A staple in every woman’s closet…the Little Black Dress…the standby when nothing else can be found or the go to dress for that special night out on the town. The little black dress has made the top of our must have list because it is that one piece in your wardrobe that won’t let you down. Black is a natural slenderizer, sexy and can be easily paired with an array of heels, flats, or stilettos.
However, the black dress is nothing that is new on the scene. This year, at the 2012 Magic Shoe Show in Las Vegas, they paid homage to our true and tested friend. I thought you would enjoy traveling down the fashion timeline with me.
While this is hardly a “little” black dress, it was a dress that dared to show leg or arm in a time when this was taboo. This dress is machine-made using a blend of silk and horsehair! As an american designer, Ms. Chapman first made her fashion debut by partnering with Gloria Vanderbilt. When she went on her own, she managed to design fashions for the stars of the 1950′s such as Marilyn Monroe and designed and constructed Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding dress when she wed Nicky Hilton.
The 1950′s did not bring much more to the sensitiveness of the black dress but this Christian Dior stunner was everything a woman was to be when showing her feminine side. The narrow waist of this dress was designed by Dior to give a flowering effect on the bottom while accentuating a woman’s waist. While at the helm of the Dior empire, Christian became the most successful couture houses in Paris. Hollywood starlets of the time flocked to his showrooms along with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. It seemed that Dior was part of every woman’s dream. Today, the house of Dior continues to design and produce breathtaking fashion.
The 1960′s not only brought a new way of living but also allowed for a change in style never before contemplated. The 60′s was the Age of Aquarius and Free Love so it was only natural that the Little Black Dress took a hard right turn and shortened in length and bared more of the body. Having an engineering background, Courreges’ style had the structure of well designed architectural masterpiece. His signature was the cutout and he was bold in placing the cuts in the mid-drift and near the bust line. Courreges is credited for being the originator of the mini dress.
Of Spanish decent, Cristobal Balenciaga relied on his background for much of his designs. The House of Balenciaga was once run by a German group that encouraged Cristobal in his european flare of design. Today, the 1970 couture house is owned and run by the world renowned design guru, Gucci. This organza flared dress is simple is construction yet it is light and feminine. This number was inspired by the flamingo dancers that a young Balenciaga watched as a child. As the fashion world continue to change into the 1980′s, Balenciaga refused to give up the principles of design of which he had been using for decades. Instead of conforming to the new sense of style, he just closed up all of his shops.
A flashback to my high school and college years, this woolen dress was short and was ready to make a splash. As a British designer, Zandra’s designs were classified as “outrageous” by the traditional British people and their designers. While Ms. Rhodes was best known for her busy prints using geometric patterns and bright colors, she did love creating the black silhouette dress that was perfected in its attention to detail. One of her most noted clients was the beloved Princess Diana who put Rhodes on the design world map. However, her true flare was shown in her costume designs for Freddie Mercury of Queen fame.
And so there you have it…fashion through the ages. While these pretty little frocks go back as far as seventy years, I would be thrilled to wear anyone of them. Who is your favorite modern-day designer…and why?