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Want to Be on “Time” Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People List? Wear All-Black

If there was a fashion lesson to be learned from last night’s Time 100 Gala, it’s that power dressing in 2015 means simple, elegant, all-black outfits.

2015’s influencers, including Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Emma Watson, Julianne Moore, and Diane von Furstenberg, all chose black outfits for the event, while guests like Karlie Kloss and Bradley Cooper similarly went dark for the evening. The fade to black either signals the fact that industry leaders are on top of their runway trends—we did call out head-to-toe jet dressing as a key Fall 2015 trend—or that a black outfit is still the most trusted look to signify authority, clout, and importance. It’s worth noting, too, that the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony earlier this month featured guests like Miley Cyrus and Ringo Starr opting for similarly dark-hued outfits.

The idea of all-black dressing signifying prestige echoes the study out of Harvard that posited that people who wear sweatpants and sneakers in luxury settings are perceived to have a higher status. Wearing black to a formal affair not only signifies appropriateness, but also implies that the wearer doesn’t need to stand out by wearing bright colors or flashy garments—his or her mere presence is enough to warrant flashbulbs and fanfare. Still, the evening might have had a little more pop if honorees like Björk were in attendance—there’s a woman who knows the value of a good rainbow poncho.

—Steff Yotka,

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