THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS
BY MELODY LEIBNER
BY MELODY LEIBNER
As my friends get ready for a night out on the town, we ask Alexa to play Miley Cyrus, and swiftly become artists. We swipe on lip gloss, carefully curl our hair, and curate cohesive yet unique outfits. Whether we layer leather jackets, dust on glittering eye shadows, sport colorful boots, or wear sparkling jewelry, underneath it all is a necessity: the LBD. The Little Black Dress serves as our canvas.
The Little Black Dress was not always so little. Diving into our societal history for just a moment, the black dress symbolized a state of sorrow, as women would often cover themselves head to toe when grieving. This changed in the 1920’s when flappers began to see the power in a black dress, and just how truly lively the color could be.
Introduced officially to the fashion world by Coco Chanel, her chic and elegant design has ebbed and flowed through the decades. From a dropped waistline in the roaring twenties, to a full skirt and tight bustier in the fifties, to a figure hugging midi dress at the turn of the century, and now a mini number, the black dress has consistently remained a necessity in every woman’s closet.
A notable LBD moment was exhibited by British royalty and fashion icon Princess Diana. The night that the world found out about her husband Prince Charles’s affair, Princess Diana took to the streets in an off the shoulder black dress with a deep v-neckline. Rather than hiding from the media, and her marriage’s demise, Diana defied her reality, and the royal dress code, to make a statement. Designer Christina Stambolian had given her the one of a kind, ~$2600 dress three years prior, but Diana was too nervous to wear the iconic dress because it was “too daring.” However, under the appropriate circumstances, and the help of her LBD, Diana was able to use her “revenge dress” to remain empowered, and show the world that she was unafraid, brave, and even sexy. Although this ensemble may have been seen as a moment of mourning for the life she was putting behind her, Diana didn’t fail to emit the utmost power and confidence wearing her LBD.
Fast forward to a fast-fashion dominated 2022, it feels hard to keep up, even with such a closet basic. The LBD has dominated party culture, and the variety of shapes, lengths, and textures constantly keep consumers wanting more. For example, Yves Saint Laurent’s “Cut Out Bustier Mini Dress” costs a steep $5400—and is sold out everywhere. The form fitting LBD with a unique art inspired neckline has now been duplicated and displayed in every department store window, becoming accessible to everyone. The success of YSL’s fresh take on the LBD is telling of its ability to maintain a constant stream of revenue for any brand.
The Little Black Dress continues to reign supreme because it can serve as both a staple and a statement piece. An elegant LBD with a pair of black heels is an easily put together trending fit, while a LBD with knee high boots and a faux fur jacket is equally as iconic. The LBD acts as a chameleon; regardless of whether you are going for a Y2K fit, a Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment, or a simple and sleek ensemble, the LBD is there to finish off the look. In a world where demand is constantly increasing, and consumers are always looking for the next best thing, the LBD remains to be the outlasting necessity in your closet. The next time you are getting ready for a night out, remember that the LBD is your best friend for looking fabulous.