Five Black Dresses
With the party season approaching we look at five fabulous black dresses in a wide variety of vintage styles to suit all kinds of figures. Whether you prefer Thirties siren or Fifties elegance here are a few of the best.
1. CAROLE LOMBARD
In Love before Breakfast (1936) Carole Lombard's dress is perfect example of 1930's elegance and glamour with a fabulous plunging backline and is a slinky satin figure-hugging evening gown typical of an era that marked a new sensual direction within women's dressing. The bias cut popularised by Madeleine Vionnet was suitable for the slender but curvaceous woman creating sculptural dresses which closely hugged the body. The silhouette was luxurious, elegant and modern and is such a timeless look.
2. LAUREN BACALL
Lauren Bacall was photographed in so many fabulous black dresses it is hard to choose one. This elegant black dress features a plunging V neckline perfect for elongating the neck and nipped in at the waist for a striking silhouette with a tulip skirt flattering Ms Bacall's shapely figure. Diana Vreeland once described Bacall as someone who “could not take a bad picture,” and for good reason. Not only were her looks virtually flawless, but her elegant demeanour, confidence, and signature low voice helped make her into a film and theatre star with a career spanning over nearly 70 years.
3. JEAN SEBERG
Designed by Hubert de Givenchy in 1958
A classic full skirted 1950s dress with a beautiful fitted bodice and interesting neck bow ribbon detail. A more demure look but still revealing at the shoulders.
In Otto Preminger’s golden-age film, Bonjour Tristesse based on Françoise Sagan’s book by the same name, Jean Seberg plays Cécile, the amoral teenage daughter of rich playboy Raymond (David Niven). They are vacationing on the French Riviera and their free-going, pleasure-seeking existence is threatened by her father’s sudden plan to marry his late wife’s best friend, Anne (memorably played by Deborah Kerr). Cécile plans to drive Anne away, but the plot takes an unexpected turn. The masterful use of colour affords a striking contrast between the sun-drenched hues of summer in the South of France and the present, a Paris shot in a chilly black and white – the idyllic holiday compared to the dark reality of the consequences of their vacation.
4. SOPHIA LOREN
How beautiful Ms Loren looks in this stunning fitted dress. Pictured here at the Rally del Cinema in Rome in 1956. We love how this is gathered at the shoulder and has a flattering mid-calf length.
5. AUDREY HEPBURN
From Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) comes another piece by Hubert de Givenchy. We chose this one rather than the iconic evening length sheath dress from the opening scene of the film as a more suitable cocktail dress. Made from cloqué silk with a flared skirt it looks fabulous teamed with this wide-brimmed hat.