Little Black Ruffles

Oh. I saw this in one of my eBay search emails and had to feature it. How could I not? This doll takes the little black dress to a whole new level, and trust me, even if everyone is wearing black, you'll stand out in this vintage beauty.

It's a basic sheath style but with delicious, feminine, just this side of flirtatious ruffles from the waist down - not the "Wow, how did your hips broaden three feet in twenty seconds?" ruffles, but prettifying ruffles. While the dress itself is a perfect black, the seller lightened the picture to show the ruffle and waist tie details so we can fully drink in the beauty and style of this dress. *happy sigh* Trust me, you want to click on the picture to see the dress in all its wonderfulness. If this isn't the perfect little black dress, I don't know what is.

Introduced by none other than Coco Chanel in 1926, the simple black sheath became an instant classic, although up to that point black attire for women was reserved for funerals and mourning (remember Scarlett O'Hara dying all of her pretty frocks black after Charles was killed?); even Coco was surprised at the positive reaction to her then-daring sheath. Vogue pronounced it fashion's answer to the Model T, although Coco's rival Elisa Schiaparelli called the little black dress "widow's weeds"; couturier Paul Poiret called it "poverty de luxe". Disparagement didn't stop the LBD, though: it was, truly, Coco's design that ignited fashion's love for black, a love that we benefit from today (just don't overdo it). The LBD itself has become a permanent, must-have staple for every woman's wardrobe.

Today it's ubiquitous - worn to the office with a jacket (not this one, though, not with those ruffles), the opera, dinner, as first and last minute choices for dates, even to weddings (although yours truly does not agree with black and weddings at all). There is even a CD named after Coco's creation! With its simple silhouette, the LBD is easy to accessorize - nearly everything goes with it, although I still don't think anything goes as well with an LBD as a string of softly glowing pearls.

This dress sounds to be very well made, as it's fully lined and in possibly never-worn condition. The scoop neckline is very flattering, as are the slightly off the shoulder...um...non-sleeves - the whole bodice of the dress broadens shoulders and helps create the classic hourglass figure, as do the eight ruffles. The back has a slightly deeper scoop, and the waistline tie really gives this one a finished look. I really, really like this dress - it's classic, gorgeous, and modest while certainly not being anywhere close to frumpy. It's an ebay auction that ends tomorrow night, so make your move now before this one is gone - it's another one of a kind dress you'll regret having missed! It measures 39-30-42. Bidding starts at $88.99 or you can buy it this instant for $115. (And if you do, we want a picture - doll it up! Heck, if you are near Pittsburgh, I might even do your makeup and the photo shoot for you.)

(For more about Coco, who really did turn things on their ears, try here, The Met's Coco Chanel page or their book about the exhibit, and here.)



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