Is It Ball Gown Season Yet?
New York Fashion Week is the ultimate style convention in the U.S. Occurring twice a year in the Big Apple, NYFW draws designers from all ranks and style avenues. DC on Heels visited the Style Fashion Week show, which featured 19 designers from all over the country. Each designer provided a distinct flavor to the show making it one of the most versatile fashion shows that I have ever attended.
Being here on a mission from the DMV, I quickly perused the schedule for some of the designer trends that Washingtonians watch the closest. Ball gowns! With galas running rampant around this town, a lady of Washington should have one of these on ice.
Lucky for me, Style Fashion Week had quite the lineup and venue for visualizing the next chapter of formal evening attire. The scene was set once you entered. Cipriani was the home of Style Fashion Week’s stage, and it is hard to imagine what this place looks like as a restaurant based on the way the space was transformed. The grand, high atrium style ceilings offered the regal effect needed for the designs that would grace the runway. Lotus Threads, for example, was a showcase of formal wear for the elegant ball gown.
Full-length, trumpet gowns graced the stage in what I would call “safe” colors. For the Washingtonian, this is a line of gowns that would become the cronuts of the food industry: everyone should have one. One of the first lessons I learned about “adulating” in Washington is to have a ball gown pressed and ready in your closet, you never know when you will get “the” invite to the big gala. You should be ready. Lotus Threads kept it traditional with their Fall/Winter 2018 line of whites, blacks and ruby red threads. Adding a little glitz to the situation with beading and lace, the gowns made a statement without being too loud.
Bahmardi on the other hand took a few more risks. Tuenaz Bahmardi, who is the creative designer for the label, gained her inspiration from her childhood in Mumbai, India. Bold reds and embroidery that exemplifies the traditional Indian motifs inspire you to step out on a limb for your next formal event. Anyone looking to make a statement with a classic twist should take a second look at Bahmardi. The two-piece, knee-length dresses also invite you to wear these threads during business hours as well as after-hours.
Carmen. Marc. Valvo. Breathtaking. Formal gowns with a mostly bridal appeal for the Fall/Winter 2018 collection, Carmen Marc Valvo brings the fairy tale threads to life. Valvo launched his exclusive bridal collection in 2010 and continues to evolve the collection with each season. Lightweight wedding ball gown dresses with sheer long sleeves and floral embroidery make this one of the season’s go-to bridal selections. No bridal and/or ball gown collection would be complete, however, without the mermaid. Valvo is known for his form-fitting, tailor-made gowns and the Fall/Winter 2018 collection only adds to this legacy. Sheath dresses with floral patterns and thick spaghetti straps allure even the most conservative fashionista.
Valvo’s most captivating piece of the Fall/Winter 2018 collection, however, is the use of the cape. I am cape girl when the time is right. Anyone considering a wedding during the chillier temps of the year could totally pull off this elegant, yet warmer alternative. Valvo takes the sheer approach with his capes embroidered with delicate, white floral prints and beading. The sleeveless, V-neck dress bears the same patterns and is forgiving on any shape. With a tiny train in the back, this dress should be accompanied by no more than a simple tiara.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2018 brought the creativity. Even if you are not a “gala girl,” it does not hurt to keep a gown in the closet. Who wants to turn down the invite because they have nothing to wear?! Not I.
Johnna French is a Harlem, N.Y. native with deep roots in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina. After graduating from Howard University School of Law, she decided to stay and practice law with the federal government. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and shopping.