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Item of the week: the evening gown

By Rachel Douglass

Aug 3, 2022

Fashion

(From left) Image: A Line, Ted Baker, Angelika Jozefczyk

What it is:

As wedding seasons and events begin to make their return in full force, evening dresses have begun increasing in popularity as customers begin the search for what to wear for each occasion. An evening gown itself is often considered to be a floor-length dress specially designed for formal events, but various brands have created their own iteration of the style, leaving it open for broad interpretation. Whether it be for a wedding guest, graduation ceremony or an over-the-top work do, the evening gown comes in handy for many occasions and allows the wearer to ‘go-all-out’ for that special event, giving them the unique opportunity to potentially step out of their comfort zone even if it’s just for one night.

Image: Karl Lagerfeld

Why you’ll want it:

In line with the resurgence in events and weddings, the eveningwear category is finally starting to recover and with it, evening dresses are beginning to return to the forefront of event seasons. Fashion-forward or not, a huge range of customers with a jam-packed schedule will be eyeing up potential looks with the hopes of snapping up a unique piece for each occasion. Additionally, the fashion spotlight was also on the most recent Haute Couture Week, which wrapped at the beginning of July and saw a flurry of celebrities and designers take to the streets of Paris. Its recognition for this season was much more prominent in comparison to previous years, however evening wear also played a large role in AW22/SS23 runways too.

Image: Angelika Jozefczyk

Where we’ve seen it:

While Haute Couture Fashion Week saw the likes of Balenciaga, Schiaparelli and Jean Paul Gaultier offer up alternative takes on the eveningwear category, at AW22 runway shows many designers stuck to more wearable, yet still elegant, designs. Altuzarra presented a range of printed maxi dresses, while Rixo and Alberta Ferretti opted for more metallic materials, with looks that mirrored vintage-inspired silhouettes. Among a selection of clean-cut formalwear, Jason Wu stuck to bold, single colours for the handful of structured gowns presented during the show. A particularly prominent trend was that of voluminous skirts, taken on by Christian Siriano, as well as Carolina Herrera and Off-White, which each played with layered netting to create dramatic oversized shapes.

Image: The Kooples

How to style it:

The evening gown is a stand alone piece, mostly designed to make an impact in an effortless way. However, to bring the look to life, accessories are an integral part of elevating the outfit. Take inspiration from current Gen Z-led trends by pairing the dress with a mini, Y2K-like handbag or, for the more mature shoppers, add an eye-catching clutch, which many designers have adopted while using metallic materials and oversized quilting. Popular shoe styles for the season that will work well with such a gown include platform buckle-ups or heavily embellished kitten heels, each providing further glam for the wearer. Tie the outfit together with some simple accessories that complement the colour or print.

Image: Dorothee Schumacher

The eveningwear category is coming back with force, as event seasons begin to return to almost every customers’ calendar. Nabbing up unique evening gowns will appeal to those looking for the perfect occasionwear to take them through the cohort of events set to take place as they make up for two years of restrictions.

Image: Madewell

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.

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