Mercury Wilde The Little Black Dress Company

Kimberly Hess, owner of Mercury Wilde The Little Black Dress Company, and me at my fitting!

The little black dress. There’s one in every woman’s wardrobe, and it’s our go-to dress for any special occasion – personal or professional.

Fun history lesson: Did you know that the LBD originated with the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel? She wanted a design that would be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, accessible to the widest market possible and in a neutral color. Prior to Chanel, black was reserved for periods of mourning and considered indecent when worn outside such circumstances.

Well, I guess that’s why they say “well-behaved women rarely make history” … Coco Chanel pushed the envelope and transformed the indecent to indispensable.

So indispensable in fact that I decided I need another one.  The one I have is short and strapless. I wore it for our Bras with Flair on the Square event in early October. It was mid-70s, so I got lucky and could comfortably wear it. But I really need and LBD for the winter months.

I did a little research and found a new fashion designer in town who specializes in LBDs! The business is called Mercury Wilde, the Little Black Dress Company. She’s based on the West-Side, and will meet you to get your measurements, but she has a site where you can order too.

My "summertime" short, strapless LBD from Monkees of Madeira

Owner Kimberly Hess came to my office on Wednesday to do my measurements. She’s super sweet, with a Joey Lauren Adams vibe. I could tell she was very passionate about what she does. She came in wearing one of her own LBD designs and she brought swatches of materials for me to choose from. She took a laundry list of measurements and interviewed me about what I’d like it to look like and where I invision myself wearing it.

Next step is that she’ll email sketches of the designs she comes up with. I’ll tweak and/or choose what I want and then she’ll go to town on making the sketch into a dress pattern and then the final dress.  Once that’s done, Hess will meet me for a final fitting and make any necessary alterations.

I’m very excited to have a custom LBD made, because I know I’ll wear it more often if it fits me perfectly. Plus LBDs are so classic, I’ll be wearing this for years – if not decades – to come. So, my cost-per-wear will be ridiculously  low on this purchase… but it’s really not even that expensive to begin with. The designs start at about $150 for custom or in American dress sizes up XXL, That’s what I spent on my other LBD at Monkees of Madeira!

So, for the price of a store-bought LBD, you could have a custom-made dress! Impressive! I can’t wait to get back my sketches, make a selection and get my LBD! I will keep you posted on the progress and when it arrives!

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