Fashion & Beauty

Little Black Dress

A selectively curated overview of the little black dress in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, organized by Vogue contributing editor and fashion force André Leon Talley and published on the occasion of an exhibition at the SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah College of Art and Design), André Leon Talley Gallery. Featuring an impeccably selected group of about sixty dresses from many of the most eminent fashion houses, the book is a celebratory tribute to the iconic little black dress and its deeply resonant cultural and social significance in the modern era.

Defined by the simplest parameters—color and shape—yet voluminous in possibility, the little black dress is personalized by the designer who imagined it and the woman who wears it. In one silhouette it can capture a woman's allure, and in one evening worn provide her with a reservoir of memories. It can sum up in one wardrobe reconnaissance the way you wore the way you were. A little black dress in any other color could dent a reputation; in black it can only elevate one. Whether made from the most superior fabrics, or designed in cutting-edge neoprene, the little black dress maintains its status as the game-changer, the free spirit and pleasure-seeker (Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy in Breakfast at Tiffany's), the career-launcher (Elizabeth Hurley in Versace), the going-for-broke risk-taker (Virginie Gautreau as Madame X), inevitably revealing truths about the women who have chosen to wear one.

Three original essays offer personal histories in praise of the little black dress. An introduction by André Leon Talley and a foreword by Paula Wallace complete this exquisite volume. Together with a stunning collection of images, this book presents a singularly elegant portfolio.

About The Author

Andre Leon Talley began his career assisting Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute and later wrote for Interview Magazine and Women's Wear Daily, before joining Vogue, where he served as creative director, editor-at-large, and contributing editor for many years. In October 2011, the Andre Leon Talley Gallery opened at the SCAD Museum of Art; Talley has served as a mentor for SCAD fashion students for over two decades. Talley is the author of the books A.L.T.: A Memoir, A.L.T. 365+, and Little Black Dress.

Paula Wallace is the president and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Under her leadership, the university's academic horizons span three continents, with unique locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Hong Kong; in Lacoste, France; and online. She is an author, designer, and historic preservationist.

Gioia Diliberto is a biographer, journalist, professor, and novelist. Her novels include The Collection and I Am Madame X, while she has penned biographies of Diane von Fürstenberg, Hadley Richardson, Jane Addams, and Brenda Frazier. A graduate of DePauw University and the University of Maryland, she is currently a professor of writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Maureen Dowd is a New York Times columnist and the bestselling author of The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics; Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide; and Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk. Dowd has previously written for Time and the Washington Star. In 1999, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her New York Times coverage of scandal in the Clinton administration.

Adam Kuehl is a photographer from Oak Park, Illinois. He holds a BFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and has had work appear in publications such as the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Vogue, and Architectural Digest. Kuehl currently works as a photographer and professor of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Hong Kong.

  • Publish Date: April 02, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Fashion & Accessories
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-1/4 x 12-1/2
  • Pages: 184
  • US Price: $50.00
  • CDN Price: $70.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4057-1


"...the inimitable André Leon Talley, has culled fashion’s archives for the best Little Black Dress, in his latest book of the same title. It’s an homage to that staple of the modern wardrobe that is all things to all women — sexy, classic, sophisticated, mysterious." ~Tory Burch

"...this book is a classic style reference for women..."

“Little Black Dress
celebrates the breadth and depth of this dress from its roots until today…this is a timeless book…so go get one for yourself and pick up an extra copy or two as a gift for any of your fashion friends!”
“...its trim size (perfect), production quality (flawless), and photography (stunning).” ~New York Journal of Books
“…the book contains all of the exquisite designs in a chic as well as grand coffee table book that will compliment any fashionista’s stylish décor.”
“There are some drop-dead gorgeous gowns and dresses, elegantly, dramatically photographed by Adam Kuehl in black and white.”

Author Bookshelf: André Leon Talley

Author Bookshelf: Paula Wallace

Author Bookshelf: Adam Kuehl