There is no denying that this item is a key piece in every girls wardrobe and has saved countless tantrums, damsels in distress throwing item after item onto an ever-growing monstrous mountain of clothes to find an outfit perfect for a special occasion – or maybe that’s just me. Well, we are fast approaching the festive season and what better way than to do it with a clear head, a neat cupboard and looking completely stylish and sophisticated – in your little black dress.
Why has the LBD been such a success and remained one of fashion’s classic staple items? Well, here’s a little history lesson for you all.
The little black dress is an evening or cocktail dress primarily but it can definitely be dressed down to a more casual chic look. They are simple and often quite short and should never be part of a trend to avoid dating too quickly.
Before the 1920s, black was reserved for times of mourning and considered indecent if worn outside these circumstances. A widow’s mourning dress was closely observed and she was expected to wear several stages of mourning dress for at least two years(!), starting with plain black clothing from top-to-toe with absolutely no decoration or accessories, through the later stages of being allowed to wear muted or neutral colours.
Because of the number of deaths in WWI it became more common for women to appear in public wearing black. In 1926 Coco Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue that was calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford.” It was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
The little black dress continued to be popular through the Great Depression with a few variations in length and texture and was relied on heavily by filmmakers because other colours looked distorted on screen. After the war, the rise of Dior’s “New Look” in the post-war era and the sexual conservatism of the 1950s returned the little black dress to its roots as a uniform and a symbol of the dangerous woman.
The younger “mod” generation of the 1960s preferred, in general, a miniskirt versions of the LBD and continued to push the envelope – shortening the skirt even more, creating cutouts or slits in the skirt or bodice of the dress, using sheer fabrics such as netting or tulle. The 1970s did see some little black dresses, however, the disco scene preferred colours to black.
The popularity of casual fabrics, especially knits, for dress and business wear during the 1980s brought the little black dress back into vogue. Coupled with the fitness craze, the new designs incorporated details already popular at the time such as broad shoulders and into the 1990s, simpler designs in a variety of lengths and fullness were popular. The grunge culture of the 1990s saw the combination of the little black dress with both sandals and combat boots, though the dress itself remained simple in cut and fabric.
The new glamour of the late 1990s led to new variations of the dress but, like the 1970s, colour had re-emerged. In the late 2000s the fashion trends of the 1980s returned which meant the return of body conscious clothing, muted colours, and the return of black. All these things have brought the LBD back, and as now it is popular as ever.
The End. Hands up for any questions.
Here are a few of my simple and timeless High Street favorites:
Fancy Pintuck Dress / Warehouse / £55 – click image to buy
Check out H&M’s big online sale starting today. Don’t miss out!
Last night, my fab friend and I took ourselves to join Vogue and Kurt Geiger for an exclusive evening at the new Kurt Geiger flagship store in Covent Garden. It was a night of champagne, canapés, make-up tips provided by Benefits glamorous beauty experts and hair styling advice offered by Trevor Sorbie stylists, goodie bags, the cutest little cupcakes and oh yes, the trying on of many many gorgeous shoes.
The lady in the background is trying to fight off being hypnotized by all the shoes!
The lovely Lisa, who shared some valuable make-up tips.
(I like to call them – Elton John-sies)
(On my Christmas List!)
I’ll have one of each please!
The lovely Carrie on her, shhhhh…5th cupcake!
The music was amazing too…wiki wiki.
What a fab evening! We left on a high, my credit card left on a low and off we rolled for a feast of £15 all you can eat sushi.
Tomorrow the Lanvin for H&M collection will hit the stores. Make sure you end up as a lucky owner of your very own Lanvin item. As from tomorrow you’ll be able to buy the collection online and in selected stores. To see which stores carry the collection and their opening hours, click the link below. Our online shop opens at 07.00 tomorrow.
Let the shopping begin!
Rene Gruau is a renowned fashion illustrator whose exaggerated portrayal of fashion design through painting has had a lasting effect on the fashion industry . Gruau’s inherent skills and creativity, contributed to a change in the entire fashion industry through the new pictures that represented the already popular designs created by designers in the industry. Gruau became one of the best known and favorite artists of the haute couture world during the 1940s and 50s working with Femina, Marie-Claire, L’Officiel, L’Album Du Figaro and an assortment of “high-style” magazines his artwork is known for its timeless and enduring style.
Here are a few of my favourites.
Julie Rode wears a wardrobe of seventies inspired silhouettes, styled by Ursula Wångander in a muted color palette and tousled locks courtesy of hair stylist Erika Svedjevik.
Well, it started out as a crispy sunny day…and then the rain came, almost on cue as I finished dressing the model into her first outfit. It stopped, started, stopped, started and then didn’t stop for a while. Five of us huddled under a few big trees which I can only describe as a secret hide-away and I must admit, the little girl in me was secretly enjoying it – the Haribos definitely helped. Eventually it stopped and everything was glistening in the mid-afternoon sun. Not sure if it was the sugar rush but the stunning autumn colours looked even brighter and was an amazing sensory overload.
Harriet, the model did an amazing job sticking it out in the cold like a trooper. Mika Furukawa worked her magic in the make-up & hair department. Thanks to Sam for all her effort, holding up umbrella’s, creating a changing room, acting body-guard and of-course feeding me sweeties. And, as you can see Jonathan did a great job on the photos!
All in all another good soggy day in London!
Above outfit: Chunky knit dress – Zara / Grey knit poncho – stylist’s own / Tan lace-up shoes – New Look
Above outfit: Chunky knit 3/4 jersey & knee-high socks – Topshop / Tweed jacket & fur stole – stylist’s own / Belt – Warehouse
Above outfit: Jersey top & shorts – Zara / Belt – Stylists own / Over the knee socks – Asos / Shoes – New Look
Above outfit – Dress – H&M / Scarf – Primark / Tights – Topshop / Shoes – New Look
Above outfit: Coat – Topshop / Dress – Miss Selfridge / Tights – Topshop / Shoes – New Look
Photographer – Jonathan Gooch
Model – Harriet
Make-up & Hair Artis – Mika Furukawa
Assistant – Sam Gooch
Stylist – Moi
A bit of a delayed post, but better late than never hey.
A couple weekends ago I styled the wonderful Celebrity Chef winner, Tarrant Ablett who will be having regular TV slots on This Morning’s TV show. Our action packed weekend consisted of a 3 hour analysis followed by a 5 hour shopping trip. Have a read of Tarrant’s take on his experience by following the link below:
“After my success of cooking on live television, it was remarked upon politely by some of my friends that my wardrobe could do with a little ‘updating’. The truth is that in the past I had never really been bothered about my appearance. Jeans and a T-shirt was quintessentially ‘smart casual’, a suit was for work and jogging bums were for lounging around the house. Three outfits, three uses. Why change a formula that has worked for me all these years? However, there is nothing more humbling to the soul than going on national television and then experiencing ‘constructive feedback’, almost instantly. Sure, Facebook allowed my friends to congratulate me on the food I was concocting. But it also gave them a forum to destroy my shirts.”
click link to read on…
Still a happy man, after 5 hours of shopping! Look at all those bags – put’s my shopping trips to shame!!!