“One is never over-dressed or underdressed in a little black dress” — Karl Lagerfeld
There’s no denying the power this holy grail fashion item holds. Not only is it a sleek and timeless staple, but it is also a symbol of the cosmopolitan transformed.
We all love it; we all have at least one.
The little black dress has seen many changes since its conception by mama Chanel in the 20s.
The beloved LBD, dubbed “The Fashion Ford,” made its debut on the cover of Vogue magazine in October of 1926. The Ford was inspired by Henry Ford’s Model T car; its slogan reads “available in any color…so long as it’s black.”
Chanel’s decision to design a black dress was sort of taboo. Ever since the Roman era, black was a color only to be worn in dark times – i.e., while mourning a death or at funerals. Reframing the narrative of the color black gave it a power previously unknown – think of it like exploring a whole new world.
I can’t speak to say that this decision was meant to be revolutionary, but it is said that the concept behind it is simple – Chanel intended this type of dress to be accessible to the “widest possible market.”
Godmothers of the LBD
1927: Clara Bow
The first instance of an LBD on the big screen!
Clara Bow wore her black frock, created by costume designer Travis Banton, in the hit 1927 movie titled “IT.”
1939: Duchess of Windsor
Not only was Wallis Simpson known for her flagrant social life (and scandals), but she was a notorious wearer for the LBD. She was, in particular, spotted in many custom Dior little black dresses on many occasions.
1940: Edith Piaf
The little black sparrow, Edith Piaf, had one of the most unique voices in history. Equally as notable was her love for LBDs. Her signature long-sleeved, silk dress was actually up on display at the centenary of her birth in 2015 at Paris’ Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
1954: Marilyn Monroe
I’m sure you already know which dress I’m referring to – no, not the white one! The black dress Monroe sported in Asphalt Jungle, was one to remember. The off-shoulder, sleek cocktail dress is cemented in LBD history.
1961: Audrey Hepburn
Who could forget Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s truly iconic black dress? The Hubert de Givenchy ensemble is possibly one of the most famous dresses throughout all of history – nothing can or will ever take its place.
1972: Mireille Darc
This LBD takes backless to a whole new level! This spicy dress from The Tall Blond Man with One Shoe was an interesting moment in cinematic (and LBD) history.
1994: Diana, Princess of Wales
The revenge dress, as it has been come to be known, worn by Princess Diana in 1994, rose eyebrows in the public eye due to its form-fitting style and decolletage revealing cut. The people’s princess made a statement that would live on far beyond her (short) years.
1997: Victoria Beckham
We know LBDs to be very representative of our beloved Posh Spice. Her frequent appearances wearing one has made it her signature; the very first one we fell in love with was a Gucci design; she hasn’t disappointed since.
The Roaring 2020s
From the boyish, drop-waist flapper dresses of the 20s to the poofy hourglass, quintessentially 50s dresses, we’ve seen how the trends haven’t ditched the little black dress, but rather, have molded it within the existing trends. Its versatility, accessibility, malleability is what makes the LBD ubiquitous – what makes it timeless.
Playful Daytime Frocks1
A universally flattering daytime LBD is something that every woman needs in her closet. Get your hands on any one of these stunning pieces to upgrade your style!
- The cute Dress
- The casual Dress
- The skater Dress
Sultry Dresses for The Night2
A little bit of skin never hurt nobody! These sexy dresses will make a great addition to your LBD collection and will have heads spinning 360 degrees all night long.
- The Wrap Dress (to flaunt the curves)
- The Slinky Dress
- The Ribbed Midi Dress
- The One-Shoulder Dress
Regardless of your style or the occasion, the best accessory you can pair with your LBD, is some rockin’ confidence.sh