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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 as 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, flared, bell and straight.


type Flared

Distinguished by a fitted bodice that starts widening below the hips and towards the hem, flared dresses are usually crafted from fluid fabrics that fold gracefully. The silhouette of these dresses might seem straight when the wearer is still, as the skirts tend to drape and fold. The shape of the skirt is revealed with movement, as the fabric flares out from below the knees when the wearer walks or swirls.


type A-line

Dresses with an A-line silhouette are characterised by straight lines that widen from a fitted top, creating a pronounced triangular shape. The proportions of that triangle – and, consequently, of any A-line dress – are determined by two simple but important principles that allow for multiple variations: the starting point can be anywhere from the shoulders to the waist, and its fullness depends on the choice of construction and fabric.


type Straight

Straight-silhouette dresses range from form-fitting styles that define the body to relaxed straight-cut pieces that drape beautifully around the figure. They are usually crafted from fluid fabrics and, because of their tubular nature, they are often praised for their comfort. They are usually detached from the body, but their construction can feature tucks and darts to create definition and hint at certain parts of the figure.


type Bell

Bell-silhouette dresses are defined by an accentuated waistline and a voluminous skirt that resembles the shape of a bell. Such volume is created with gatherings that flare from a narrow horizontal waistline, resulting in an exaggerated skirt that plays with scale and proportions. This shape can be constructed from a design level, but it can also be created in relaxed straight-cut pieces by cinching the waist with a belt. 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.


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