There’s no doubt you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but there really is no wardrobe staple quite as important as the Little Black Dress.
I’m pretty sure you’ve got at least one, and if you haven’t – why not? The LBD is one of the foolproof, fallback, rely upon classics that every girl needs (and won’t let you down or stand you up!) It’s very unusual in that it’s a garment that simply refuses to fall out of fashion. Instead, it changes and remoulds itself for every era, changing with the times and staying firmly put. As we all know, fashion trends move in circles and come round time and time again, so a vintage LBD is the perfect investment for any wardrobe!
We can thank the wonderful Coco Chanel for many things, not least the introduction of the LBD into mainstream fashion in the mid twenties. Before this time, block black would only ever have been worn by mourners, and therefore had much more macabre connotations than it does today. When Vogue magazine first published her Little Black Dress, it was described as ‘Chanel’s Ford’ after the simple Model T car. This short and relatively basic black dress was an instant hit with the fashionistas of the decade, and they couldn’t get enough!
The Great Depression was a massive problem for fashion, as disposable income was obviously a rarity. This only helped the popularity of the LBD as for once it wasn’t necessary to spend a fortune to look amazing. The most simplistic designs now looked effortlessly chic and managed to turn heads.
The LBD was also a very handy trend during the war, as fabric (like everything else) was rationed and unconventional fabric sources had to be utilised. Black was easy to get hold of, hard wearing and offered a bit of glamour amongst the austerity.
Whilst the LBD soared through the 1950s and 1960s, the simple shapes were overtaken by much more exciting designs. Christian Dior kicked things off in the late forties, with his infamous New Look, and Hollywood couldn’t get enough of it! Not to mention the long, gorgeous and uber glamorous strapless satin evening dresses that adorned the starlets of the silver screen.
It was at this time that arguably the most famous LBD in history was born. Givenchy dressed the wonderful Audrey Hepburn in THAT little black dress for Breakfast at Tiffany’s which is still instantly recognisable today.
The 1970s LBD was more of a shimmering affair for the discotheques of New York, but was also given an ethereal slant by the greats such as Ossie Clark. When it came to the 80s, the likes of Madonna and Debbie Harry funked up the LBD – adding lace, rips and of course SHOULDER PADS!
Moving into the 90s, bodycon dresses were all the rage as we all became obsessed with Lycra. And let’s not forget the tight, short and simple Gucci LBD made famous by none other than Posh Spice (soon to become Mrs Beckham)
Fast forward to 2019 and I love that we have an eclectic mix of LBDs at our disposal! I still say that vintage is the best way to go and you can find a whole host of vintage LBDs and vintage dresses at My Vintage, either in our Vintage shop or online at www.myvintage.uk
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you all soon.
Emma x My Vintage