Little Black Dress


Whether we realize it or not every time we construct an outfit we communicate to others aspects of ourselves, what is significant to us, and how we wish to be perceived. Fascinated by our ability to entirely alter our personas through clothing, make-up and body modifications, I began my Little Black Dress series to explore how we communicate and construct our visual identities.

In 1926 the Little Black Dress established it’s iconic status through the designs of radical fashion pioneer Coco Channel. Her garments abandoned corsets and other restrictive undergarments of the time and replaced them with comfortable, simple and effortless forms, whilst still maintaining a sophisticated and elegant aesthetic. The anarchy was amplified by glamourizing the colour black, which had previously been reserved for mourning. This radical transition established a fashion revolution, women were no longer restricted by the male gaze as they became empowered, liberated and unconstrained by there clothing.  Enabling The Little Black dress to soon become a symbol of a new era, a new lifestyle and a new method of thinking.

The Little Black dress has continued to flourish eternally being reinvented by every era and subculture, maintaining it’s effortless simplicity whilst glittering with elegance and luxury, unrestricted by style class, or size. The Little Black Dress appears to sparkle with individuality, whilst encapsulating a sense of connectedness and heritage.  With this is mind I wanted to take the little black dress and explore the diversity of what could be expressed and communicated, how each character could adapt the simple black form to convey there own individual identity. As our clothing often holds our memories, combines functionality with creative expression and enable us to simultaneously present and conceal who we are.  I intended to explore the diversity achievable through the simple black form and how various factors including hairstyle, pose and expression would compliment the Little Black Dress.