Little Black Dress

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"When the little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place," as quoted by Valerie Mendes. You just throw it on and you are dressed for anything, regardless of which way the fickle winds of fashion happen to be blowing the rest of your attire. Anyone who purports to know even a little about fashion knows that a LBD as it is fondly referred to is one indispensable item in any woman’s wardrobe. It’s elegant, it’s sophisticated, it’s perfect for any occasion, and most importantly, you don’t have to “think” about it. Prior to 1920’s, Black as a colour of clothe line was only reserved for periods of mourning and was considered indecent if worn otherwise. Due to the vast number of deaths in World War I, it became common for women to appear in public wearing black. The so-called black dress gained recognition during this time and the style of clothing continued to be popular through the times of Great Depression and also the World War II. It was often called “a sort of uniform for all women of taste”. But the little black dress made its debut in 1926, with a pen and ink drawing in Vogue magazine by designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. It was calf length, straight and decorated by a few diagonal lines. The magazine editors called the dress "Chanel's 'Ford,'" comparing the dress to the simply designed, economically priced black Ford Model T automobile. It was made to be affordable by women of all social classes. The dress caused an instant uproar in the fashion world as choosing black as a fashionable colour in itself was startling. With this simple item in their wardrobes, accessorized only with a string of pearls or a pair of high-heels, middle-class women and high-society ladies could be equals. As Chanel said, "Thanks to me they [non-wealthy] can walk around like millionaires." One of the first celebrities to popularize the little black dress was the cartoon character Betty Boop. It entered the Hollywood as a uniform and symbol of the dangerous...
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