By SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
Presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design
Little Black Dress
Tracing the bold curve of social history across the 20th and 21st centuries, "Little Black Dress" explores the evolution of a definitive yet democratic style that, for more than a century, has embodied the shifting social tides of the modern world. In its ubiquity and versatility, the little black dress has delivered some of the most indelible images of our visual age. Endlessly appropriated and translated, each dress is imbued with the value of its day — from service to independence, from restraint to temptation, from glamour to grace.
"Timeless, chic, iconic, and integral to a woman's wardrobe, the little black dress embodies simple elegance and cosmopolitan glamour like no other fashion staple and is undoubtedly the 20th century's greatest fashion phenomenon."
"The little black dress is a giant stroke of genius: it can transform you into walking calligraphy. For me, the perfect little black dress disappears and becomes a potent symbol of controlled perfection."
"The little black dress must be luxurious, rich, sensual, diaphanous, exotic, severe, lush, demure, demanding, frivolous, amusing, and it must linger in memory, but above all, it must be simple and little and black."
"The little black dress is the true friend. You remember when you met her... what happened the first time you wore her... she travels with you... is patient and constant... you go to her when you don't know where else to go and she is ALWAYS reliable and timeless."
Diane Von Furstenberg
"The black dress for me is an enigma - you could create anything within its concept. With a black dress every woman can be a stylist, a designer, each time constructing something new and unique around the elegant abstraction that is a black dress."
"I believe the little black dress is a quiet, yet dynamic gesture of individuality. Its curve, silhouette, and structure are articulated through line, proportion, and repetitious pattern. No layers, no gimmicks, and no hiding- only you, in a modern and classic state of refined and clear self- expression."
"Little Black Dress," presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design, was exhibited at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, Sept. 28, 2012 - Jan. 27, 2013, and in Paris, France at the Mona Bismarck American Center for art and culture July 3-Sept. 22, 2013.
The exhibition charted the historic and contemporary significance of a singular sartorial phenomenon and featured nearly 80 garments from a canon of legendary fashion designers, style icons and best-dressed A-listers, from Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada to Anna Wintour and Renée Zellweger.
A monograph of the same title was published by Skira Rizzoli and included contributions by André Leon Talley, Paula Wallace, Gioia Diliberto, Maureen Dowd and Robin Givhan. Images featured here and in the book were photographed by SCAD alumnus Adam Kuehl (B.F.A., photography, 2005).
"Little Black Dress" is available for purchase at shopSCAD, shopscad.com, and amazon.com.