The evolution of the LBD

The little black dress is undoubtedly a classic staple of any wardrobe and it's almost guaranteed that every woman will own at least one. For years, the LBD has circulated the fashion scene, making its way into seasonal trend charts time after time. But how has this, somewhat simple, dress come to be such a timeless piece?

TJC sets out to investigate by taking you through the evolution of the LBD:

Back in the day

A dress style that's been coveted for almost 100 years, the little black number first dates back to the 19th century when American artist John Singer Sargent painted the 'Portrait of Madame X' wearing an elegant black evening dress.

To Sargent's dismay, the portrait caused a scandal in Paris due to Madame X's plunging neckline and hanging strap, which were deemed "flagrantly insufficient". It was unveiled that the French locals had never seen the colour black used outside of mourning and so looked on the sultry, fitted dress as an outrage.

Moving on from the controversial portrait, the rise of the LBD gained momentum in the 1920s, with Coco Chanel coining the phrase "little black dress", which we well know is now a worldwide term.

Chanel's rendition of the LBD took a step away from the tight-fitting corsets that were popular in the Victorian era towards looser, less restrictive dresses. This sparked a new movement in the fashion world, giving rise to the flapper dress that was born in the late 1920s.

Flapper dresses feature excessive fringing that is usually accompanied by heavy embellishments. This dress style became associated with lavish parties and balls, where women would adorn themselves in jewels and dance the night away to jazz music – similar to those portrayed in the 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

LBD style icons

Of course, the little black dress wouldn't be quite so popular today if it wasn't for the great style icons of the 19th century who were regularly seen flaunting the ensemble.

The ultimate LBD style icon is the late Audrey Hepburn, who starred as the elegant Holly Golightly in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. The scene where Ms Hepburn is wearing a fitted black dress with a string of pearls around her neckline is one of the most influential cinematic moments in fashion history and has become synonymous with this classic wardrobe staple.

Another of our favourite LBD style icons is the quintessential sex symbol of the 1950s and 60s, Brigitte Bardot. Remembered for her striking blonde locks and curvaceous frame, Ms Bardot championed the off-shoulder LBD style that is still revised in fashion today.

The LBD today

It's safe to say that the history of the little black dress was great enough to influence fashion for generations to come, which is why it has become such an essential wardrobe item in the present day.

With such a glamorous past, there's no wonder why we associate the LBD with parties, luxuriousness and dressing to the nines. So what better time to invest in one for your upcoming Christmas bash?

With a plethora of styles available, from one-shoulder and bandeau to mini and mid-length, you're bound to find one that will suit you for years to come. An LBD is timeless, after all.

Complete your look with some breathtaking jewellery. Here at TJC, we have a range of beautiful jewels that will certainly help you to steal the show. Check it out here.

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