Reacting to an economy in crisis, several of the world’s leading labels took to the catwalks of Milan and Paris this past January with collections that all had one element in common–the color black. Bleak and disparaging, the lack of color highlighted a group of designers that were well aware of the turbulent year ahead for retailers and the industry at large. Instead of turning to bold colors, designers used constraint in effort to present collections that provided garments for the sensible buyer, while also remaining true to their voice. Setting the stage for a dark fall, black would also overtake catwalks across the world from Stockholm and Berlin to New York. Fortunately, it is to their credit that designers crafted a season that included a finer attention to shape, cut and texture.