to see why. When you think of gothic fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is the colour black. Similarly, shiro is usually styled in a sweet or classic 'bridal' sort of way. But when you break it down, the only real 'rule' about these 2 sub-styles is to stick to that one colour. So I decided to attempt to put together a few outfit collages to see what I could come up with.
But first, I think there are a couple of things to consider when putting together a kuro or shiro wardrobe-
Materials- Different materials will have different textures, so even though 2 pieces may be the same colour, they can have very different appearances. A good example of this would be comparing chiffon and velvet. Chiffon is light and airy whilst velvet is richer and more dense, so it is possible to create some very different outfits.
Extra Details- Lace, trims, lots of ruffles... a single coloured dress does not have to hold back on the detail. The little details can make all the difference and stop a single coloured dress from looking too boring
Different styles- Going for dresses with bows, for example, would give the dress a more sweet feel. I feel a solid-coloured sweet dress can be a good choice for a classic or gothic lolita who maybe likes sweet, but doesn't feel too comfortable going all-out. Seeing as a lot of kuro dresses typically have a classic or gothic look to them, going for something sweeter can be a fresh take on somebody's typical style.
Themes- Just because you are only working with one colour, it doesn't mean that your outfit can't have a theme! As long as you stick to that one colour, I think you can introduce a lot of themes, which I hope I have shown in my collages.
And now, on to the collages! For these collages, I have tried to go for the exact same dress (Bodyline L362, in case you were wondering) to show how the same dress can look a lot different with just a bit of styling.
First up is a circus/carnival themed outfit. I feel the AP Shadow Dream Carnival tights just about get away with being okay for kuro. I tried to add carousel horses and stars to help the theme come through. I wanted to add a top hat a bit like AP's Star Night Theater one (but just in the black colour, of course) but it proved difficult to find a nice, all-black top hat that wasn't from some cheap costume! So I ended up using an Alice and the Pirates hat for this collage, although it wasn't my first choice. I think this kuro outfit has a slight sweet feel to it.
I had the most fun creating this floral kuro look! I like that this kuro look has a country feel to it. It worked out better than I was expecting it to. I thought of using the Innocent World shawl and then had a bit of a search to see if I could find matching black straw items. As you can see, I managed to find what I was looking for. What I thought was going to be the most difficult collage, ended up being my favourite.
I don't feel I was as successful with this royal themed kuro outfit. I couldn't get a picture of the crown I wanted and the accessories proved difficult too. In the end I went for a crown with velvety details to it, so I decided on using a velvet cape to make sure the crown didn't look too out of place. I feel this outfit could have been a lot better, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what I was aiming for.
So with these ideas in mind, I hope this post encourages people to take another look at kuro and shiro. They are far from boring and there are lots of possibilities! I am admittedly a bit of a print addict, but I had a lot of fun creating this collages. I have worn kuro before (I don't feel shiro would look good on me) and I don't think this is the last kuro you will be seeing from me...