Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Gown by Dior/ Photo by Frank Balthazer

Monday we looked at the definition and origins of the ball gown, today we'll explore all the different variations out there . . .
Bouffant or Hourglass-Fitted bodice with cinched natural or dropped waist atop gathered or pleated full skirt.

Bubble, Poufs and Pick-ups have been trendy a few years now with no signs of disappearing anytime soon.  Defined, a bubble is a bouffant shaped skirt swelling out of a cinched natural or dropped waist. Skirt curves in a balloon like shape at the hemline or picks up throughout the skirt.  Pick ups were reinvented by designer Ulla Maja back in the 1990s, now they are everywhere in bridal . . . .
Petal Skirt-A very structured over skirt. Imagine a fuchsia. A cinched natural or dropped waist sitting atop a full skirt with curving under structure that slits open in the front. Sometimes shows a bit of sheath-like under dress peaking out.
Shirt Dress-Say what? How could something so utilitarian make it into bridal?  Well, the shirt dress so popular in the Kennedyesque sixties lends itself well to lighter weight fabrics.  Above is a more relaxed version of the hourglass, a classic and tailored look concentrating as much on the bodice detailing as the skirt. Typically has long shirt-like or billowing sleeves and full gathered skirt. Can be made out of lightweight fabrics like organza, chiffon and crepe, as well as medium weights like linen. Nice for a garden reception, especially with a wide- brimmed hat.

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