Originally published in 2011.
Madge recently got a chance to view “The Little Black Dress” exhibit at the SCAD Museum of Art (the Savannah College of Art and Design) in Savannah, Georgia. Luckily, gal pal, Kathy had a business trip in Savannah so Madge motored over from Atlanta to meet up and see the show.
The little black dress, the term believed to be coined by Coco Channel, has been the go-to outfit in every woman’s wardrobe from the 30’s onward. This show curated by Vogue Contributing Editor André Leon Talley is his exploration of this fashion design icon.
Talley design vividly red walls to set off the 73 different dresses and almost as many different designers. It’s quite a mashup to see so many styles all in a row. The photo police were not on duty this time so Madge happily snapped away without the threat of arrest!
Stella McCartney’s Column Dress from 2011 leads the way
A showstopper ball gown by Oscar de la Renta held the place of honor and it’s a real beauty.
Talley’s selections were mostly from the last 15 years but there were a few vintage gems in the bunch. The oldest was an absolutely gorgeous gown from 1907 by Fortuny. Pleated silk, cording, and glass beads.
Check out this Balenciaga number from 1957. A lace cage dress.
Madge loved this Pierre Cardin look from the 1960s.
There were also many fabulous vintage-inspired designs. This 2012 Tom Ford looks like it’s right out of the 50s. A white version of this dress was worn by Gwyneth Paltrow to last year’s Academy Awards. If you google it the dress looks completely different in white.
Two Ralph Lauren dresses from 2011 really caught Madge’s attention, one an art deco masterpiece and the other a demure 50s-style gown.
Yves St. Laurent even did a take on his own famous Le Smoking Jacket from the 1970s with this gown that had Madge absolutely panting.
Talley displayed some wit with this louche lineup who look like they are waiting for next the bus. and tossing some blue and red into the mix.
Madge’s only quibble was the very confusing numbering scheme that left this old broad constantly flipping through the brochure trying to figure out at which dress she was gazing.
It was hard to pick a favorite and certainly, the Fortuny was the most beautiful and the YSL the most sophisticated. But in the end the Madame Gris Stingray dress won the day as Madge’s fave at this show.