At Little Black Dress our ethos is predominantly based around and dedicated to the significance of the LBD. We are acutely aware of its powerful history and how so many famous females throughout the 20th Century have contributed to its iconic and timeless style status. In honour of this ultimate black dress we have put together a timeline of our top iconic LBD moments from across the decades. They cover a range of ages and body types, proving that these factors are often irrelevant and in fact, it is their sense of style that unites them. To quote Yves Saint Laurent, 'Fashions fade, style is eternal'. These women are real style ambassadors, who know what they want to wear and how to wear it.
Coco Chanel. Photo by Sipa Press/ REX Shutterstock
1930's - Coco Chanel
Aptly first on the list, our edit of iconic black dresses wouldn't be complete without a woman so monumentally influential in the history of fashion. The household name so popular today has a strong heritage. She not only made a conscious move towards changing the accepted silhouette in women's clothing from the 1920's through dropping the waistline and contributing to the removal of the corset, but she also changed the way women thought about dressing. It was a move towards practicality and no longer entirely focused upon society. The first move towards personal style; the LBD is powerful.
Carmen Miranda, The Gang's All Here 1943. Photo by REX Shutterstock
1943 - Carmen Miranda
Delving back into the LBD archives is the dress Carmen Miranda wore in her most famous movie, the 1942 ‘The Gang’s All Here’. This beautiful little black Dress fit Carmen like a glove, just look at that impeccable waistline!
Rita Hayworth. Photo by Moviestore/ REX Shutterstock
1946 - Rita Hayworth
Another iconic little black dress worn by a 50s screen star, this time it’s the strapless satin black dress that Rita Hayworth wore in the 1946 film, Gilda. It soon rose to iconic black dress status when she posed for promo images teaming the dress with a pair of long black gloves and glam waved hair.
Sophia Loren. The Millionairess 1960. Photo by Everett/ REX Shutterstock
1950s - Sophia Loren
A woman renowned for her beauty, Italian actress Sophia Loren's style suited her film roles as a Femme Fatale. A fan of a cinched waist and a Bardot dress neckline, Sophia was a leading lady in more areas than one. This particular black dress highlights both her figure and her sense of style perfectly, showcasing her gorgeous curves; the LBD is flattering.
Elizabeth Taylor, Suddenly, Last Summer 1959. Photo by JTavin/ Everett/ REX Shutterstock
1950 - Elizabeth Taylor
She could teach us all a thing or two about accessorising, as this stunning American actress was famed for her obsession with all things that sparkle. So much so that when her collection was auctioned off following her death, the total sales reached over £100M. Imagine that much jewellery?! She certainly knew how to style a classic black dress with a twist like this one; the LBD is feminine.
Marilyn Monroe, The Asphalt Jungle 1950. Photo by Everett/ REX Shutterstock
1950 - Marilyn Monroe
Arguably one of the most memorable women in history, this drama queen made any outfit look effortless and sexy. When opting for a dress, a little black one was one of her favourites. Another fan of a Bardot style dress, showing off her famous curves, in this little black dress Marilyn exudes a sultry and alluring look; the LBD is sexy.
Grace Kelly, Rear Window. Photo by Moviestore/ REX Shutterstock
1954 - Grace Kelly
This shot is taken from the film 'Rear Window' in which actress Grace Kelly starred with James Stewart. The silhouette of the calf-length black dress really epitomises 50's style – fitted at the waist with a floaty midi skirt. Practical, something that she could work in, yet live up to her image as an American beauty at the same time. One thing is for sure, as both an actress and a princess, Grace Kelly proved that the LBD is majestic.
Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's 1961. Photo by Everett/ REX Shutterstock
1961 - Audrey Hepburn
Thanks to iconic movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, in which her entire wardrobe comprised of little black dresses by Hubert de Givenchy, this is a woman who really put the LBD on the map. If you haven't seen the film and are a true LBD fan, get watching now! Audrey proves that elegant and graceful style can be achieved with something as simple as a little black dress, so much so that we created our very own Audrey dress, £120, inspired by her iconic black dress; the LBD is classic.
Anita Ekberg, La Dolce Vita 1960. Photo by REX Shutterstock
1961 - Anita Ekberg
Posing at the Trevi Fountain in Rome and providing the perfect backdrop for one of the ultimate 50s screen sirens, Anita Ekberg, certainly looks the essence of beauty in a sweetheart neckline black dress. A classic and truly iconic shaped dress.
Jackie Onassis, 1970. Photo by Globe Photos/ REX Shutterstock
1961 - Jackie Onassis
Although only residing in the White House for three short years, this First Lady was particularly loved by the public for her highly on-trend but Oval Office befitting attire. To quote the woman herself, 'pearls are always appropriate'. Mrs Kennedy wasn't afraid to wear what she wanted and dressed up at any opportunity. She showed us that along with her personal style, the LBD is timeless.
Joan Collins, Dynasty TV Series 1981 - 1989. Photo by Everett/ REX Shutterstock
1980s - Joan Collins
Now this woman is a pivotal, inspirational advocate of timeless style. She dresses in a way that is age defying, taking the philosophy that youth does not dictate style. She is a LBD in female form, proving that it's all about the way you carry yourself which determines how others will interpret your style. Dynasty, the TV show in which Joan starred, aired in the 1980s and popularised many fashions of that time. Spearheaded the extremely glamorous protagonist Joan; the LBD is ageless.
Demi Moore, Indecent Proposal. Photo by Moviestore /REX Shutterstock
1993 - Demi Moore
Demi Moore certainly pushed the boundaries of cut out detailing with the black dress she wore for her starring role in 1993 film Indecent Proposal. The sexually alluring $5,000 dress was designed by Thierry Mugler and has definitely defied time – it’s just as lust worthy now as it was back then – a true classic little black dress.
Princess Diana at The Serpentine Gallery 1994. Photo by REX Shutterstock
1994 - Princess Diana
This is one of the most iconic little black dress moments in history. This LBD even has a name; it is famously known as the 'revenge dress' – worn by the Princess on the eve that Prince Charles announced his affair with Camilla. Diana held her head high and absolutely stormed the social event she attended, appearing completely unfazed and racking up column inches over her adulterating husband; the LBD is a statement.
Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant, Four Weddings and a Funeral Film Premiere 1994. Photo by Tim Rooke/ REX Shutterstock
1994 - Elizabeth Hurley
Now, this was a pinnacle moment in fashion. The then little-known Liz Hurley attended the premiere of hit movie Four Weddings and a Funeral on the arm of Hugh Grant wearing this risqué black dress by Versace. The racy LBD, with its revealing neckline and oversized gold safety pins that leave little to the imagination, has since been lauded for launching her to superstardom. There is no doubt that the LBD is bold.
Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, Cannes Film Festival 1998. Photo by Sipa Press/ REX Shutterstock
1990's - Kate Moss
A favourite from the nineties to now, supermodel Kate has been the face of numerous fashion houses and been on the cover of many high-fashion magazines throughout the past two decades. Known for her occasion dresses worn to countless red carpet events (like this one with then beau Johnny Depp), fashion is undoubtedly her forte. So many are after her personal style, that even Team LBD has replicated this particular cocktail dress with our very own Kate dress, £110. But there's one thing we know; the LBD is unique.
These little black dresses, however representative of the era they debuted, still remain as relevant and inspiring today. The times may have changed, but the statement of the black dress hasn't. We will forever look up to these LBD icons and follow the style path they have so famously created.
What does the little black dress mean to you?
Shop our collection of timeless and iconic little black dresses and check out our full (and constantly refreshed) comprehensive list of the most iconic LBD moments below.