22 Ways To Say Black
Until Coco Chanel came along, black was usually only worn by women on occasions of mourning; in the late nineteenth century, when worn outside such occasions, black clothing was even considered indecent (as instanced by the controversy attending John Singer Sargent's "Portrait of Madame X"). But in 1926, Chanel overturned centuries of convention by publishing a photograph in an issue of Vogue of a dress she had designed that came to be known as "the little black dress" (or "LBD"). Chanel's little black dress was cut simply, usually featured a short skirt, and was designed primarily for durability, affordability and versatility. An immediate hit with women from across the social spectrum, the popularity of the little black dress persisted even into the Great Depression, and for nearly a century it has continued to symbolize the modern woman, flourishing through every decade where most dresses would flounder (Vogue once described it as "Chanel's Model-T Ford"). Among the many celebrities who have made it a part of their personal style are Audrey Hepburn, Betty Boop, Wallis Simpson and Edith Piaf. Here, in celebration of this classic garment's enduring appeal, Swarovski AG has commissioned 22 of today's leading fashion designers, including Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Donna Karan and Jean-Paul Gaultier, to design one little black dress apiece. All dresses will be sold at auction, at Phillip's New York gallery during Fashion Week Fall 2010. 22 Ways To Say Black pays homage to the legacy of Chanel's masterpiece, illustrating all 22 dresses in lavishly staged photographs. A limited quantity of this title is available.