The message here is not about newfound purity or minimalism; it remains disruptive to the core. A complete stripping away and removal of colour challenges the status quo. Its subversive history includes ripping up the art world’s rules as far back as the 50s. Works like Robert Rauschenberg’s iconic ‘White Paintings’, their canvases covered entirely in white. And the silent 4’33 by sound artist John Cage, a performance with its notes removed, this time blanking out noise rather than colour. But the same mindset feels just as relevant on the sidelines of a Sunday league match, witnessing the revival of all-black football boots as a statement about the game’s obsession with flash colours, and style over substance. Where monochrome is again an outsider choice.
Its cross-cultural resonance, blurring the boundaries of high and low, reflects the democratic appeal of such a pared-back approach. A simple idea with deeper meaning. Showcasing the styling that makes the military parka so timeless by erasing any distractions, bringing the focus back to silhouette and details. It becomes universally accessible, and a symbol of purpose. Doing it in white means having nowhere to hide. Committed to defying the norm, like The Beatles at the height of their powers, breaking musical tradition with The White Album that rejected commercial artwork in favour of all-over colour. Or the plain zinc alloy of New Order’s Brotherhood. And even the sandpaper cover for 80s post-punk cornerstone, The Return of the Durutti Column.