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Adopt the French attitude

French Fashion Blog

La Petite Robe noire, the little black dress

Myline Descamps

Sober, elegant, timeless: there are a lot of words to describe “la petite robe noire” ( the little black dress). Born in the 1920’s, it is still today a must have in every woman’s wardrobe. Here is a short flash back about this iconic piece, an essential in women fashion.

Karl Lagerfeld once said that we are never too much or too less dressed when we wear a little black dress.
This best seller is constantly reinvented and lives throughout the years.


We usually think that Gabrielle Chanel created THE dress but yet, it finds its origin in the streets. Actually, Black was the main Fashion code in the 1920’s. Dramas of the World War and the Spanish flue: many women were mourning in black in this austere time. Fashion designers then adapted themselves, offering sober and old fashioned little black dresses.



In 1926 Gabrielle Chanel launched her little black dress model. Even if this famous Parisian designer did not invented it, she is at the origin of the elegant and timeless piece that we know today. Cut in a creped scabbard, with a close fitting neckline collar, length to the knee – its creation made the buzz in a couture time where corseted shapes, over drapes and ultra refined materials were the fashion norm. The scandal was as big as the success. The American Vogue magazine is one on the first to be convinced and even published a sketch of the little black dress, calling it “The Chanel’s Ford“. Like the famous american car, a lot will be sold world wide.



Soon after the fashion magazines, Hollywood’s stars and actress will become the ambassadors of the dress. With the return of a form of clothing conservatism and the arrival of a ”New Look Cut” created by Christian Dior, the little black dress became a sexy and glamour piece reserved to the famous ones. Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor or Marylin Monroe will make it their favorite. The fact that Betty Boop was designed with a bustier black dress is indeed the sign that it has become a toll of seduction.

It’s finally Audrey Hepburn, wearing a Givenchy’s dress while playing Holly Golightly in “ Breakfast at Tiffany’s” who in the 1960’s will make the dress an icon.

In France, the little black dress will be the happiness piece for a lot of Parisian icons like Edith Piaf who was wearing one not to divert her public attention on what she was wearing and Catherine Deneuve, memorable in her Yves Saint Laurent‘s dress in Belle de Jour.


Boyish in the 20's, glamour in the 50's, rock in the 90's, fashion designers reinvented the little black dress over the years. As an inexhaustible source of inspiration, THE dress is for all women and every occasions. A classic of the Parisian style that have crossed all the borders.
The famous Guerlain perfumer even created a perfume to celebrate the french iconic La Petite Robe Noire.