When thinking about the chicest, the most classic, the most timeless article of clothing that could possibly be worn, my mind immediately goes to the Little Black Dress (or LBD for short). The silhouette can be changed, and you can dress it up or down with the accessories of your choosing, but this iconic piece of clothing just might be the most important thing for a woman to have in her closet. Surprise, surprise: the LBD was perfected and shot into stardom by the French.
In 1926, Coco Chanel sent a drawing of a simple black sheath dress to American Vogue. Before then, black was a color reserved for mourning clothes, and it was actually considered improper to wear an all-black outfit unless you were in a mourning period. Things were gradually moving away from that, and Chanel jumped at the chance to turn such an elegant and neutral color into an accessible piece of clothing for any woman to wear. All about comfort and simple silhouettes, Chanel started a revolution with her design of the LBD that continued to gain popularity long after her death.
From Audrey Hepburn’s elegant black sheath dress designed by Givenchy for her role in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in the 1960’s, to the minimalist-grunge era of black mini-dresses in the 1990’s, to the multitude of shapes, lengths, and fabric choices that we have today, one can see just how easy it is for the classic Little Black Dress to be customized and reinterpreted. However, the fact of the matter remains: this black beauty is here to stay.