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You Can Never Go Wrong With a Little Black Dress
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You Can Never Go Wrong With a Little Black Dress

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The little black dress is so very enduring because of its ability to look great on everyone at a variety of social functions. The little black dress is a symbol of chic and sophisticated simplicity. …

The little black dress is so very enduring because of its ability to look great on everyone at a variety of social functions. The little black dress is a symbol of chic and sophisticated simplicity. It is the women’s wardrobe staple that always manages to capture the spirit of the times.

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  • 1. You Can Never Go Wrong with a little Black Dress The little black dress is so very enduring because of its ability to look great on everyone at a variety of social functions. The little black dress is a symbol of chic and sophisticated simplicity. It is the women’s wardrobe staple that always manages to capture the spirit of the times. The little black dress, that Christmas party staple, is a bit of an enigma. It is both one of the blandest elements of a woman’s wardrobe – as the default option when stuck for what to wear for an occasion – and a stubbornly timeless, persistently revisited icon. Essentially a simple black cocktail dress, the garment goes by the affectionate nickname of LBD, which has its own entry in the dictionary. Katya Foreman examines the enduring appeal of the Little Black Dress here.
  • 2. Driving force Vogue’s editors in 1926 dubbed Coco Chanel’s original Little Black Dress ‘the Ford’ because it mirrored the democratic ideals of the Model T car. (Chanel/Courtesy Vogue Paris).
  • 3. Hot Coco Hot Coco Chanel threw away conventions and her influence endures today – trousers for women, branded perfumes and a fashion for suntans are among her other inventions. (Alamy).
  • 4. X-rated The revealing dress in John Singer Sargent’s portrait of the socialite Virginie Gautreau (often known as the Portrait of Madame X) scandalized the Paris Salon in 1884. (Wikimedia).
  • 5. Early adopter Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, was a fan of the LBD from the outset. Her style tips included the advice that a woman could “never be too rich or too thin”. (Rex Features).
  • 6. Thread and breakfast Hubert Givenchy’s dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is perhaps the most famous LBD of all time. (Rex Features).
  • 7. Belle epoque Catherine Deneuve’s Yves SaintLaurent-designed outfit in Buñuel’s Belle de Jour is a 1960s LBD classic. (Allied Artist Pictures).
  • 8. Pin-up girl The Versace dress worn by Elizabeth Hurley to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral caused a storm in the press and made Hurley a household name. (Rex Features).
  • 9. Enduring appeal Fashion editor André Leon Talley has been fascinated by the LBD for years. Seen here in 1974, he recently curated an exhibition on the subject. (Bill Cunningham/Skira Rizzoli).
  • 10. Back to black The exhibition was shown in Paris at the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture this year. It featured around 50 classic dresses from the fashion canon. (Adam Kuehl/SCAD).
  • 11. Grand prix British designer Giles Deacon’s 2013 LBD for French retailer Monoprix raises the hem and adds a classic touch with an oversize bow at the neckline. (Monoprix).