By  on March 25, 2010

More than two decades after the launch of his ready-to-wear collection and 11 years after his bridal line, Venezuelan Angel Sanchez is setting his sights on the classic LBD. Next week, he’s launching a 12-look capsule collection, named Little Black Dress, available exclusively at Neiman Marcus. “I wanted to offer something different to my clients,” says Sanchez. “And this was an easy extension of my eveningwear.”

The collection has its inspiration in People Español’s “50 Most Beautiful People” issue from last year — Sanchez was tapped to dress the VIPs on the trifold cover, including Eva Longoria-Parker, Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza and television host Lili Estefan.

“Even though they were Latin celebrities and this was a Latin cover, I didn’t want to do anything too sexy or colorful,” recalls Sanchez. “I wanted everyone in similar little black dresses to avoid competition about who looks better.”

He came up with nine variations on the LBD — “very clean, very elegant,” that put the focus on his signature architectural cuts. “When I saw all these dresses together,” Sanchez adds, “I thought, ‘Wow, this could be a nice idea for a collection, no?’”

The collection, priced from $825 to $990 retail, features eight re-creations from that cover shoot and four new styles — most of which are cut close to the body, sheath-style. Some feature pleated necklines; others, ruffles or sheer overlays. As with Sanchez’s main line, each dress comes equipped with a built-in corset. “When you see the construction, it’s very much like my higher-end eveningwear,” says Sanchez, who notes that he uses only silk gabardine, mikado, organza and gazar.

Going forward, Sanchez plans to expand distribution to other retailers and notes that, in the next Little Black Dress collection, the offerings may skew slightly younger. “But still classic and uptown,” he says, adding that there’s actually a secondary line in the works targeting the younger market.

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