80 of the most famous little black dresses of the century

Nov. 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM ET

Every woman knows the importance of the one must-have item in her closet: The little black dress. In celebration of that trusted fashion favorite, the SCAD Museum of Art is presenting a “Little Black Dress” exhibition in Savannah, Ga., through Jan. 27 and in select cities worldwide in 2013.

The eye-catching exhibition includes about 80 black dresses crafted by famous designers and worn by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Renee Zellweger. Vogue Contributing Editor André Leon Talley curated the collection, which also will be featured in the book “Little Black Dress,” due for release in April 2013.

Influential arts patron Marie-Laure de Noailles is shown wearing a dramatic black dress. De Noailles died in 1970 at age 67.

"The exhibit is designed to showcase the divergent and individual manifestations of the little black dress across this modern century and the last," Talley said in a statement. “This exhibition celebrates the little black dress in its myriad forms, from the pleated Fortuny dress of the late C.Z. Guest ... to the impossibly elegant Madame Grès silk crepe de chine dress from 1977, to Carolina Herrera's black silk faille dress, a personal favorite she designed for herself this year.”

Chance Yeh / /
Artist Rachel Feinstein is pictured with fashion designer Marc Jacobs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala on May 7, 2012. Feinstein wore black, of course. (And so did Jacobs?)
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Canadian model Linda Evangelista also chose a fetching black ensemble for The Costume Institute's benefit gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 7, 2012. writer Laura T. Coffey got married in a black dress. Oh yeah!! Here’s where to find Laura on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hulton Archive
With its fashion debut in the 1920s, the classic frock has become a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe.