Ah, the little black dress. Fashion staple number one, a must-have in every woman’s closet, and the most widely recognized symbol of elegant-yet-sexy fashion.
The little black dress made its first appearance in 1926- and who else but Coco Chanel could have brought us such taste and sophistication? Although it may be hard to believe today, what with the LBD known for its chic and classic style, Chanel took a risk when creating the dress. In 1926, black was still reserved for mourning clothes, while bright colours, prints, and embroideries were all the rage. Choosing to design a completely black dress was a dance with fashion destiny, but, luckily for us, it paid off for Chanel. The LBD became known as the “Ford Dress” because, like the Model T car made by Ford at that time, it was black and an affordable design, which kept it popular during the thirties and forties.
The practicality of Chanel’s little black dress didn’t make it any less an item of haute couture, and many other designers created their own versions of her masterpiece. In fact, Hubert de Givenchy can be credited with catapulting the dress from simply being a fashion trend to a fashion icon with his famous take on the LBD in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The little black dress has morphed along with the style changes of the decades, but remains a necessity in every woman’s closet to this day. So why do we love it so much?
Well, what is not to love, really? It’s timeless. It’s black, which means a whole lot of advantageous things, not the least of which is slimming. It’s versatile- wear it under a blazer with practical pumps to work, class it up with a single strand of pearls, or add some colourful jewellery and brilliant stilettos for a night on the town. Simply put, it’s ingenious.