Black is the absence of or complete absorption of light; i.e. the void of color. It has been used to represent many different things, but in fashion it is classic and timeless. And the person synonymous for catapulting the color to its current peak is Coco Chanel; with her introduction of the “Little Black Dress,” also known as, LBD.
Before the 1920’s black was reserved strictly for times of mourning. It was considered distasteful to wear it otherwise. All of this changed in 1926, when Coco Chanel introduced to the world a short black dress in the iconic Vogue Magazine. The magazine called this dress “Chanel’s Ford, “and just like the Model T it was accessible to women of all social classes. It was the “uniform for all women of taste.”
The LBD remained a staple through the Great Depression and World War II, were it literally was the uniform for women entering the workforce. It wasn’t until the 1950’s and early 1960’s were it took a little hit, because it was considered a little dangerous and women who wore it were less conservative to those in powder blue. Can we please take a pause to be thankful that powder blue did not catapult to be a staple!!!! As the 1960’s came to a close it would move back to the fore-front of fashion as women remembered it classic nature and wanted to tap into their inner Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s).
The Little Black Dress has been able to maintain its status as the classic go-to since the 1970’s, despite its stylistic variations over the years; transforming from the mod mini dress of the 60s, to the big shoulders and peplums of the 80’s, and the grudge stylings of the 90’s. There has been one thing that has remained the same, its ability to make a women feel beautiful and glamorous. It will forever be versatile, classic, and timeless; appealing to women of all walks of life.
It’s only one way to wear black and that’s the Coco Chanel way!