Billowy and beautiful

Flavour of the month

DH FILE PHOTO

The balloon dress is what you must wear to get noticed. On the ramp, on the red carpet and on the racks of all the big branded stores across the country, balloons are all the rage. Each store is giving the concept its own special spin.

One particularly eye catching outfit, I recently spotted, was a sleeveless white lycra tee emblazoned with a glittering skull- and-cross bones across the front. Then, from the bottom of the tee swirled a cute polka dotted balloon skirt, which was worn with silver ballerina pumps that accented the wearer’s shapely legs.

Another emerald green dress, this time made of fine Bangalore silk, had a deep off-the-shoulder fan-like bodice which added to the appeal of the balloon skirt. One has to boast of a pencil slim figure to flaunt a balloon dress.

Retro with a twist

Balloon dresses were fashionable in the ’60s. Cristóbal Balenciaga, a legendary Spanish designer, who became one of the top couturiers in Paris in the ’30s, was the innovator of the balloon dress. His bubble skirts and odd feminine yet ultra-modern shapes were trademarks of the house.

According to him, “A couturier must be an architect for design, a sculptor for shape, a painter for colour, a musician for harmony, and a philosopher for temperance.” He was the favourite designer of fashion icons such as Princess Grace of Monaco and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Today, Hollywood sirens like Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Jennifer Lopez along with our own Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor are great fans of the balloon dress.  “It’s really comfortable and one does not need a perfect 10 figure to wear it. But you do need slim and shapely legs, and the ability to wear at least four inch heeled shoes,” says Amanda Bacchalli, a Bangalore designer.

The dress has become popular even for weddings and formal occasions. “My bridesmaids wore balloon dresses which had a square neck and puff capped sleeves. The satin bodice had an embroidered tulle balloon skirt, a satin waistband with a back zippered closure and a tie sash,” said Tamara Fernandez, a summer bride who was happy with the look, despite the fact she herself went in for a very traditional, flowing, wedding gown.

In colleges across the country balloon dresses are worn over pencil slim fit jeans, and since the length is below the knee, and is not clingy, the style conforms to  college fashion rules.

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