Nocturnal Issue II - Page 24

THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS — NIKE FLEMING THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS To me and many other women, young and old, the little black dress is more than just a simple item of clothing. It’s a regular go-to, a safety blanket, a cloak of invisibility, a statement of power, and most importantly, a evolutionary chapter in the history of fashion. The concept of the little black dress was created by Coco Chanel in the 1920s following the Second World War with the aim of creating a versatile, affordable piece while creating timeless elegance and confidence in a single garment which would never go out of fashion. The concept has been reinterpreted by every designer since Chanel with one of the most notable interpretations being Audrey Hepburn’s 1960s Givenchy number, making its debut in Breakfast At Tiffanys, which I am sure you have all seen or heard of. With this infamous LBD, Givenchy aimed to contrast Hepburn’s physical vulnerability with power and demure sensuality, drawing from Chanel’s feminist ideas towards changing the way in which women were perceived at work. During her lifetime, Coco Chanel was renowned for her refusal to dress glamorously and chose to wear tweed suits which were considered as clothing for the lower and working classes – controversial! The Little Black Dress was such a success that we fashionistas don’t even refer to it by its full name anymore: it’s the LBD, the three most important letters in any woman’s wardrobe! The LBD abbrievation is acceptable but I wouldn’t say abbreviating words is always the fashionable thing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who despises the ‘really thoughtful and personal’ three letter ‘HBD’ birthday greeting from year 8s on Facebook and the annoying use of ‘LOL’ when nothing is actually funny and nobody is actually laughing out loud. While we’re on the topic of year 8, I can’t help but reminisce on my former self, thinking I was too cool for school with my rebellious CLEAR nail varnish and side pony-tails, not to mention my obsession with those giant Primark pearls worn with every casual outfit, God help us! If only I’d understood the power of an LBD back then... Through instigating the LBD, Chanel aimed to liberate women from the restrictive corsets which they had previously been expected to wear and give women a garment that would ‘say it all without the need to shout,’ while giving ‘women the ability to laugh and eat without doing themselves any injury,’ in Chanel’s own words. While the LBD can be used