It would be wrong, very wrong (as well as untrue) if I said that I that was anything less than a fanatic fan of the LBD (Little Black Dress). When Coco Chanel introduced it back in 1920, it not only changed the world for fashion designers…but for women everywhere. Today, the LBD is ubiquitous. We all have at least one. And we slip it on like a uniform – always pretty, always correct, always acceptable.
BUT, let’s admit it…every now and again we women take a look at our closets full of LBD’s and wish we had something totally different! Something with color. Something with sparkle. Something that makes heads turn when we walk into a room. As much as we all love our LBD’s , there are times when we get bored, showing up for every special occasion in a dress that might (with different shoes and jewelry) also serve at a business meeting or…heaven forbid…a funeral!
I think that’s where my designing mind was back in the 1980′s when we created the two-piece dress shown above. The cranberry top was made of silk taffeta, and the pleated skirt was a wool blend. Chic, feminine, flirty…it was fabulous!
The two-piece dress was originally part of the collection my brother, Bernard, and I had at our store BBZ, the first Punk/New Wave clothing store in the entire South!
It sold so well that Magid and I did several variations on it, including Pleated Flounce Dress that appeared in the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate (see left). This version had long sleeves and a black cotton faille body that buttoned all the way up the back! (Yes, that is me posed to show all the buttons going up the back…which of course don’t show up at all! )
I also wore this outfit to an interview for the European Fashion Fair held in New York. I walked in with my little portfolio and one of the panelists said “Did you make that dress?” and I said “Yes”. “Here’s your registration material”, she said. That was it. No interview required. As it turned out, I was one of only five American designers who were accepted!
Times and fashions have certainly changed over the last 25+ years, but two things have remained constant: the popularity of the Little Black Dress, and women’s desires to break free of it every now and again.