Sunday 4 November 2018

The Little Black Dresses in my closet--the travel/concert capsule wardrobe weekend solution, plus a new model, Burda Easy's bandeau sheath, SS 2018

Chanel said a lady can go anywhere if she has a LBD. The venerable Parisian perfume house Guerlain has even issued a series of perfume flankers over recent years, dedicated to the idea that the LBD is whatever you make of it, from tutu to black leather jacket.

For the end of September, I was planning a Fri-Mon weekend in London to visit offspring. Having last year left an overnight bag of toiletries, makeup, and black cotton T and leggings as pj's with the litter, I wanted to travel ultra-light, with only a medium-sized black leather backpack to weigh me down airport-airport-bus-tube.

The first stop would be a performance of the English National Ballet with FiddlerKid leading a string section  (so proud!) Then museums and lunches and coffees etc. which were all incredible fun, to meet up with each kid and (in some cases, their partners.)

The obvious solution was to wear a black knit dress over a black camisole over black tights and short zipped boots (there would be a lot of city walking, so the ankle boots were low-heeled but not rustic) under a black Promod trench, to be perked-up from the crypt-heavy-blackness with bright jewelry and Hermes-style colorful silk scarves.

So I carried only:

1. pull-on black Vogue OOP trousers in ponte. Kind of a neutral no-style at all statement.
2. black and brown sailor-stripe T

The weather was cool but sunny and it all worked incredibly well. I left the T and trousers behind in the carryall for next time. They don't do much here at home. I did consider leaving the dress instead...which is why...

While I was packing, I reviewed a collection of my LBD's sewn and purchased over the years. With one professional musician in the family, not to mention our love of subscription tickets to concerts anyway, it turned out I had quite a few BLACK concert basics to layer under Chanel-ish jackets, kimonos, or glittery tops. Photos below for some of the sewn options:

1. Donna Karan Vogue Designer OOP dress (worn already to Univ. of Cambridge concerts ten years ago)
2. Burda one-shouldered ponte sheath (worn already as the Verbier Festival summer option two years ago. Burda shows it as part of a clever ensemble, offering a one-shouldered opposite-side overlay which makes it a two-sleeve, warmer dress. A SWAP possibility for the future? Not photographed yet, unfortunately)
3. Burda Chinese-style short-sleeve sleeved sheath w/ exposed gold zip (worn last year on a similar London weekend. CyberDaze (see link in sidebar just made on of these too!)
4. Burda short-sleeve sheath in cloqué (only suitable for evening because of shimmery fabric. Decade-plus old.)
5. short-sleeved, collarless purchased viscose H&M wrap dress, showing its age. I'm considering using that classic Vogue DVF knock-off pattern to make a new black version of this with its 3/4 cuffed sleeve and collar detail. I know I'll use it a lot.
6. spaghetti-strap georgette slip dress (too long, flimsy-floaty for autumn city daywear)
7. two pull-on black knit pencil skirts (required more tops. Stayed at home)
8. floor-length slip dress in cotton knit (only suitable for summer resort wear)
9. Vogue Options wool sheath (way too warm for September. Yoke style outdated)

In the end, I took the viscose wrap dress because it was right for day-to-night and I'm too fond of the home-sewns to consider I might leave one of those in London.

But when I got home, I added this new LBD to my collection which I hope has day-night potential for travel. I've worn it already to a concert at Victoria Hall in Geneva. I liked the Meghan Markle neckline vibe.

Burda Easy SS 2018
This is Burda Easy's SS 2018 knit sheath with the bandeau neckline in a black viscose solid enough to give the collar some body and resilience. With the neckline pulled low, it works as an elegant evening cocktail dress but released higher up with a shawl or scarf or under a cardigan, it can go out in the day. As usual, the collar bounces off the shoulders a bit too much if I'm overactive. I'm considering finding a way to keep it down without permanently tacking it.

Here are some looks at the other LBD's I've mentioned above:
Chinese sheath dress Burda 2-2012-117A, much worn, much mended

Donna Karan Designer Original OPP origami wrap sheath (Daughter is wearing a Burda Galaxy-knockoff sheath in black lace over plain lining. Start them on their LBD's young!)

Vogue  OPP sheath with yoke seaming
Burda cloque sheath


  1. Watching your re-make series with fascination, too! Thanks!

  2. I really like your dress. The little black dress, every woman should have. Very nice projects. Good job. I really like your blog entries. It's nice that I came across your blog.
    regards, ctnbee