The Little Black Dress in American Culture
Atrium Exhibit Case Terrell Library
April 8 – 21, 2013
Exhibit by Mary Gilles
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is often credited with introducing the little black dress. Her design for a simple dress, referred to as a “Ford” because it could be mass produced, was published in the US edition of Vogue in October 1926. Since then the little black dress has become a staple in women’s wardrobes: a dress that’s simple enough to appear effortless, yet elegant enough to mark the wearer as a woman of taste. The little black dress has also permeated American culture as few other garments have. The exhibit features examples of the little black dress and its appearance in song, film, poetry, fiction, scholarly articles, and wine.
The garments are from the Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles Department’s Historic Costume and Textiles Collection.
The exhibit complements the Annual Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show, April 12.