The little black dress, perfectly simple, epitomizes elegance, timeless style and versatility. We’ve all heard it, the little black dress is a MUST HAVE in every woman’s closet.
Coco Chanel first introduced the little black dress in 1926, a time when bright, opulent fashions were predominant. Her designs were made out of beautiful weightless fabrics like silk jersey, tulle and lace. More than a designer, Chanel was a visionary. Chanel’s design philosophy was to design fashion that was functional yet chic and the color black represented all of these qualities. Since then, the little black dress was here to stay.
The little black dress has defined entire eras and movies, who can forget Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s in those fabulous Givenchy dresses.
The little black dress has also influenced art. One of my favorite paintings is Madame X, 1881, by American Painter John Singer Sargent, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The painting depicts Madame Pierre Gautreau, a high society woman married to a Parisian banker, in a suggestive pose, wearing a gorgeous black dress.
Sarget met Mme Gautreau and immediately became captivated by her beauty and her style. He rendered a composition that became scandalous for its nature and its fashion. He worked on the portrait from the Gautreau Summer home, and finally exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1884. There is an evident sensuality to the painting and the way she was wearing the dress, because of this, and to Sargent’s surprise, the painting created uproar and was viewed as scandalous and inappropriate at the time.
Leave it to fashion to cause outrage. Today the little black dress is our go to dress for any event. Some time ago, my boyfriend gave me a beautiful, black dress from Club Monaco, which he picked all by himself. It fits me like a glove, and I’ve worn it to everything from the office to cocktails with the girls, it works with every belt I own. I wear it with jackets, blazers, cardigans, flats, which I’ve become so fond of recently, or pumps and I’m all set to go. It instantly makes me feel put together.
What’s not to like about a black dress, it can be dressed up or down, depending on the fabric, worn all year long with the right accessories. Black never goes out of style and I haven’t met one person yet that didn’t look good in black.
Recently, Roland Mouret designed a classic, yet slightly trendier version of the little black dress, which he called the Galaxy dress, and it was popularized by Victoria Beckam.
You don’t even have to break the bank to own one. Here are my favorite black dresses from Bergdorf to H&M.