updated 11/13/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/13/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST
THE ORIGINAL, 1926
Nicknamed "the Ford of Chanel" because its mass appeal rivaled that of the Model T, the first little black dress was made of knee-length crepe de chine.
JACQUELINE KENNEDY, 1961
The First Lady selected this sheath for a White House reception. "Black brings out the best of every woman's silhouette," Golbin says.
AUDREY HEPBURN, 1961
Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld says one of the keys to the little black dress's appeal is that "you can accessorize depending on the occasion," as Hepburn did by adding evening gloves and a wide-brimmed hat to her Hubert de Givenchy frock in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
CATHERINE DENEUVE, 1966
The little black dress goes mod, in this creation by Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. "Its interpretations have been able to follow fashion through different times and epochs," Lagerfeld says.
SOFIA COPPOLA, 2006
Her first little black dress? "It was Chanel black leather and lace—I wore it to my prom!" recalls Coppola (at a screening for Marie Antoinette).
HALLE BERRY, 2005
"Today, the little black dress is like jeans," says Lagerfeld. "It is a wardrobe's essential element."
PRINCESS DIANA, 1994
"Even though it was born in Paris, the little black dress is an international garment," Lagerfeld says. Diana wore this Christina Stambolian take on the classic during a visit to the Serpentine Gallery.