LBD – The Little Black Dress @ 81

The Little Black Dress
Black outfits are being paired with a single embellishment
such as the fabulous
Little Black Dress
with a pearl detail at the neck

— very Audrey Hepburn.”

(Betsy Thompson quote)

The “little black dress” is considered by many women to be an essential part of a complete wardrobe. It is a well-known “rule of fashion” that every woman should own a simple, elegant black dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For example, a simple black cocktail dress could be made into an evening dress with diamond accessories, stilettos and long gloves; or, when combined with a black suit jacket, demure accessories and simple pumps, the same dress could be worn to a daytime business meeting. The key to its importance is that because it is simple, it is classic and can be worn for many years. A short black dress that is too clearly part of a trend would not qualify because it would soon appear dated. (Wikipedia)

”When it comes to designers, Coco Chanel (1883-1971) did more than any other to popularise the dress. 2006 marked the 80th anniversary of her first LBD, a slash-necked, short silk dress with only diagonal pin-tucks as decoration, American Vogue dubbed it the “Ford”, for it was as ubiquitous as that brand.

Radically simple, it nevertheless typified Chanel’s chic, languid style. First introduced in 1926, black was previously considered to be a colour reserved for funerals and periods of mourning. Truly simple and sexy, Chanel’s design was a sleeveless sheath cut just above the knee. She could have never predicted the immediate and lasting love women would have with her simple, chic black dress. ( online)

Chanel encouraged and inspired the style we typically envision when we think of flappers. She was fond of working with neutral colours and soft easy-to-wear jersey fabrics that were simple in shape and cut. Chanel was able to infuse comfort and sophistication into fashion, and this combination was considered revolutionary. It was during her early work, that Chanel designed and introduced the first little black dress to the world. (Fashion

Harper’s Bazaar celebrated the dress, this time worn by the gamine and beautiful actress Natalie Portman,and it looked as of-the-moment then as it did on Hepburn more than four decades ago.

A smiling Portman — often called the modern-day Hepburn — channels the spritely Holly Golightly by showing off the back of the dress, which was designed by Givenchy. Pearls are draped around her neck. Her hair, set with a black headband, is swept into a stylish updo in an update of Golightly’s signature beehive.

“I did feel very elegant suddenly,” Portman tells the magazine. “I mean, you can’t possibly measure up to Audrey Hepburn; there’s no comparison. But the elegance that she exuded was transmitted to the dress, you know, the feeling, the emotion of it.”


The dress, one of three versions made for the 1961 movie, was sold to the highest bidder on Dec. 5 2006 at Christie’s auction house in London. It was expected to fetch as much as $130,000.* “The “little black dress” was glorified in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), especially in the opening sequence, where Audrey Hepburn walks down the street wearing one.

Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy from the much-loved 1961 classic film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, sold for £467,200/$923,187/€692,390 at Christie’s South Kensington in the Film and Entertainment Sale on 5 December 2006. The price establishes a new world auction record for a dress made for a film.

Sarah Hodgson, Head of Christie’s Popular Entertainment said of the sale: “This was the biggest Entertainment Sale we have had in London since sales began in the 1980s. We are particularly thrilled with the price achieved for Audrey Hepburn’s dress, and the amount it has raised for a charity.”

This is the beauty of the little black dress: it is utterly timeless. Its contemporary appeal, however, grows and grows. You can now exercise to the Little Black Dress workout or whittle down your waist with the Little Black Dress diet – which will be crucial if you want to squeeze into one of Chanel’s severely corseted satin ribbon mini-dresses this winter.

The LBD has never been out of fashion. From simple shifts and dramatic tunics to flirty baby-dolls and vampy bustier dresses, it comes in every style imaginable and, unlike most other truly fashionable pieces of clothing, there is a variation to suit almost everyone. How many times are we told that a piece of clothing is a “wardrobe essential”? The LBD is one of the few things that truly deserves the accolade; it certainly makes dressing for any kind of party a whole lot less stressful.”

I used have a most elegantly chic LBD made of the most beautiful black silk and it had the classic sheath cut for years and years. It was just so perfect for any occasion formal or informal when one wanted to look smart and stylish. But alas – our ways parted and do not know where my LBD is these days…

Need another LBD, I think.

Ladies – Did you ever own one these Little Black Dresses?

Gentlemen – What is your valued thought on this timeless garb on the ladies?

Tis for now. Rii xx

* Did you notice that the price expected was $130,000 and they got $923,187!!
That is a pretty penny, I say.

Chanel Fashion House –Official site

Let’s Talk Fashion blog