Thursday, August 24, 2006

LBDs for you and me

Still swaning on about autumn...You can't stop me...I love the fall...And it's almost here!

For some reason, autumn has put me in mind of the LBD. Now come on, silly, you know what that stands for: Little Black Dress.

Not sure where the autumnal association is coming from--misfiring synapses, probably. But autumn makes me think of luxury, I guess, and luxury makes me think of cocktails, and cocktails make me think of the LBD! Yes! That must be it.

Back to the goods. The dresses down below are available from the wonderful vintage purveyors on the right. Most are from the 1950s/60s--the very era in which Our Fair Lady of Chicness, the Goddess of Good Taste herself, the Much-Imitated But Forever Inimitable one, Audrey Hepburn, single-handedly convinced every woman on Earth she needed an LBD. Right now.

After all, who could argue with elegance this potent?

***

Here's the great thing about the LBD: regardless of occasion, it is always appropriate. Weddings? Check. Funerals? Check. Graduation? Check. Boss's dinner party? Check. Frolicking in a fountain? Check. It is the chameleon of dresses. An LBD can be sexy, coy, innocent, all business. It truly is the perfect dress.

The most common species of LBD is simply cut, occasionally beaded, often sheath-like. This may be what springs to mind first when you think 'LBD' (as I know you do, often). Examples:



Marilyn, you sexy little thing you. From Posh Girl. How I love this dress.











A cool 60s version with little rhinestones. Great for office Christmas parties!




















Va-va-sparkle...would be deeeevine with white satin gloves.












Lace LBDs are as versatile as their more traditional sisters. Consider this 70s Kamali dress from Posh Girl. Consider that I would buy this stunning number in a second if I had anywhere to wear her. Consider that the sexiness of this dress knows no bounds.









But black lace can be sweet and innocent too! See? Versatility.













Another Posh Girl dress whose gorgeousness I choke over. The white ruffle: fabulous. Contrast the impact of a sweet white ruffle...













...with that of a sexy black one. Interesting, no?


















Black with pink tulle--a classic combo. A little foumpy to be technically considered an LBD, but I include it here for academic comparison.













I had to include this one, even though it's not an LBD. Isn't this a crazy dress? I can't decide whether it's cool or hideous. I'm leaning to cool. But I have a distinct pro-1940s bias.

I did want to mention the peplum. I predict that peplums will make a comeback over the next few seasons. They did so in the late 80s and the wheels of fashion seem to have come full circle since then. The hostess dresses of the 1950s were interesting, because they came with removable peplums (pepla?) that I guess were sort of meant to simultaneously jazz you up and domesticate you (because they look a little like aprons). Oh, those crazy 1950s.









This is another one of my favourites, from Unique Vintage. Very 60s, very Audrey, and looks very comfy.















And one last thing about the versatility of LBDs...They can even be white!

3 Comments:

At 2:32 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

audrey hepburn! she had incredible style! a lbd...i think everyone should own one!!! love the first two and i love the one with the white ruffle! absolutely beautiful!

 
At 11:15 AM , Blogger ni_de_montreal said...

Thank you for bringing renewed attention to this often referred-to, still underrated item. My personal LBD still eludes me. but I have a lovely LgBD (long BD) and also an FBD (fancy, ie. with tulle & twinkly beads) but no Basic, Essential, Quintessential, Classic, Timeless, LBD. The quest continues. I know I'll know it when I try it on.

 
At 8:59 PM , Blogger skyniniwa said...

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