Femme fatale fashion


Femme fatale fashion

Evening gowns are no longer just a red-carpet thing! A wedding cocktail event, a formal official party, or even a nocturnal eve bash can have their share of this most sensuous and feminine piece of clothing, reckons Meera Seshadri.

Since times immemorial, evening gowns  have been synonymous with glam and grace.

 You need only speak of Cannes Film Festival, and you get the innumerable images of evening gowns... Salma Hayek in her glittering, beige-hued, off-shouldered gown, and gorgeous chandelier earrings looked a knock-out. Even her single-shouldered tomato-red gown with thigh-high slit, at red carpet event, was equally stunning. Then there was Angelina Jolie in her chocolate-brown gown, contouring her perfect body till the waist, and then cascading in wavy ruffles from a lovely corsage. Not to discount our Bollywood glitterati, Aishwarya Rai looked a feast in her spiffy teal-blue satin gown, and Sonam Kapoor looked nothing short of a Barbie doll in her white frock styled gown, with big pink florals and myrtle-green leaves on it. 

The occasions

Good for us, these gowns can be worn during both formal and informal occasions, depending upon the style in which the gown is fashioned out. For instance, to formal official dinners, wedding receptions at elitist clubs, page 3 events and such other high-profile gatherings, you can don the ballerina-length (ankle-length) gowns. To cocktail parties, nocturnal eve bashes, black-tie occasions, etc, you can opt for tea-length gowns (two inches above ankle-length). Then here are those uber lengthy floor-sweeping gowns too, but these are generally worn by film celebs during red carpet events - maybe you could carry it off if you’re holding a high-end cocktail party for your own wedding. Just ensure the area is well-carpeted.

Different bodies, different styles

You can get gowns tailored in different styles depending on your body type and comfort level. Like you have sheath-cut gowns, which are skin-clinging stream-lined fits, skimming the body closely. Hence they look groovy on females with svelte anatomy and wash-board abs. Ditto with mermaid-cut gowns that have fitted bodice, with the skirt resembling a mermaid curvy bottom. For those with a medium build, there are trumpet-cut and bell-cut gowns that have slight flare from the mid-shin or waist region. And then you have straight-cut ones that visually cut the body bulk. Then for rotund framed bodies, there are A-line styled gowns with flare starting right from the midriff region itself. These gowns create the optical illusion of slender body, masking the love-handles.

Material matters

The materials that are commonly used in gown-making are satin, silk, taffeta, chiffon, and organza. Now, regarding selection of materials for different types of gowns, silk and satin (try metallic colours) look splendid for those sheath-cut and mermaid-cut gowns.

 For ornate flashes, you can have the gown embellished with spangles, crystals,
 swarovski, and the likes. You can also play around with ornamental ruffles, flounces, cowls on your gowns to usher in more feminine charm. (Try those gowns with ruffles pinched at the shoulder area). Remember, you work out charming contrasts in these sheath and mermaid styles. You can try black bodice with white skirt, or vice versa. You can do his with red and black too. Wispy and floaty chiffon and georgette materials in pastel hues look great for gowns with A-line cuts. Here too you can try the contrast appeal, by stitching a light-hued chiffon gown, with the inner satin lining in dark palette. Like, say pale-purple gown with dark-purple satin lining.
 The finer elements

Remember, the beauty and charm of a gown lies in its finer elements. So experiment with exotic neck and sleeve designs. Have a shot at the plunging bias-neck, which has teeny knife pleats, running diagonally on the bodice. The styles that have forever been doing flaming rounds in the celeb circuits are the halter-neck, the single-shouldered, and off-shouldered gowns. Spaghetti straps criss-crossing each other at the back is in style too. In case you are aiming at some dazzling effect during informal party-bashes, then go in for those gowns in neon prints, psychedelic prints, optic prints, or just even prints. You can buy the fabric in any of these prints, and have it customized to gratify your needs for divine perfection.


Gowns are very flattering and catchy on their own. Therefore, the accessories are best kept minimal. If you go in for earrings, keep your neck bare. If you go in for a neckpiece, keep your ears bare. Try chandelier earrings, cool chokers (if not diamond neckpieces), slender bracelets, and a big statement finger-ring. But wear the bracelet on one hand, and the finger-ring on the other; that should balance out well. Don’t forget a chic clutch purse - matching it with the same colour or print as your dress is a great idea. Coming to footwear... No wedges here, ladies! A gown oozes feminine charm and nothing but a pair of open-toed stilettos or peep-toed pencil-heels will do. If the event is outdoors, you would be wise to carry a sexy see-through shawl. 

A sensuous gown and a sizzling attitude are all it takes to scorch the evening in style! Are you ready to fashion out the femme fatale in you?

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