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André Leon Talley’s ‘Little Black Dress’

April 22, 2013

FashionNew York | by Danny & Josh



After the success of Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel’s celebration of ‘The Little Black Jacket’ last year comes another fashionable coffee-table book – this time from André Leon Talley. The former editor-at-large of American Vogue and recently named editor-in-chief of Numéro Russia was instead attracted to the iconic ‘Little Black Dress’ or LBD, curating and shooting the most historical for the project. Leon Talley showcased the evolution of a wardrobe icon last week in the French Institute Alliance Française, choosing his favourite variations of the LBD and provided a story about each of them, which we were eager to hear.




First conceived by Coco Chanel in 1927 the little black dress – a slim-fitting dress of varying length worn for dinners, cocktail parties and evenings out – was one of the most influential and important garments of the twentieth century. Since then it has been re-interpreted by many designers, 80 of which are featured in the new book. We saw a futuristic draped version with chains from Nicholas Ghesquiére for Balenciaga, Stella McCartney’s Met Gala creation and even the transparent men’s adaptation by Rei Kawakubo – which Marc Jacobs was famously pictured in. There was also of course the most recognisable LBD made by Karl Lagerfeld, which is also featured on the cover of the book – which was a present to Anna Wintour, André told us.




The last picture, shown at the presentation was the cover of the latest issue of Numéro Russia with model Daphne Groeneveld in a dramatic black dress from Tom Ford’s spring/summer 2013 collection. “Perfect choice, if you want to make a statement”, said André.


“Little Black Dress is your true friend, you remember when you met her… what happened the first time you wore her…she travels with you…is patient and constant…you go to her when you don’t know where else to go and she is always reliable and timeless.” – Diane Von Furstenberg.


“A Little Black Dress is something to rely on. To fill you with confidence and ease. To have an attitude that is pure and effortless, yet sexy and classy.” – Stella McCartney.


“A Little Black Dress can be so much and somehow feel like nothing – restaurant, frivolity, fantastically basic and so simple. The little black dress is the perfect paradox.” – Marc Jacobs


“The zenith of elegance in any woman’s wardrobe is the little black dress, the power of which suggests dash and refinement.” – André Leon Talley.


David Valinksiy.