Barely a hundred years ago, the black dress was somber and depressing. It was no more than the traditional mourning garb for grieving widows to make sure their dead husbands won’t come knocking late at night. Thankfully, the great Coco Chanel had a vision, and in 1926, she single-handedly rescued the black dress from its morbid reputation. It has since been reinvented into the LBD, the little black dress. The rest, you could say, is fashion history. Here’s a look at the top 10 most unforgettable LBDs of all time.
10. At first glance, it looked like no more than a piece of black fabric held together by a few giant safety pins. That was Elizabeth Hurley’s Versace outfit at the 1994 premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral. That black dress was literally little, and though it was severely criticized back then, it certainly was unforgettable. It paved the way for the short-lived and the now-defunct giant safety pin trend (does anybody still remember that?).
9. It’s hard to put a list together without Kirsten Dunst making an appearance. In this case, who can forget the oh-so feminine Rodarte number that she wore at Spider-Man 3’s 2007 London premiere? It was almost eerie how the LBD contrasted with her naturally pale skin, completing a look that was romantic, ethereal, and unbelievably fresh.
8. Even before she became THE Halle Berry, Halle Berry already had a style of her own. She turned heads back in the 1992 Soap Opera Digest Awards when she waltzed right in donning a strapless, poufy, full-skirted LBD that looked suspiciously like a Karl Lagerfield creation. She might have been almost unknown then, but she had the press scrambling for pictures!
7. Very few people can pull off a dress that looks like something you catch fish with, but Gwyneth Paltrow did at the 2008 premiere of Iron Man in Rome. Gwyneth stunned spectators when she arrived at the red carpet wearing a peculiarly deceptive Jean Paul Gaultier creation. At first look, it looked scandalously transparent – a surprise, considering it’s the ever demure Ms. Paltrow.
6. If there’s one person who’s often seen in little black dresses aplenty, it’s Reese Witherspoon. Seen promoting her film Rendition at the Toronto Film Festival in a form-fitting strapless Jean Paul Gaultier creation, Reese looked fabulously sleek and smoldering. Accessorized with diamonds aplenty, Christian Louboutin peep-toe pumps, and squeeze, Jake Gyllenhaal the look is nothing short of historical.
5. Of course, who can forget the black lace cocktail dress immortalized by Julia Roberts in the fairy tale to end all fairy tales, Pretty Woman? It’s a classic. Enough said.
4. Who would’ve though that a star would be caught dead wearing something that was originally intended for recycling? Well, apparently it could happen, just like the black bandage dress Cindy Crawford wore to the 100th Anniversary of Vogue back in 1993. Since it was created by Herve Leger in 1985, the dress has made numerous comebacks.
3. Devilish – that’s what the LBD Nicole Kidman wore to the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival is. With a simple bodice, gorgeous diamond-studded straps, and a backside that teases, the Azzaro creation is no less than stunning!
2. Of course, you can’t have a list of LBDs without Victoria Beckham in it. From her Spice Girls days to her Mrs. Beckham fame, it seems like Posh can’t be seen without one for very long. Who can miss the be-ribboned Giambattista Valli frock that she wore to the TomKat wedding in 2006? Even the Philip Treacy hat is unforgettable.
1. And finally, who can forget Audrey Hepburn’s legendary little black dress from 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Sold for £410,000 in a 2006 auction, this Givenchy LBD is, hands down, a star in its own right!
Without a doubt, LBDs are forever. And we owe it all to a woman named Coco.