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The look was pioneered in similarly volatile times, the 1920s, by the doyenne of high fashion, Coco Chanel. Her Little Black Dress and black-and-white suits were instant hits and came to epitomise timeless elegance. As she famously said, "black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony." 

What's more, monochrome dressing is styling sorcery. Not only are black and white outfits so easy to put together, they give the illusion of greater height and shed pounds in the most flattering way. No wonder they are the fashion world's unofficial uniform. In summer, black and white outfits make an especially bold statement when everyone else is blending in with the flowers. For the full effect, resist the urge to add any colour. Instead, accessorize with some gold, silver or sparkling jewellery by Tess Van Ghert.  

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