Little Black Dress
by Dutch Fashion Doll World
Yesterday a new girl came into my collection. It’s City Smart.
Since the first time I saw this girl online I fell in love with her. Then I found out that she is one of the Holy Grails of the BFMC. Her edition size is 600. 400 were sold on the Japanese market and 200 were sold by the Barbie Collector’s Club in the U.S. I saw this girl on Ebay for horrible prices the ls year. So I thought this was one of those items that would be forever on my must have list.
But now I finally found one nrfb for a very very very good price.
There is only one small problem (also the reason that I could afford her). She has some small spots behind her ear from the earrings. It’s the beginning from the green ear problem that you see a lot with the vintage and the early BFMC ladies.
It’s a common problem with the early Silkstones. But for me it’s the first time I saw it in real life. I had seen much worse cases on the internet so I decided to buy her , doing some research in the next days and try to treat her spots and removing the earrings (more on this in a later post) This morning I also checked all my other dolls and so far I didn’t saw any other beginning of green ears. But you never know what is going on in the heads so I decided to remove all the earrings from every doll I have.
I still love this girl and even if I don’t have any success with treating the green spots (It’s almost not visible when I put her on display) she will still be one of the highlights of my collection. But what is it that I’m so attractive to this design. I think it’s the iconic magic of a little black dress.
A little black dress is considered to be an essential piece to a complete wardrobe by women. Before 1920 a black dress was often reserved for periods of mourning and considered indecent when worn outside such circumstances.
In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue.
It was calf-length, straight and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford”. Like the Model T, the little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste”.
The little black dress continued to be popular through the Great Depression, predominantly through its economy and elegance, albeit with the line lengthened somewhat. Hollywood’s influence on fashion in North America helped the little black dress’ popularity, but for more practical reasons: as Technicolor films became more common, filmmakers relied on little black dresses because other colors looked distorted on screen and botched the coloring process. During World War II, the style continued in part due to widespread rationing of textiles and in part as a common uniform (accessorized for business-wear) for civilian women entering the workforce.
The rise of Dior’s “New Look” in the post-war era and the sexual conservatism of the 1950s returned the little black dress to its roots as a uniform and a symbol of the dangerous woman.
Hollywood femmes fatales and fallen women characters were portrayed often in black halter-style dresses in contrast to the more conservative dresses of housewives or more wholesome Hollywood stars. Synthetic fibbers made popular in the 1940s and 1950s broadened the availability and affordability of many designs. The generation gap of the 1960s created a dichotomy in the design of the little black dress. The younger “mod” generation preferred, in general, a miniskirt on their versions of the dress and designers catering to the youth culture continued to push the envelope – shortening the skirt even more, creating cutouts or slits in the skirt or bodice of the dress, using sheer fabrics such as netting or tulle. Many other women in the 1960s aspired to simple black sheath dresses similar to that designed by Hubert de Givenchy and worn by actress Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The popularity of casual fabrics, especially knits, for dress and business wear during the 1980s brought the little black dress back into vogue. Coupled with the fitness craze, the new designs incorporated details already popular at the time such as broad shoulders or peplums: later in the decade and into the 1990s, simpler designs in a variety of lengths and fullness were popular. The grunge culture of the 1990s saw the combination of the little black dress with both sandals and combat boots, though the dress itself remained simple in cut and fabric.
The new glamour of the late 1990s led to new variations of the dress but, like the 1950s and the 1970s, color re-emerged as a factor in fashion and formalwear and repeatedly shows an aversion to black. The resurgence of body conscious clothing, muted color schemes, and the reemergence of predominant black, along with the retrospective trends of the 1980s in the late 2000s paved way to the return of interest to the dress.
(Photo is Courtesy of Mattel, Inc.)