Everyone knows that “the little black dress (LBD)” is quintessential in a woman’s cupboard. It’s interesting because it is never in fashion… but equally, never out. The LBD has a surprisingly short history.
Throughout the 1800’s, black or dark clothing was considered mourning wear. In the centuries before, it was a symbol of wealth – as black dye was extremely expensive. As the years went by, black was seen as a good choice as it didn’t show stains but was stylish at the same time. Black clothing also enhanced the look of the people’s expensive jewellery.
(If you don’t wanna read my babble… skip to the bottom
to find out where you can get this look!)
By the 1920’s, when Coco Chanel joined the LBD fan club, LBD’s were already being made in many shapes and sizes and were already rising in popularity. Coco Chanel was the leading designer and said:
“the little black dress was not formally identified as the shape of the future until 1926, when American Vogue published a drawing of a Chanel design.… It was an apparently simple yet elegant sheath, in black crêpe de Chine, with long, narrow sleeves, worn with a string of white pearls; and Vogue proved to be correct in the prediction that it would become a uniform.…”
During the war years, LBD’s took the shape of more ‘boxy’ shape – with square shoulders and hard lines. Post-war and Christian Dior was adding waist straps, full skirts and bows!
As the years past, LBD’s constantly made appearances: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and Sophia Loren. By 1965 the mini LBD was starting to make a name for itself and by the time the 1980’s came, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the LBD in the House of Chanel.
Princess Diana’s ‘revenge-dress’ was even a LBD! The black gown had a now neck line and showed most of her legs.
The LBD is subtle and perfect for when you ‘don’t have anything to wear.’ I paired my dress with black heels and a pair of vintage frames that my mum had made.
Let me know what you think! xx
Dress: H&M | Shoes: Steve Madden | Sunglasses: Vintage (My mum designed them)
Lipstick: Dolce K (Kylie Cosmetics)
Photographer: Casey Rautenbach