Christmas Gift Guide 2019: 24 Presents for Your Friend Who Only Wears Black

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Ian MacDonald Choose Life 2017 Claire de Rouen
Ian Macdonald, Choose Life, 2017, limited edition print

Amid a colourful festive season, a comprehensive list of gifts for the loved ones in your life who refuse to wear anything but black – from clothes and accessories to beauty and homeware

Clothes and accessories

A jumper is the most classic of Christmas gifts – eschew your grandmother’s efforts, though, for the timeless elegance of this black cashmere sweater by The Row, well-suited for the season’s unpredictable weather (or, for those who do not intend to leave the house this festive season, this luxurious silk robe by La Perla is best enjoyed in a state of repose). Simone Rocha’s girlish ‘wiggle’ earrings are proof that an all-black outfit needn’t be stern – ditto for Cecilie Bahnsen’s sweet wool-blend socks, each stitched with delicate beaded flowers. Buy into the Bottega Veneta hype with this slim triangular-buckle leather belt – the perfect embellishment to many an all-black outfit – or alternatively, invest in Loewe for a loved one: this miniature logo-embossed bag will likely be treasured for years to come. Finally, those with a penchant for nostalgia will appreciate this printed cotton T-shirt by Raf Simons, which features a still from David Lynch’s 1986 Blue Velvet, showing Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan in an embrace.


Obviously for many of the gothically inclined, their love for black extends further than their wardrobe; it’s there in their homes, too. So why not buy them this scented candle by Buly 1803, which is housed in a pot of black marble, or this blackened pure iron bowl by Mad & Len with a hand-hammered finish. Alternatively, opt for this noir satin cushion by Gucci, embroidered with the house’s signature bee motif, this mohair-blend blanket by Viso Project, woven using a traditional 15th-century technique (two very cosy choices); or this Brâncusi-inspired ‘Love Handles Vase’ by Anissa Kermiche, crafted in Portugal. This classic black 2020 diary by Smythson will be a fine present for that organisational friend or family member you have, while this ‘Loveless’ candle by Byredo will fill their house with the delicious scent of adoxal, mandarin, petit grain, wild tuberose, black cedarwood and papyrus. Finally, there’s this limited edition print by Ian MacDonald, available at Claire de Rouen, featuring a young, punk-looking boy on the streets of Middlesbrough in the mid-80s – dressed, you guessed it, all in black.


When it comes to fragrance, you will be hard-pressed to find one more decadent than Tom Ford’s Noir de Noir – with black truffle, patchouli and oud wood, it is the ultimate after-dark scent. Paris-based Buly 1803 is also well-versed in luxurious fragrances, but in this case the purifying black charcoal powder will make an apt monochrome gift; while Liha’s Ose Gidi black soap has similarly uplifting properties, made with Moringa powder to minimise fine lines and promote collagen growth. Afterwards, use Susanne Kaufmann’s black obsidian stone roller to reduce muscle inflammation or puffiness – trust in black obsidian’s supposed ability to cleanse ‘psychic smog’ – or Nannette de Gaspé’s cult Baume Noir, the perfect final step to anyone’s nighttime skin routine. Chantecaille’s Detox Clay Mask, meanwhile, will prove the perfect mode of relaxation post-Christmas. Finally, gifts to channel anybody’s inner goth: black nail varnish and plenty of eyeliner, courtesy of the very best – Chanel’s unbeatable, long-wearing Le Vernis ‘pure black’ nail colour and Pat McGrath Labs’ Permagel Ultra Glide eye pencil (in shade ‘Xtreme Black’, naturally).