Saturday, June 16, 2018

Breakfast with Chanel

LBD by Coco Chanel
Vogue (Octubre 1926).

I know you're thinking about that movie ... "Breakfast at Tiffany´s" (here a fervent fan of the wonderful Audrey Hepburn). And I also know that you are thinking about that unforgettable Little Black Dress (from now on it will be mentioned as LBD) designed by Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018). The scene of Miss Hepburn having breakfast in front of Tiffany's wearing that iconic dress has become part of our memory forever. Well, I'm starting to digress a lot, so let's go to the topic, since the main reason of this blog is not that LBD (ha, I caught you!), but the sketch designed by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883-1971) and it appeared on Vogue USA in October 1926. A date in the annals of the History of Fashion to remember.

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
Although the color black had been used frequently in Victorian and Edwardian times for mourning dresses (and little more), Chanel arrived, dressed and won (almost like Julius Caesar) with this creation of China crepe (silk, of course), long and narrow sleeves, and a white pearls necklace that gave it a more chic touch! There she said Coco years later: "I imposed black; it's still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around." Certainly she can be considered as a visionary. She marked a before and an after in the world of La Mode, and almost a century later the LBD has been reinvented thousands and thousands of times (who does not have one in their closet?). Her proposal was very well received in those crazy 20s, since women were looking for a more liberated way of dressing than the demure previous decades. The LBD was just perfect for them. It was simple and affordable for all budgets, and it was, above all, elegant.

Audrey Hepburn in
"Breakfast at Tiffany´s" (1961)

And years later, Christian Dior (1905-1957) did nothing but corroborating that the LBD was necessary (yes, necessary) in every woman's wardrobe: "You can wear black at any time. You can wear it at any age. You may wear it for almost any occasion; a 'little black frock' is essential to a woman's wardrobe." So to the present day and with Audrey Hepburn as the emblem (at least for me) of the little black dress. If you do not have one, you are still in time. And put on some pearls!

See you next week, vintage lovers!

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