the importance of the little black dress15/10/2015
At this point in time, I’m 98% sure that when a ‘little black dress’ is mentioned, everyone’s ears start bleeding and the eyes start rolling inexplicably. Or maybe it’s just me?
Whenever a person of any level of influence in the fashion world (a fashionista, if you will) is presented with a question of recommending one piece every woman MUST HAVE in her closet, more often than not the answer is “A little black dress, you can’t go wrong with it.”
If you can hold the eye rolling for a second, I’d like to actually try and shed some light on why that is so. What is it with black dresses anyways? Especially ‘little’ ones, as it would appear we’re often inclined to automatically attach that adjective to our recommendation of a black dress.
Whenever I stop to think for a while about the subject, three words almost instantly pop into my mind: versatile, iconic and timeless.
Have you ever seen anyone wearing all black and failing to look put together or at least presentable? If you would try very, VERY hard, I’m positive you could make it out to look distasteful and off-putting. On the other hand, if you just put on a classic little black dress and make minimal effort styling it – you will more than likely have a nice outfit. Simple dress cut will allow for you to play around with different styles to make sure you are prepared for any occasion. Going for a sporty look? Add Converse sneakers, a baseball cap and throw a denim jacket over your shoulders. Dressing for a fancy dinner party? Choose a bright lipstick, tailored blazer and nice dressy shoes.
“Fashion historians ascribe the origins of the little black dress to the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel and Jean Patou. In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. It was calf-length, straight and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford”. The little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste”. – says Wikipedia.
Since the 1920s, we’ve witnessed its evolution and undeniable appeal throughout the years and seen it on so many people we consider icons now. The one moment in fashion history that unquestionably stands out to our generations has to be the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s where we see Audrey Hepburn in a black dress, adorned in layers of pearls. Givenchy, the creator of the famous dress, clearly knew what he was doing since she went on to earn her place in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1961. And in her own words about her style – “What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way in a special fabric and just two earrings?”. And I wholeheartedly agree.
It’s been 89 years since Coco Chanel published that little black dress in Vogue and 54 years since we saw Audrey Hepburn prance around in it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s 2015 and we are still talking about it. We still think of LBD as a wardrobe staple. Designers are still making and modernizing it and we are still wearing it gladly. It still has that incredible charm and, like good wine – it just keeps getting better with age.
PS. I have been personally invited by Farfetch brand to create a look inspired by an iconic movie moment as a part of their exclusive blogger competition to win a $350 voucher. Needless to say I was thrilled! You can shop/get inspired by my picks from the Farfetch website below to achieve the perfect Audrey look I had fun recreating in the photos above. All of them are lovely vintage pieces which I felt were perfect for the theme of this post!