Master Fall’s Monochrome Trend: Hawai‘i Designer Matt Bruening Offers His Tips

Mastering the monochrome trend is a snap thanks to these handy styling tips from local designer Matt Bruening, whose latest collections are chock-full of black-and-white glamour.

Matt Bruening

Photo: courtesy brooke dombroski





MB by Matt Bruening: Contemporary, upgraded basics that blend clean lines with modern shapes. Salt Liko: Collab with Kūha‘o Zane and Brandy-Alia Serikaku. Resort wear featuring custom, Hawaiian-inspired prints.

Key Pieces:

Jumpsuits, boxy tees, tapered pants


Select MB by Matt Bruening pieces are available at fighting eel, royal hawaiian center, 738-9295 and bamboo sky, 401 Kamake‘e St. #104, 591-8003.
Select salt liko pieces are available at genius outfitters, 346 lewers st., 922-2822.
model photos: david croxford, model: allie chu, makeup: kecia littman, hair: bevin malina


1. MB Cloud reversible top, $79, Salt Liko Holei skirt, $105.


 ➸ An interesting cut, such as a batwing sleeve or a curved crop, can take a plain, solid top from simple to amazing.

➸ Play with volume—the bubble silhouette of this high-waist skirt creates dynamic shapes with movement.


2. Gabby jumper, $200, custom piece available by special order.


➸ In black and white, mixing prints gets easier thanks to the shared color palette, so really go for it as far as contrast.

➸ When pairing prints, let the clothing be the focus and stick to dainty or minimal accessories—too many extras can make the outfit feel busy.

➸ Classic stripes can act as a neutral and work well with other repeating patterns—just be sure to choose ones that are similar in scale.


3. MB Klein jumper, $188, Niko kimono jacket, custom piece available by special order.


➸ When opting for solid black, look for pieces with fun, unexpected details. For instance, this jumper features a drop waist, pleating, tapered leg and slim, sexy straps that crisscross at the back.