Once upon a dress... The story of the little black dress

Dirix, Emmanuelle and Taylor, Lou (2010) Once upon a dress... The story of the little black dress. In, Masters of Black in Fashion and Constume: Symposium, Antwerp, BE, 12 May 2010.


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Fashion deals in fantasy and the aestheticisation of the everyday, it tells stories of glamour and revolution, of key pieces and the ‘genius’ designer, but often the story itself is an abstract simplification, a re-telling, of an unspecific truth. The story, through endless repetition by cultural agents, becomes truth and occupies specific cultural functions, which benefit all parties involved. The perfect example is the story of Chanel’s little black dress; the sartorial blueprint of modernity, the icon of the modern wardrobe. The ethereal but enduring myths surrounding the dress are infinitely more fascinating and relevant than the material reality of this unassuming plain black frock. The ease of their unravelment reveals this storytelling as one of the mainstays of fashion and highlights the rupture between object and narrative.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Related URLs:
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Art
ePrint ID: 152341
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
12 May 2010Delivered
Date Deposited: 17 May 2010 15:39
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:24
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/152341

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