In Brief: Little Black Dress

In Brief: Little Black Dress (Cocktail Dress) 1

Little black dress also known as LBD – a simply cut black evening or cocktail dress – is an essential piece of virtually every woman’s wardrobe. Affordable, elegant and versatile, it lasts far more than just one season. It’s a must-have and a life-saver at “nothing-to-wear” times that helps fit into almost any occasion. “A little black dress allows the wearer to accentuate her physical gifts,” says André Leon Talley. This year LBD celebrates its 90th anniversary. But what’s behind this impressive track record?

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Before the 1920s black was exclusively the color of mourning and sadness. It all started to change in 1926 when American Vogue published a drawing of design by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Justine Picardine described it as “an apparently simple yet elegant sheath, in black crêpe de Chine, with long, narrow sleeves, worn with a string of white pearls.” Vogue predicted that eventually the little black dress would become a uniform.

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Tasteful yet economical, LBD was quite popular throughout the Great Depression. Later, during World War II, its practicality did make it a common uniform for female civilians joining the work force. Then came Dior’s post-war “New Look” that lifted restrictions and dominated the fashion for about ten years. Hourglass shape, focus on feminine elegance and beauty.

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LBD’s most notable appearance in Hollywood took place in 1961 when Audrey Hepburn wore an exquisite dress by Hubert de Givenchy in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. That dress immediately became the new paragon of chic. At the same time, the younger generation preferred shorter versions, hence the variety of designs.

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The flamboyant 1970s had somewhat less room for the little black dress, but the popularity of casual fabrics in the 1980s reinvigorated it. The grunge fashion of the 90s combined LBD with sandals and boots and further expanded its target audience.

Color regained appeal in the late 1990s replacing black. But trends come in cycles, meaning that LBD would soon return. And so it did.

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From revolutionary to uniform, worn with pearls or at times with military boots, LBD made its way to become a timeless classic, just as Vogue foretold. Join the celebration of everlasting success with a new LBD! We have a rich variety of wholesale evening dresses and a lot more.

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