Little Dress. Big Contest.

Annual Little Black Dress Designer Contest

Kate Stukenberg
May 16, 2013

A little black dress has to make an impression without making an impression; it has to be timeless to make it essential. American Vogue got it right in 1926 when they nicknamed Coco Chanel’s new black dress design, a simple drop-waist crepe de chine, the “Ford” because the modest garment was as reliable as Ford’s Model-T of the era. Hubert de Givenchy got it right when he designed the smartly cut black dress that Audrey Hepburn wears in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, probably the most famous little black dress of all time. So, who else can create a perfect little black dress? Ten young fashion designers in Houston think they can; they are finalists in the 5th Annual Little Black Dress Designer contest. The dress designs, recently critiqued by a bevy of fashionable judges from local retailers, designers, fashion-show producers and style writers (including moi), will sashay down the runway at House of Blues Tuesday, May 14, at 6:30 pm, at an event hosted by Shannon Hall and Judy Nyquist. In addition to announcing the winners of the contest, of which the top five will receive a prize portion of a $15,000 fashion scholarship, the event also honors Kay King, the local legendary division chair of the award-winning Lifestyle Arts and Design Careers program at Houston Community College. May the best dress win. Tickets $100 and $75 for runway seats, $50 for standing room, $35 for students. To purchase tickets or learn more about the event, visit