Coco Chanel’s biggest contribution to fashion has to be the signature Little Black Dress. The LBD that you wear even today was first designed by the legendary designer in the 20s when women only used to wear corsets and other confining garments. She sort of liberated women from the confines of those kind of clothing and introduced this single piece garment.
Why is it that it was introduced in black colour and still goes by the same, you ask? Black is a colour associated with mourning. So Chanel being the disruptionist that she was turned around the colour linked with mourning and introduced it into evening wear with the LBD. Also, she saw the possibilities for lasting perfection in Black. Black is a universal colour that any woman could wear at anytime without worrying that it is not in trend. This flexibility is power to a woman.
The cutting edge idea of reshaping a funeral dress into the most flattering and glamorous evening dress found recognition in the American edition of Vogue magazine. In fact, Vogue predetermined success of LBD and said that it will last through generations.
Chanel then barred the usage of feminine bright colors, prints and heavy embroideries in her designs.
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She used traditional elegant materials like lace, tulle, and soft weightless silk using new techniques of tailoring to make the dress more comfortable to work. LBD became the go-to dress for women to wear in any occasion through the years.
The only known opposition to the revolutionary pair of clothing came from one of Chanel’s main competitors, Paul Poiret. He rebuked the LBD and said that it is “de lux poverty.” However, the majority at the fashion circuit was inspired by the iconic design.
While Chanel was the originator, it was the legendary Audrey Hepburn who brought it out in the open after she wore it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961. By this time, Chanel’s LBD did not stay restricted to one brand but became a style in itself. Different variations were brought into it and now many brands had their own kind of LBD. While Givenchy made them in sheath, Topshop embellished it with stones and made a mini version of it.
Through all these year, now markets are filled with LBDs and a girl’s wardrobe is forever incomplete without an LBD in it.
No wonder! 91 years gone by and we are still dearly in love with LBDs.
Picture credit- Out of the box fashion