Jet Setting

Black is beautiful. But you already knew that. You're hip, you're with it, your entire clothes closet is filled with gloomy black threads. Your entire apartment is sparsely decorated with dramatic black furniture. However, you are not considered truly tres chic until you fill your entire cupboard with, yes, you guessed it--black dishes.

"Black is a statement, a definite statement," says a Columbia Studios secretary. "I love black clothes, I love black turtlenecks; my favorite thing in my closet is my black leather jacket. . . . I just had to have black dishes."

Practical hipsters will note the versatility of all-black dishes. They're dramatic, they're elegant, and they go with a variety of kitchen styles: Art Deco, high tech, modern and Oriental. And, since they're basic black, they also go with any color scheme.

"Plus, all the food really shows up on the plate," adds the secretary. "Corn really stands out."

"Black dishes don't cost a penny more than just some nondescript dish," says a militant stylist, with a sniff. "They can instantly make your mundane kitchen seem like an elegant restaurant."

The only complaint of this black-dish devotee is the tendency of chips on black dishes to show. "But I keep a little black felt-tip pen handy to touch that up. It really works well," he says.

Admittedly, black dishes are very daring. Some trend-followers have approached this trend with a little more reluctance than usual. "By the time I decided I wanted them, all the stores had sold out of them," laments a Burbank man. "I had to buy a piece here, a piece there."

Now he has a small collection, but he still has mixed feelings about his new mealtime companions.

"They look great with white sauce," he says, "but it's hard to look down in the morning at a bowl of cornflakes in a black bowl."

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