Here’s this month’s Metro Fashion Column… Evening Wear, a brief history and today’s translation.
To the Maxi…
This month we’re forgoing current trends to study timeless, classic evening gowns. Christmas is one of the few events in the calendar when we feel comfortable getting really dressed up; so forget your LDB, and your sparkling, frilly mini dress; think to-the-floor-glamour. Evening gowns should be stop-the-music, I’ve arrived, look-at-me dresses that enable women to exude subtle sexiness and chic elegance.
From black tie to ball gowns, evening wear remains the mainstay of elegant dressing, changing little throughout the last 80 years or so. After the knee-flaunting, fashion-scandalous 20’s, Hollywood glamour glittered into the lives of millions of women via the silver screen. Hemlines once again grazed the floor as they had pre 20’s, but there the similarities ended. Gone were high necklines, corsets and bustles as 1930’s women flaunted their natural shape in backless satin and velvet gowns; showing feminine décolletage through plunging necklines. Indeed, though legs were covered, little else was. Women and designers of the 30’s knew that the key to wearing a full length gown was to balance out the volume of fabric in the skirt by flashing a bit of flesh elsewhere. The back, arms and neckline have remained focus points of modern evening wear.
Clever designs with contrasting details mean the onlooker’s eye also focuses on sheer panels, leather detailing and intricate beading, rather than a single column of colour. The Elma dress in black silk chiffon at Monsoon (pictured €305/£189) has a hand-beaded cummerbund under the bust; Catherine Deane’s silk taupe maxi from Harvey Nichols (pictured €850/£720) has leather and zip details over a sheer lace bodice; the wine-coloured Grecian style dress at AWear (pictured €70/£65) has a black waistband and a stunning cut-out back. Follow these rules and dresses for this festive season should serve to enhance your wardrobe for years to come.