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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.

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