The LBD: Books for Making a Style Statement

Let it go on record:  I adore a LBD, or little black dress.  I have managed to acquire a nice collection of LBDs, both casual and dressy in every fabric, length, some with adornment and others monastically minimal.  They are the workhorses of my wardrobe.  Coco Chanel was onto something when she designed the sartorial equivalent of the Model T. Perfectly utilitarian, the absence of color allows the silhouette of the women into the foreground and makes each ruffle and embellishment more significant. 

When the Golden Globes red-carpet black out was announced, I was elated.  Primarily in solidarity for the sisterhood, but admittedly for the visceral pleasure of seeing a parade of black dresses.  Eschewing color was a powerful style statement made by brave and powerful women, appropriately dressed for the funeral of an archaic and patriarchal establishment.  LBD’s negative austerity was the perfect frame to showcase the women within, allowing their beauty, intelligence and bravery to take center stage.  In my mind, each woman was a beautiful swan, but not the boring white variety.  Circumstances and experiences may once have sullied their pristineness, but they had grown strong and impenetrable as glossy black granite.   


Pretty Page Turner Blog Post LBD Golden Globe red carpet fashion


True to my obsessively nerdy nature, I have the collection of dresses and I also have a nice collection of books that celebrate the history and powerful impact a little dress sans color can make.  Think of adding them to your fashion library if you now understand the style statement that was made on the Golden Globe red carpet.


Dressed in Black  Pretty Page Turner LBD the Style Statement

The perfect picture book for any LBD lover, it features 59 designs of fashion luminaries such as Dior, Furtony and the like and their relationship to the simple black frock.  Photos culled from the Victoria and Albert Museum, it’s a great book to celebrate the garment the always appropriate Duchess of Windsor declared “when the little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place.” 







 Little Black Dress:  From Mourning to Night Little Black Dress Pretty Page Turner

The perfect historical study of the little black dress, Ms. Meyers tells us how dressing in black, once the hallmark for the mourning period, became the denier cri for late night partying.  Spanning 150 years of fashion files, beginning in the Victorian era it makes a quick stop to 1920’s Chanel, whose dress collection began the marketing of the LBD as an accessible and versatile fashion choice for every woman.  Consequently, there isn’t any woman that doesn’t have a staple black dress at the ready. 







Little Black Dress:  Vintage Treasure Pretty Page Turner Little Black Dress

Didier Ludot owns the most famous dress shop in Paris, the fashion capital of the world.  As a result, this book is a pedigreed look into an iconic collection of LBDs, meticulously culled from the top echelons  of French fashion such as Chanel, Gaultier and Dior.  Combining the tour with vintage photos of the most celebrated women in fashion (Deneuve, Moreau, Loren and Piaf) the pages are a visual bacchanal of style set in black silk, organza and taffeta. 






Little Black Dress 

Little Black Dress Pretty Page Turner Andre Leon TalleyPublished to correspond with an exhibit at Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD stellar alum and fashion impresario Andre Leon Talley offers a look at the black dress as a vehicle.  Visiting iconic images from movies like Breakfast at Tiffanys and The Belle Jour it shows the power of a frock to launch a career (Elizabeth Hurley) to possibly ruining a reputation (Madame X), this portfolio posits the black dress not just as a garment, but a tool for the woman that wears it.   








Vogue on:  Coco Chanel Little Black Dress Coco Chanel Pretty Page Turner

It is not possible in my mind to discuss the history of black dresses without visiting Chanel, who’s 1926 collection brought the idea of the LBD into the popular vernacular.  Simultaneously classic and modern, her career and designs are the archetype of modern female fashion, and of course she is the architect, leaving the LBD as her most celebrated design.  It’s not likely that every woman will be able to afford a Chanel suit or her quilted bag, but every woman is an heir of her most versatile and legendary design. 





Coming Soon! 

Vogue Essentials:  The Little Black Dress 

I’ve been reading Vogue since I was 10 years old, waiting for my mother to put it on the coffee table, which was my cue that she was finished.  To me it is not fashion unless it appears in Vogue.  I’m not sure if that’s an old slogan, but in my mind, it should be. Correctly, Vogue was one of the first to appreciate the first dress off the Chanel runway in 1926, proclaiming it ‘the frock the world will wear’.  What a prescient proclamation.  90 years later, Vogue revisits the magnitude of permutations of that first “Ford” dress.   I can’t wait to get this new book on my fashion shelf, but we have to wait until April 3.   

Vogue on the Little Black Dress Pretty Page Turner

Pre-Order it NOW!!!!!


The LBD Books for Making Style Statement Pretty Page Turner