Why are black dresses so iconic?March 4, 2019
History of the LBD
Black attire has always been worn. Since the times of the Romans, black was a traditional mourning colour, worn at state occasions and funerals. In Georgian and Victorian times women might be in black garb while mourning for as many as four years after a death.
Coco Chanel and the LBD
The little black dress owes its modern beginnings to the French couturier Coco Chanel. In 1926 she created a piece of clothing that was elegant yet wearable, a neutral colour, versatile and long-lasting. Almost a century on and, amid many reincarnations, most women own some version of this enduring style icon.
Chanel revolutionised fashion with her creation. Vogue magazine called the dress ‘The Ford’, in reference to Henry Ford’s supposed slogan for the Model T car: ‘available in any colour, so long as it’s black’.
The LBD has been constantly altered and reinvented to reflect current trends, but remains a wardrobe staple. Vogue commented that the garment would become a ‘uniform for all women of taste’. Subsequent successful years have borne this out.
Chanel’s timing was perfect, since the dress was created in the Great Depression era, when popular dresses were affordable and simple. Later, in the war, rationing affected couture, and the simple LBD remained popular for its economy.
Christian Dior’s New Look
Christian Dior cemented the LBD in history with his New Look, embracing cinched waists and full skirts. Meanwhile, Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 contains one of history’s most iconic LBDs, looking swell on Audrey Hepburn.
A black maxi dress will look stunning with any accessories. To be fashion forward you may choose an AX Paris black maxi dress.
Glamour magazine presents the best little black dresses of all time.
Princess Diana, Elizabeth Hurley and the LBD
Since then, the dress has changed styles with the years while remaining a firm favourite with those in fashion. In the 60s, sheath dresses were favourites, while pouf dresses and shoulder suits were hits in the 80s. The LBD was reinvented during the 90s, when minimalist slip dresses were all the rage. Elizabeth Hurley rocked Versace with her daring safety pin dress, and Princess Diana’s off-the-shoulder ‘revenge dress’ – worn after her divorce from Prince Charles – transformed her to a fashion icon.a