Monday, 20 February 2012

Little Black Dresses, yum!

Hello all you '99ers!
Finally my book arrived!
Little Black Dress Vintage Treasure, written by Didier Ludot, one of the world's most well known collectors of designer vintage, and in particular the black dress; he has a whole store dedicated to them at the Palais Royal in fair Paris.
I too love a great black dress, and in fact while picking which ones to share with you, I counted over 25 of them in the salon. Some of them are little, some are little but heavy, more for winter, and though I haven't shown them, there are a couple of 'big black dresses' too!

 Fab cover!

 The basic of all basic LBDs, Chanel's 'Ford' pleated crepe dress, magnifique!
 The shot on the right is Tom Ford for Gucci spring 2001, if you remember Kylie Minogue wore a similar pink grosgrain dress in her clip for.. la la la .. ;)

Prada Fall 2001, I love the interplay between sheer and opaque, it makes the dress not as overtly smutty as it may actually be!

A selection of Ann Demeulemeester black dresses, here and always in person they are simply beautiful and instantly recognisable.

And of course Yohji Yamamoto in a still taken in 1991 in the Paris showroom before the runway show.
All images taken on my phone (explains the handheld quality..) from the book Little Black Dress Vintage Treasure by Didier Ludot, 2001, Assouline.

And now friends, a small, but detailed, selection of some black dresses at Paris '99 :)

Alberta Ferretti silk chiffon shirred layering dress. Light as air, romantic and feminine, but when done with a pair of leather pants, a loose silk top and tough lace up boots it takes on a whole new personality.

 Badgley Mischka silk pleated skirt shift dress. As you know I think these two gentlemen are among the epitome of taste makers in New York and from that reputation this dress does not stray! It is cut beautifully, simple in line and the little bow used to break divide the bodice and skirt gives it the necessary detail to lift it to the level of its makers. And the '20s are just so in!

Who doesn't love Nicolas Ghesquiere? I certainly do, and this little number is a testament to the precision of his cutting in his early days at Balenciaga. As you can see in the detail shot, the whole front is shaped by eight perfectly sewn darts. When on the body this dress is literally second skin, and the 'overall' style strap is actually removable, leaving the buttons and a fabulous strapless dress to go for a small dinner and easy dance!

When we think of Christian Lacroix, simple black dresses are not usually the first thing to come to mind. But remember, Lacroix is an haute couturier and a beautiful cut and knowledge of material is paramount to his success. This dress has tiers and tiers and then some of the most beautifully intricate lace, three kinds of it to be exact. At first sight it is subdued, but when on the body the top part of the bodice shows the underneath, and this is where a very good bra is needed! Because of its simplicity, it could be worn, with a good tailored jacket or cardigan, to the office and to lunch. With a crystal cuff and coloured minaudiere its perfect for any evening occasion, and the best part, it has pockets!

Another beautiful dress that must be seen up-close is this Rochas, as designed by my favourite, Olivier Theyskens. We know that Theyskens' work at Rochas was at almost couture quality, and with all the handwork and details on this simple simple piece, you can see why pieces pretty much started at the $1000 mark and others were simply POA. This little gem is silk too, you know I like natural and expensive fabrics ;),  the buttons are self covered and along every seam is a gorgeous almost blanket stitch, finished entirely by hand. The centre lining panel and all the edges are also hand sewn. Its important to remember that with fashion of this level, the inside is possibly even more important that the outside, and it gives you the wearer the satisfaction of knowing you are wearing something truly special.

This go to party dress by New Yorker Sari Gueron is just fabulous. The zip is off centre, the bust detail is the connection between the front and the back, and the whole piece is piped along every seam, all curves considered. Lets not even mention the fun and flirty bubble skirt design and the beautifully dull and weighty satin which stops the dress from dating or just simply being too 'shiny'. Sari is one to watch, I have another black dress from her, it has feathers, velvet and polka dots, imagine that!

Thanks for your patience while I waited for my book to arrive and inspire me. At the moment I am waiting on four more books, including 'Irreverant' by Carine Roitfeld. Can't wait to share that one with you!

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