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HomeUKRacial aspect of Chanel's little black dress brought to the fore

Racial aspect of Chanel’s little black dress brought to the fore


Information for the upcoming show in Scotland states that displays will reflect the changing use of the little black dress, saying: “The color black can be interpreted in many subtle and often contradictory ways.

“The exhibition will explore how the little black dress, through its complexity, has simultaneously expressed piety and perversion, respect and rebellion; from the well-mannered cocktail wear of the early 20th century to the leather and latex worn by members of punk and fetish subcultures.

It adds that the dress “remains a blank canvas for wider political and cultural shifts”, including “social norms around race, gender and sexuality”.

‘Incredibly important’

Black was in fashion before 1926 and other little black dresses had been created, but Chanel’s design was seen as a transformative innovation in women’s fashion.

Georgina Ripley, curator of modern and contemporary design at the museum, said: “The dress is incredibly important on its own merit anyway, but for our exhibition it’s really crucial because we open the exhibition with the idea that this is a kind of birth it.” of the little black dress.

“The well-known story in fashion history is that Chanel is the inventor of the little black dress and 1926 is the date, and that is because a very simple long-sleeved day dress in silk crepe de Chine was featured in American Vogue in the October issue and it called this dress the ‘gown that the whole world will wear’.

She added that the dress they borrowed from Berlin is not the exact garment featured in the 1926 Vogue article.

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