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The Fashion Memo

20 of the best little black dresses

Solving sartorial dilemmas since day one, the LBD is a crucial element of a great closet. This season, fashion’s ultimate fail-safe has been given the bad-girl treatment – think higher hems, embellishment, leather and cutouts – elevating it from fallback to first choice

Isabel Marant FW18

Women everywhere will be forever indebted to Coco Chanel for a multitude of reasons, from the rise of larger-than-life to the popularization of pants. But chief among her achievements? The invention of the LBD. Back in 1926, Chanel debuted the first little black dress, a form-fitting, knee-length number that transformed fashion forever. Since then, this wear-anywhere-anytime item has become a key part of our wardrobes. Loved by everyone from Princess Diana and to Madonna and the , the LBD’s back catalogue is a testament to its universal appeal.

So, how can you improve on a classic? For , designers have revisited this wardrobe staple and turned it into a trophy piece. Whether you’re drawn to Isabel Marant’s ’80s-inspired puffed sleeves, Christopher Kane’s cut-outs or Givenchy’s lace panels, the new souped-up LBDs promise to take your after-dark look to another level. Finish with anything from to , as long as they make a statement – this look isn’t about holding back. These dresses may be little, but they pack a punch.

The LBD has been a wardrobe star for everyone from Princess Diana to Debbie Harry


  • Isabel Marant
    Cobe twisted leather mini dress
    Cold-shoulder crepe turtleneck mini dress
  • Christopher Kane
    Crystal-embellished off-the-shoulder twill mini dress
    Satin mini dress

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