theme The little black dress
A staple in the contemporary wardrobe, the little black dress was originally designed in Paris during the 1920s. The idea was revolutionary at the time – the dress was intended to be a simple, flattering, accessible and versatile garment, which means that it was thought to be adaptable to different occasions and worn repeatedly over time.
ARKET’s collection of little black dresses builds on four elemental shapes: A-line, straight, flared and voluminous. With variations in material, cut and construction, each of these dresses is special and elegant, yet an easy-to-wear and long-lasting piece.
Straight-silhouette dresses are form-fitting from top to bottom, giving the impression of an elongated figure. They are often crafted from fabrics that drape beautifully around the body and, because of their tubular but fitted nature, their design is highly technical – they are usually constructed from panels with darts and tucks that define and contour the natural shapes of the body, as well as slits at the hem that allow for ease of movement.
Distinguished by a fitted bodice that starts widening below the hips and towards the hem, a flared dress is usually crafted from a fluid fabric that folds gracefully. The flare of the skirt is accentuated with movement – it might look straight when the wearer is still, as the fabric folds and drapes, but it flares out from below the knees when walking or swirling.
Defined by a loose fit that plays with scale and proportions, voluminous dresses range from highly technical and sculptural pieces to relaxed kaftans and flowing maxi dresses. They are often praised for their comfort, as they are detached from the body – at times hinting at certain parts of the figure, but rarely creating definition. The voluminous nature of this silhouette allows for the use of fabrics that hold their shape, such as crisp cotton poplin, technical taffeta or weighty wool.