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I abandoned the eternal search for the Little Black Dress years ago, getting a little bored with an item of clothing that never seems to have enough going on to satisfy my demanding and fanciful tastes. Well as they say, a watched pot never boils, and while my back has been turned Hannah Marshall has emerged as a designer to watch, with a shadowy army of quietly armoured LBDs marching enigmatically in her wake.

Her AW08 collection, “Code Black”, is a meditation on restrained colour and subtle communication. The architectural silhouettes which dominate at first soon give way to tactile details; armoured shoulders or softly pleated tulle that have their own secret story to tell.


The incorporation of Braille into every garment in an enticing hallmark which creates an intimate communication between the garment and the wearer, bestowing a sense of power and control.

Alluring in their mystery, it is this quiet integrity together with an inherent rock ‘n’ roll spirit that makes these Little Black Dresses compelling enough for even a magpie like me.

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