Gowns are long, elegant dresses worn for formal occasions. Usually reserved for the evenings, gowns are sophisticated and fashionable when compared to dresses, their more casual siblings. The extravagance means that gowns are pricier than dresses and hence hold a special place in every woman’s wardrobe.
The history of gowns can be traced back to the 15th century where the ladies added a train of fabric to their dresses. This is said to have given birth to the long, flowing dresses that are today known as gowns. Today, gowns come in myriad shapes and silhouettes, accentuating the right curves and making you look breathtakingly gorgeous!
Being luxurious outfits, gowns are made of rich fabrics like silk, lace, georgette, organza, chiffon, satin or velvet. Adding to the luxe factor are embellishments and detailing that also give every gown its own character. Embellishments are usually in the form of semi-precious stones or Swarovski crystals that evoke a breathtakingly sophisticated appeal. Embellished gowns are perfect as an outfit for Indian weddings and can be worn by the bride for one of the numerous celebratory events!
If you have noticed, most other kinds of garments can be bought off the high street but gowns are definitively haute couture and associated with big names and labels of the fashion industry. This does not just make gowns prized possessions but also justifies the premium that is charged for them. Not surprisingly, they are the go-to choice for celebrities on the red carpet, with each fashionista vying for a label and style that will be the talk of the town after the event.
Just as with dresses, gowns are also classified on the basis of their shape and style. An A-line gown is fitted at the top and slowly widens towards the bottom. Sheath gowns, as the name suggests has a body hugging silhouette, outlining every curve of your figure. Straight fitted gowns have a fitted bodice with a skirt that is straight cut from the waistline.
Popular on the red carpet are gowns with the ‘Mermaid’ silhouette where the bodice is fitted and the skirt is shaped like a Mermaid’s tail – fitted till the knees and flares out beyond that. Draped gowns with long tails also make frequent appearances as do sheer gowns with strategically placed embellishments. The waistline may or may not be enunciated with detailing or pleats. While gowns with a ‘Princess’ silhouette accentuate the waist, they are stitched with a unbroken fabric, from the neckline to the hem. Other gowns like the ‘Empire’ gown or the ‘Waistline Dropped’ gown have a prominent line above and below the waist respectively.
For special times that need a little extra, a beautiful evening gown needs to be very high on your list of options! Beautiful embroidery and bold colours are usually characteristic of the gowns made by Indian designers. The styling can be subtle or OTT, depending on your style preferences. Select colours that could be timeless so that you can use your dress for more than one event. Timeless colours like Black, White, Cream, Ivory, Red or Blue are staples and you should certainly have these in your wardrobe.
Other considerations for selecting a gown include the nature of the evenin. For example, if you are shopping for gowns for an Indian wedding reception, then avoid white as it is not considered appropriate in general. Vibrant and bold colours should be your go to option for a reception.
Given that there are fewer design options when it comes to silhouettes, designers tend to set their creations apart by making inventive use of fabrics and embellishments while designing gowns. Why, even necklines and sleeves can make a difference, with two dresses of the same silhouette but varied necklines ending up looking diametrically different.
For women craving for some ethereal elegance and lots of drama in the wardrobe, gowns are just what a style consultant will order. Even if you do not see any immediate need for one in your wardrobe, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of them in your wardrobe in order to dress up for black-collar events. While styling gowns, ensure that you keep the elegance intact by not going over the top with accessories. Depending on the colour of the gown, choose neckpieces and earrings that will complement the outfit. A string of pearls or a diamond necklace is what we would recommend to keep the look stylish and sophisticated. Depending on the sleeves, you can throw in an optional bracelet or a jewelled cuff and complete your look with a pair of designer high heels. So what are you waiting for? Be the belle of the ball by getting some of your very own Indian ball gowns!