The “little black dress” (otherwise known as LBD) has long been a wardrobe staple for women. Taking the form of a black evening or cocktail piece, it is worn all over the world for numerous occasions.

Esmod Kuala Lumpur’s fashion students recently challenged themselves by coming up with new LBD designs. These were then sewn and produced, and presented in an exhibition.

The endeavour is part of the fashion school’s many projects, which teaches students to come up with new designs and concepts, as well as innovate and reinvent well-loved classics.

Goh Yue Ai, one of the students behind Revelation – Little Black Dress Exhibition, which took place at The One Academy in KL, said that it provided invaluable benefits to young talents.

“Through these types of projects, the gap between the fashion designers and the fashion students are bridged,” she noted, of the experience that it brings.

The exhibition also shows that fashion inspiration can come from diverse subjects. The students drew from themes like films, architecture, social issues and emotions.

Sela Setiawan, whose LBD was titled “Mixed Feelings”, explained that her piece conveys her journey and story. It tells of her hidden sentiments, as well as the randomness of life itself.

In fashion, the LBD gained fame during the 1920s following the designs of the late Coco Chanel and Jean Patou who wanted it to be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, and accessible to the widest market possible.

Renowned fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld himself once said that “one is never overdressed or underdressed in a little black dress”, which alludes to its status as an everlasting design.


The endeavour teaches students to innovate and reinvent well-loved classics.