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Little Black Dress

November 21, 2013
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After The little black jacket’s exhibition in 2012 by Karl Lagerfeld, Paris welcomed The Little Black Dress’ at the Mona Bismarck American Center.

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At the beginning it was Coco Chanel. Mademoiselle was the first to draw a « little black dress », to illustrate one of her models (visible at the beginning of the exhibition in a frame). This notion appeared in 1926 in Vogue magazine. Since the 30’s the ‘little black dress club’ has had many members from Audrey Hepburn to Edith Piaf, but also from Jackie Kennedy and Catherine Deneuve to Amy Winehouse and recently Rihanna.

This retrospective, created by The Savannah College of Art and Design (SACD) and sponsored by M.A.C., tells the story of the little black dress through more than 50 emblematic pieces, gathered in three rooms, of the most known fashion designers, named in the “International Best-dressed List” from Chanel to Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, passing by Prada…. Moreover we can discover some dresses worn by stars, for example a Stella McCartney’s dress made for Rihanna or a PrabalGurung’s dress for Sarah Jessica Parker.

photo_1   Rihanna’s dress

André Leon, the commissioner of the exhibition and an emblematic figure of the fashion world (journalist for Vogue US) affirms that « the little black dress has been perceived to present the diverse interpretations of the little black dress during these two last centuries ». He declares,“The little black dress is the quintessence of elegance, while revealing the personality of the woman who is wearing it; it is a revealer of her time. I wanted to show that the little black dress was not merely synonymous with a form of inconspicuous and timeless chic to be worn with pearls; It is the starting point of the wildest creation”.

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To display those dresses, the exhibitions placed them on white enlightened catwalk and in front of flashy red walls, which contrast with the dark clothes.

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This exhibition shows the fashion and social evolution of our modern world, through the legendary little black dress which is not only perceived as a normal garment, but also symbolizes elegance, simplicity and modernity; it appears as « a must have », not only for women but also for men, and it adapts to all situations, whether it be for grand occasions or at night as lingerie.

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By exploiting different textures, shapes and tones, the worldwide fashion designers made of the little black dress a key of the fashion sphere, because it can be skin-tight or  wide, sexy and classy such as the skirt suit from Chanel, sophisticated like the Ralph Lauren long dresses. According to Andre Leon Talley“Owing to its ubiquity and versatility, the little black dress has imposed itself among other timeless creations in this visual era. Through her constant appropriation and reinterpretation of its time: from submission to independence, from restraint to temptation, from glamour to grace.”

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Eden and Carla

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