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The History of “Little Black Dress”

Spanning the past 100 years, a Little Black Dress or LBD, is a must-have. It can be dressed up or down; LBDs never go out of style. They were originally found in Victorian wardrobes as a symbol of mourning. However, during the 1920s after the rise in popularity of flapper dress, the way in which women wear clothes evolved and it became a symbol of independence. LBDs were made famous by Gabrielle “Coco" Chanel, as her dresses typically featured a straight or bateau neckline and hung loosely to the calf or lower thigh.

In the decades that followed and into the 1930s, the style was also made popular by British designer Edward Molyneux and renowned French fashion designer Jean Patou. The LBD began to take on high glamor associations, which is notable because it is at this point in time that stage and cinema come into play, sowing the seeds for some of history's most famous black gowns. Cue Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in, possibly, the most well-known among them all, by Hubert de Givenchy in 1961.

By the 1980s, Diana, Princess of Wales was often seen wearing a stunning black cocktail dress or gown (although it was her "revenge" dress from 1994 that was especially impactful). And as it turned out, 1994 would be a big year for the black dress. Elizabeth Hurley walked the red carpet on Hugh Grant's arm, looking incredibly hot in a Versace safety-pin dress. The Calvin Klein slip dress, the Dolce & Gabbana bustier dress, and the Hervé Léger bandage dress were just a few of the numerous variations that appeared during the rest of the 1990s.

Because the black dress is essentially a blank canvas, it may be appealing and seductive as well as conservative and practical. Clever and elegant are also words that can describe it. For women, many times their go-to work outfits include a black shift, which they also wear to go out to dinner or walk the red carpet in. It's a versatile, practical solution that takes care of every need for the wearer—whether it's to project confidence or look elegant or even professional. No other hue or object has the same versatility, nor does it have the same ability. In fashion, the little black dress is certainly a serious matter.


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