Nobody’s perfect. A lot of us have lumps and bumps we wish to hide and often go about doing so by dressing in black in the hope to appear slimmer and less bulgy in certain areas. Coco Chanel once said that ‘black has it all’. And while it is true that this universally flattering colour does a great job at making us appear a little more flat while giving us a chic and sophisticated look, it now seems like black doesn’t in fact have it all. What if black had the power to transform our physical appearance in more extreme ways? Appearing slimmer is one thing but imagine having your body appear two-dimentional, hollowed out or even almost incorporeal and you’ve got yourself a far more dramatic look.
A group of British engineers from NanoSystems have now made this a possibility with the invention of ‘Vantablack’- a new black that’s so black that the human eye is unable to recognise it and sees a hole instead. Made of carbon nanotubes as wide as a strand of hair that has been split 10,000 times, this alien material absorbs all but 0.0035 per cent of light, distorting shape and dimension as the human eye is unable to process any shadows, therefore creating an illusion of a black hole.
Ian Johnston of The Independent said that if one of Coco Chanel’s little black dresses was made in Vantablack, the wearer’s head would appear to be floating above a ‘dress-shaped hole’. Sounds perfect for Halloween (unless you consider yourself to be daring enough to wear this headless look at work or for a night out). The chief technical officer of the Surrey-based firm, Ben Jensen, also told The Independent ‘You would lose all features of the dress. It would just be something black passing through’.
Although there is no such thing yet as a ‘Little Vantablack Dress’ and if it were ever made it would be far too expensive to become a trend, could the invention of this revolutionary new colour and its striking visual impacts be a peek into the future of fashion? Perhaps the sight of limbs drifting in mid-air will be a familiar one in the decades to come.
Words: Yashi Banymadhub