Formal and Bridal Season
It’s formal season. You have somewhere to go. You look in your closet to choose what to wear. It is the classic conundrum. Should you dress daring or darling? The red carpet tests how far you can push the fashion envelope. What I see, is a bit less skin and more refinement in classic necklines, fabrics and styles on the red carpet and off. I say, today, darling wins.
Less is more? More or less
Strapless gowns gained popularity in the 50s. Its generation dared to show off, like a movie star, the determination of its generation to pronounce femininity with skin gleaning glamour. Austerity was no longer imposed but chosen. Positioned reveals empowered pretty with bare shoulders and plunging backs. That daring high side slit when every step opened to more and more leg! Or the wiggle dress that clung to the premise that tight was right. For dress up at least, from the mid-century onward, less was more. Quite a victory from Victorian values, eh, ladies? But, is this still the trend? From what I can see, not as much.
Alternative choices to the bare shoulder harken back to the turn of the century with mock necks and gently scooped necklines. Conservative features portrait the face reminding us to focus, focus, and focus more! I like it. It’s more personal. In today’s street fashion, it is the high collared neckline commanding attention. Like a renaissance revival, pie crust collars adorn everyday blouses to return perky, perfectly accordion pleats to prominence. In formal wear, strapless yes, but the sleeve and shoulder oust it with popular appeal.
Today, the ticket is adding on rather than taking away. Fabric is back! Lots of it. Waves of ruffles cross bodices, cuffs and hemlines. The poet sleeve, the bellow sleeve and profuse top shoulder gathers remind us that more is definitely more. And it’s better! Everything moves up to the face with exorbitant power. Fabric is the locomotive. And texture is the fuel.
Capes, Trains and Automobiles
Brocade bespeaks beauty. Intricate pattern and texture create an ornate fabric alternative to light transparent organza. Loomed around the world, brocades have, for generations, woven multi threads of silk with gold and silver to create opulent artistry. The train, once only afforded to the bride or the princess, surges with yardage of voluminous folds trailing behind many a star on the red carpet today. Like a Capulet, the cape and the caplet cover up bare shoulders to costume our every day drama.
Royal impressions fuse into pedestrian fashion accentuating our day to day. For me, long standing fashion laws abide. Structure substantiates style. Simplicity exudes confidence.