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The Return of Ballgowns SS18


What’s so fabulous about fashion? No matter what terrible tragedies, political unrests or depressing climates are regrettably surrounding us, fashion forever has an intoxicating capability to conjure us into an unprecedented realm of fantasy, obliterating the world’s negatives if only momentarily.

When indulging in the land of the fairytale, what better and more appropriate garment is there than the ballgown; a melodramatic, ethereal vision that instantly captures your imagination and transports you to a better place of ultimate femininity and fun.

Designers are of the mutual opinion, unveiling their version of ‘optimism’ in a parade of princess-worthy ballgowns amid the Spring/Summer 2018 collections. Bewitching additions suggested a sense of utter escapism among a number of top industry influencers. Non more so imbued an impeccable dreamy zeitgeist then those at Oscar de la Renta, Delpozo, Emilia Wickstead and Dolce & Gabbana, among much, much more.

Sarah Burton discussed “the healing power of flowers” in her Spring/Summer 2018 array of botanical-inspired garments for Alexander McQueen. 3D heavily floral embroidered gowns were “chopped up and put back together” in his deconstructed signature style of tulle layered ballgowns. Flowers were a natural, reoccurring motif on elaborately detailed ballgowns, especially those grandiose, vibrant prints that arrived puffball and brilliant at Dolce & Gabbana. Mary Katrantzou’s duvet-esque silhouette gowns that were festooned with wonderfully colourful and exotic flower prints undoubtedly made a statement, as did Delpozo’s tulle and metallic ballgowns, Emilia Wickstead’s ultra ladylike tulip additions and Rochas darkened versions.

Drama elsewhere descended on many other ballgowns with silhouettes proving to evoke compelling theatrics, specifically at Zac Posen, where an abundant of voluminous material captured the spirit of fantasy. XXL, white on white gown layering was favoured at Simone Rocha, and Oscar de la Renta’s fitted bodices fell into romantic, sweeping full skirts that were rendered in colourful tulles. Off-White took idiosyncratic silhouettes to new heights, with inflating parachute-style skirts that gave the term fit-and-flare a whole different meaning.

Finally, no mention of ballgowns would be complete without the allusion of Gucci. Alessandro Michele fabricated gowns with his multifaceted aesthetic, no more making a statement than his head-to-toe purple, iridescent number, with an exaggerated neck bow and a matching skullcap to complete the look. Perhaps not falling into the princes’ category, but full of illusion and imagination, nonetheless.

Words by Katie Farley


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