THE National Museum of Scotland will showcase 65 striking outfits from around the world when its Beyond the Little Black Dress exhibition opens this weekend.

The show will run from July 1 to October 29 and is aimed at examining the radical power of the colour black in fashion.

It will feature designs from a century of fashion starting with the classic Coco Chanel short black dress released in 1926 which stirred up reactions because it disregarded the norm of the colour associated with mourning.

The exhibition will spotlight early pieces by Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Schiaparelli brought together with recent creative designs by Gareth Pugh, Simone Rocha and Off-White.

A section of the exhibition will highlight black British designers whose works promote the black identity and the role the colour black plays in an Afrofuturistic aesthetic, while featuring a film by British writer Osman Yousefzada which underscores a global concept of beauty.

The use of smart technology in fashion to establish a layout for a more sustainable fashion will also be in the spotlight, as well as the introduction of nature-led alternatives to fashion created by designers VIN + OMI, who incorporated nettles and horsehair from Highgrove – the King and Queen’s private residence – into fashion.

Georgina Ripley, principal curator of modern and contemporary design at the museum, said: “Few garments are as iconic as the little black dress, which has often been held up by the fashion industry as the one piece every woman should have in her wardrobe.”

Beyond the Little Black Dress explores the movement of the little black dress “from a simple shift dress which helped democratise women’s fashion” to reflect the changing pattern of beauty and body image.

Ripley added: "Displaying classic couture, avant-garde pieces and garments that make a bold political statement, this exhibition will explore its enduring success and ask why, in the fickle and fast-paced fashion world, the little black dress has achieved that rare status of being truly above the fray.”