My sister and I were
strolling around a department store, seeking the perfect dress for her
much anticipated homecoming dance. We rummaged through heaps of
multi-colored frocks and cocktail gowns. Too short. Too long. Too
skimpy. The rejections gave us little hope. We gave another blasé stare
when I caught sight of a black lacy number with a unique embroidered
neckline buried in the debris of average tees and jeans. Out of sheer
desperation, my sister plunged into the fitting rooms. Out she came,
with a twinkle in her eyes. The Little Black Dress was a success, as it
has always been in the past decades.
from the designs of the iconic Coco Chanel, the Little Black Dress
(dubbed LBD) has been a signature style for over eight decades. How has
this simple dress remained the avant-garde of fashion throughout the
long years? The answer lies in its versatility.
You can wear it
to a high-profile cocktail party, to a cozy family gathering, or perhaps
to a casual day of shopping. It never looks out of place!
with the little black dress began in 1926, when Ms. Chanel published an
unembellished black dress in Vogue magazine. Women all over the
world were captivated by its simplicity and rushed to acquire this piece
of elegance into their wardrobe. Earlier it was the privilege of the
rich who owned it as a sartorial statement. However, during the Great
Depression the color and the shortness of the dress reflected the somber
mood of the times, and swung into being a cultural favorite.
Though the LBD remained largely monochromatic, the decoration and the
cut were altered significantly over the next few years. New designs
erupted in the 1950s when women gained feministic values, resulting in a
wave of fresh looks such as the belted, the boat necked, and the
lace-edged dresses. In 1961, when Audrey Hepburn was seen in
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, wearing a hip-hugging LBD, accessorized with
vintage pearls, she became a symbol of stunning beauty to women
worldwide. By the late 80s, many women wore leather Little Black
Dresses, emitting a “dangerous” vibe while others sported ruffled peplum
dresses. These styles have been seen reminisced in today’s world of
Currently, celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, and Emmy Rossum
have flaunted the figure-clinging black gowns, sequined or plain, to
movie premiers. Although, the media never fails to harangue the divas
for a fashion misstep, the LBD has been proven to be successful in
having a sliming effect on any body type and warding off harsh
criticism. Even the over-the-top Lady Gaga, with her penchant for the
extreme, debuted a Thierry Mugler-inspired origami little black dress.
And who can forget the chic First Lady, Michelle Obama, donning a
figure-flattering black dress, complete with a double strand of pearls,
on her visit to Ghana?
Timeless grace and subtle flair have been the inspiration behind the
little black dress over the generations. In the ever-changing world of
fashion, it has shown pure resilience.