Little Black Dress or Little White Dress?

White takes on black: can the LWD outdo the LBD?

by Marianna Tigani

In a fashion world where trends change in less time than it takes to find a fact on Wikipedia, trends that last are truly rare.

In the 1920s, Coco Chanel launched a simple black cocktail dress – consequently launching a fashion icon.  As pastels, floral, frills & bows were shed in favour of the deceptively simple and stylish little black dress,  the way chic women dressed was transformed forever.  Celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn made it a wardrobe staple and like everything that becomes entrenched in our general way of living, the little black dress became an acronym: the LBD was set to stay.

Now I personally own about 15 LBDs – from straight shifts to billowing sleeves, minis to below the knees – I heart the LBD in all its forms and interpretations. After all, it has so many positive attributes:

Makes you look slimmer; doesn’t require ugly nude underwear; hides stains; goes with everything stays in fashion and did I mention –  it makes you look slimmer?

Yet over the past 6 months, as if by some photoshop retouch magic, little black dresses have been recoloured white. Everywhere a girl casts her fashion gazing eyes, she sees the super stylish amongst us clad in a little white dress.

Perhaps the days of the LBD are numbered as the LWD becomes the ultimate stylish choice for fashion trend setters and celebrities. Rachel McAdams, Blake Lively and Diane Kruger have all been seen donned in this angelic tone.

Celebrities in White Dresses

While these girls look great, white for the average Aussie girl can be more trouble than its worth. It requires strategic underwear, an aversion to red wine as well as a daily set of lunges to pull it off.

Yet in Australia, white is such an obvious choice. With our 6 month long summers, heat absorbing black just doesn’t make sense. Black may be chic but white suggests youth, vitality and enough purity that you can afford to go mini, cutout or backless without looking like you’re auditioning to be in the Pussycat Dolls. It also sets off an Aussie summer tan (if you’re one of the naughty ones who still insists on laying in the sun).

It’s no wonder then Aussie designers have some amazing interpretations of the LWD. Australian Fashion Review’s picks (chosen for design, versatility and practicality) are Gail Sorronda’s Shredded Flag Dress and Willow’s free flowing design (Eternal Phi Collection).

Both of these dresses offer original fabric embellishments (without being overly girly) and pull of that white loose thing – which we have seen come through at Sass & Bide & international catwalks – without leaving you looking you wore a sheet. Loose = good when it comes to white. Your bum won’t double in size when there’s a bit of space between you and the dress.

Gail Sorronda & Kit Willow White Dresses

Check out the official Gail Sorronda and Willow Fashion label websites for further details.

So for now, my 15 LBD’s will be going to the back of my wardrobe. Maybe they’ve had their day? Maybe the reign of the LWD will last through the decades? Then again, this is fashion.

What’s white hot today, may be out tomorrow. The LWD may already be an acronym, but it’s not a staple yet.

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