When we think of the concept of black and white, we may think of classic movies such as, It’s a wonderful Life, Casablanca and Brief Encounter. We may think of impeccably dressed scenes in more recent movies, such as that of My Fair Lady at the races or of stunning and dramatic black and white architectural or fashion, photographic images. I am a huge lover of monochrome and wanted to share my Black and White Gift Wrapping Ideas.
Perhaps the classic little black dress pops into our mind? May be, elegant, crisply contrasting fashions and geometric designs of the 1960s or iconic images of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s are what we think of? Perhaps a black suit and a white wedding dress, pinstripes and spats or the black and ivory keys of a grand piano pop into our heads? Or, possibly, a black bowler hat and a crisp, freshly printed broadsheet?
Image courtesy of Pinterest
Whatever we attach to the theme of black and white, it is usually viewed as sophisticated, elegant and classic in its appearance. Using black and white within the world of giftwrapping, whether it is plain or patterned, with or without an injection of colourful contrast, plain and simple or high shine and embellished, the look we aim to achieve is one of tasteful and timeless distinction.
There is something about the crisp contrast of black and white and its use through history to make design statements in art, fashion and interior design that render monochrome a safe choice if ‘elegant’ is your ambition. Here are a few of my tips and suggestions when wrapping with black and white.
My love of Monochrome
Jane Means working in Paris top to toe in Monochrome
Inspiration can be taken from anywhere and everywhere. It has been said that the way a woman dresses will influence the way she styles her home and what her general purchasing choices will be. Well, I adore the simple elegance of monochrome and in Paris, recently, it was apparent that my love of black and white extends far beyond my wardrobe. Utilising contrasting patterns, these gifts are simply and perfecty coordinated and look chic enough for any Parisienne boutique.
Monochromatic design is everywhere, from my favourite sweets to fashion pages and perfect interiors. My favourite liquorice sweets have inspired some of my most distinctive ribbon designs and the crispness of a freshly starched, pin-tucked shirt inspired this classic, masculine gift wrapping style, which utilizes the japaneze pleating style of paper folding.
Great gifting for a guy…black paper with pleats – classic look
With repeated reference to my favourite sweets, because they are so deliciously wonderful, the inspired combination of black and white spots and stripes is one that I use over and over again, employing different wrapping techniques and adding the occasional signature colour.
A dreamy bathroom with black walls and a chequered floor
Image courtesy of Pinterest
Love these chairs teamed with wood – Image courtesy of Pinterest
Ribbon, Tags and Bags by Jane Means
My black and white stripe gift/party bags match perfectly with my spotty ribbon and instantly evoke the chic sophistication of Dior or Chanel.
It may be merely packaging to some, but it is a statement about your consideration of the recipient and about your own creativity; about your attention to detail and about creating a temporary, aspirational image that must be taken apart to reach what lies inside. The question is, what image do you wish to create? The same gift, presented in varying degrees of thoughtfulness and sophistication, can leave very different memories with the recipient. A sense of occasion and drama is sometimes the goal and attention to detail is necessary.
A gift I did for Claudia Winkleman…’Strictly’ monochrome
The monochrome, harlequin check pattern is seen in bathroom tiling and on chessboards, on chef’s trousers and on the checkered flag of motor sport racing. It has found its way into fashions, interior fabrics and also ribbons. It is a very sharp, crisp and iconic piece of black and white design and I, for one, love it. It injects a little fun into the black and white theme and, when placed against plain black, it stands out, dramatically.
Height of Luxury
Sometimes elegance is understated but, as with the little black dress, it can be dressed up or down, depending upon the occasion. Sometimes a little gloss, glamour and sparkle are required. This monochromatic delight has been created with a glossy, textured paper, a beautifully luxurious, two sided, monochrome ribbon and a lavishly jeweled embellishment.
It is every inch a black and white classic but, rather sadly, the only reminders of such works of art are the photographs taken and the memories they leave behind. Giftwrapping is the art of inspiring excitement about what lies within and about telling the recipient that, whatever lies inside, it has been given with the greatest of thought, care and attention.
Classic Gift Wrapping I did for Dior
Nothing but the best from Dior and these pristine gifts appear to be perfectly pressed dress shirts with individually monogramed, precision tied, black bows. Elegance and sophistication prevails. Architecturally accurate in their folded construction, they are perfect for him and ideal for her.
Monochrome look book
There is a smart, reassuringly formal look to something white that is edged with black or that is black, highlighted with white. It is easy to place emphasis on shape and draw the eye to where you wish it to go. The white may have tones of cream or pale shades of grey but the overall effect is one of smartness. It can be a very masculine look but, with accessories and embellishments, it is also very feminine. Monochrome is one of the most versatile styling combinations in all areas of design.
Wedding favours in black
Simple, smartly wrapped, monochromatic wedding favours cannot fail to hit the required mark of elegance but there is always the option of injecting the element of contrast with an embellishment of a single colour. Perhaps add a gift tag in the colour of the bridesmaid’s dresses or a jewel colour of deep purple, or emerald green or a rich shade of red.
Personalise your own paper
The crispness of news print, combined with the softness of a floral styled embellishment offers a less formal monochromatic presentation. But to ensure the perfect news content of your broadsheet, why not create your own typed sheet of newsprint? Only one repeated word may be adequate or, perhaps a phrase or two? You may wish to add a photograph or two to your newsprint? Black and white, obviously…
We’ve always loved Classic Black and White and have even dedicated a Pinterest Page to it
All my blogs are personal but this one really talks about something that I have a particular passion for. I have adored monochrome design for as long as I can remember and even have a Pinterest page dedicated to collecting all things monochromatically inspiring. I love its elegance, its versatility and its timeless, classic impact.
I have said that 2017 is my year of colour but there is always room for monochrome. Black and white also look great when they are punctuated by an injection of a single, vivid, contrasting colour.
My new wrapping paper for Christmas just hits the spot x
Wrap by Jane Means