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The “Little Black Dress”

Coco Chanel (circa 1926) in the original little black dressIn 1926 Coco Chanel created the “Little Black Dress”, a ready-to-wear, practical, sophisticated dress, one could wear all afternoon, and then on into cocktail hour.  Originally designed in wool with long sleeves, this dress proved so popular that it soon appeared in a variety of styles,  in different fabrics.  The little black dress became a central focus of our modern outfits, both for day and evening wear.

Most of us have, in our closets, that one dress which gets us through almost any occasion.  I, myself, own at least three or four little black dresses.  Recently, while rummaging through a varied collection of items at a clothing exchange, a friend and I discovered a black sheath dress, hanging with the other colored dresses, low-key, yet desirable.  We wanted that dress; it was going to fit one of us, or one of our daughters.  But when we were able to get back into the room to make our selections, that nice dress had mysteriously disappeared.  Someone had broken the rules and stashed it away.  It seems that everybody wanted that little black dress.

I have always understood its mystique.  When I was still a teenager, and an avid reader of Vogue, I chanced upon an article with an intriguing title, on how to “look very, very rich”.  I read this with interest, understanding that truly great fashion never goes out of style.  Real style involves a sense of timelessness, self-confidence, quality and design.  And, that the most important item in a woman’s closet, was the little black dress.  In this case, they were referring to the sheath dress, sleeveless and knee length.  When I finally made my trip to Paris, I was wearing my own little black dress, and feeling very fine.

Because a large part of our Brava! business is Concert Black, we are very aware of the need for classic silhouettes, for modern, practical versions of this standby.  In collaboration with our designer, Carole Wang, we’ve developed up a few dress styles, each of which is available in our Performance Attire Black  95% Bamboo/5% Spandex fabric.  Not surprisingly, our initial foray into the little black dress, our “Diana” style, is tea-length, has long sleeves, a simple neckline, and bears a resemblance to Coco Chanel’s iconic style from 1926.  This dress looks good on everyone, and is fast becoming a staple in Bay Area musicians’ wardrobes.

A little black dress can impart its mystery and sophistication to the wearer.  It can boost one’s self-confidence.  You know you’re dressed appropriately, and impeccably while wearing your little black dress.  You needn’t worry about how you look; you can concentrate on more important things, like work, and making beautiful music.

Our friend, Barbara wearing the

Our friend, Barbara wearing the “Diana” Dress.


Getting Away with It!

Back to my sister, Evelyn, who was so much a part of me.  We were always on each other’s side, always loving, but honest with each other.  We had a saying about someone who seemed to have thrown together an outfit which shouldn’t have worked, but somehow did.  “She gets away with it!”  This meant that neither of us could wear something that outlandish or in such poor taste, but that other woman could.  I can still see her pronouncing this dubious compliment, a wry smile on her lips.

Getting away with it.  Was this something to be envied?  Sometimes.  And yet…

Then there are the people who manage to do more than just get away with it.  Sometimes, while on shopping expeditions, Evelyn and I used to follow people with whom we became intrigued.  We weren’t stalking, and we weren’t being catty.  We merely wanted to further study these people to see why their outfits worked so well.

Which all leads me back here.  Just why do some people have the ability to seemingly throw on a couple of pieces of clothing and have it all come together and look perfect?  I have, on rare occasions, possessed this ability.  I was told so, but not by my sister.  If we were going out somewhere, Evelyn would work on me until I passed inspection.  “All right,” she’d say, adjusting a scarf or lapel.  “You’llMe 012015 purple get away with it!”.

These days I want more than just to get away with something.  I want to look my best, feel comfortable, and feel confident.  I really don’t care about fashion trends.  I know who I am.  My sister told me.  I have forsaken most of my other clothes to wear, almost exclusively, the Carole Wang Collection from Brava!

Welcome to Brava! Fashions

Welcome to our new website which is currently UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

Brava! was originally created in January 2015 to design and sell women’s fashions specifically focused on the unique needs of female orchestral musicians,  singers, and others in the Performance Arts. Due to high demand, we have expanded our line to include casual wear for a wide range of professional women.

Our Performance Attire is both stylish, and optimized for the unique requirements of those in the Performing Arts. Brava! is unique in our personal commitment to our clients’ professional needs.

Our Casual Wear augments our original fashion line with coordinating styles in the latest colors to create a complete wardrobe.

For Brava! customers who have limited time to shop, we offer In-Home Fashion Shows, Personal Wardrobe Consultations, Private Fittings, and Custom and semi-Custom Clothing. ( Purchase Now)

  • Home fashion SHOWS and PARTIES hosted by our Brava! Affiliates in the comfort of their homes.
  • Personal Consultants who meet with our clients individually to serve their specialize needs.
  • Via Phone (650-238-7260)
  • Online Website (under development)
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