Fashion historians ascribe the origins of the little black dress to the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel, intended to be long lasting, versatile, affordable, and accessible to the widest market possible and in a neutral colour. Its continued ubiquity is such that many refer to it by the abbreviation LBD
The "little black dress" is considered essential to a complete wardrobe by many women and fashion observers, who believe it a "rule of fashion" that every woman should own a simple, elegant black dress. Because it is meant to be a staple of the wardrobe for a number of years, the style of the little black dress ideally should be as simple as possible: a short black dress that is too clearly part of a trend would not qualify because it would soon appear dated.
Introduced in the late 1920s and first popular in the 1930s, the little black dress—a slim-fitting dress of varying length worn for dinners, cocktail parties, and evenings out—was one of the most popular fashions of the twentieth century. It is one of the most influential and important garments of the twentieth century.
In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in Vogue. It was calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford.” Like the Model T, the little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
From the book: "The little black dress was made fashionable by Coco Chanel and Edward Molyneux and was
by American Vogue in 1926. Black dresses had not previously been fashionable for society women, unless they were in
mourning. For one thing, they made a good base from which to show accessories.
1930 - Douglas Pollard's illustration, from the March 12, 1930, Vogue, features a model in a sheer black lace dress and matching capelet by Chanel. It was a signature look of the designer
Scheherazade is easy. The little black dress is hard. - Coco Chanel