The little black dress

01 February 2016

An essential in any woman’s wardrobe: the little black dress. Like Karl Lagerfeld said: ‘One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress'. Although we couldn't imagine it today, the little black dress wasn't that popular at the beginning of its lauded history.

Uproar in the fashion world
Before the 1920’s, women used to wear black while mourning. It was considered distasteful to wear it on any other occassion. But this changed at the will of the one and only Coco Chanel. The defining moment of the little black dress came in 1926, when Vogue magazine published a sketch of the little black dress. The design by Coco Chanel was dubbed Chanel's Ford, referring to the Ford Model T. Like the famous car it was accessible to (wo)men of all social classes. Vogue said the dress was 'a sort of uniform for all women of taste.' From this moment on, the little black dress became popular, especially in Hollywood,  as a black dress wouldn’t clash with the other colors on the screen.


Audrey Hepburn & her little black dress
The Little black dress remained popular until the 1950’s, after this period its popularity declined because of the postwar conservative era. But the swinging 1960’s gave the dress a big revival. When Audrey Hepburn wore a little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the LBD skyrocketed to a true wardrobe essential, something every woman wanted to have in her wardrobe.

Symbol of equal rights
By the end of the 20th century every big designer had included a little black dress in their collection. Writer Amy Holman Edelman even devoted an entire book to the little black dress in which she called the dress 'emblematic of a woman's freedom of choice and her equal participating in the world'

Fun fact
It was the little black dress of Chanel, that inspired the famous remark of her competitor Paul Poiret: 'What has Chanel invented? De-luxe poverty.'