At last, a new black! And the good news is that it's brown. In my small way, I've been clearing the path for this paradigm shift for years, only wearing black shoes with seriously dark suits (which I seldom wear), otherwise favouring various shades of brown suede. Admittedly my fellow style pioneers include Ken Clarke, possibly England's worst-dressed man - and if the brown shoe revival can't find as an icon someone better turned out than Jude Law (what IS he wearing? Certainly not socks), then this movement could be doomed. But I fancy brown will prevail - it's just more natural, more earthy, softer, less of a statement than black.
The weighty matter of the brown revival found its way into the increasingly bonkers Today programme ('Setting the agenda for the nation') this morning, with Sarfraz Mansoor and no less a style guru than Top Gear's James May talking it over in a rather lacklustre manner. The conversation strayed to beige and thence to linen - and so to the brown linen suit, which both agreed was a pretty whizzy idea. As it happened, just as this conclusion was being reached, my valet was easing me into my brown linen (£20 well spent on eBay a couple of years ago). We exchanged a knowing smile. And now here I sit at my NigeCorp desk, the glass of fashion and the mould of form, brown of suit and shoe. It seems Frank Zappa was wrong after all.