Big Dress Energy: When Oversized Leaves You Overjoyed

Slip into these statement frocks and take excess to bolder stratospheres. Warning: not for the faint-hearted.

Big Dress Energy: When Oversized Leaves You Overjoyed

01 | Ready for liftoff

Feathers have largely been decorative but that’s changed for Autumn/Winter 2019, where designers turned the spotlight on exotic plumage. At Marc Jacobs, a buoyant off-shoulder mini marvel captured the season’s overarching approach to casual glamour while Oscar de la Renta’s sumptuous confection employed ostrich feather quills that swayed gaily with every step. But it was Saint Laurent who hit the high note, with its troop of models in explosions of rave-ready fluorescent plumes. Big Bird would be proud.

02 | Personal space? Yes, please!

You can always count on a handful of meringue-like numbers to part any crowd. And Rodarte — helmed by sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy — took on that responsibility for Autumn/Winter 2019, looking to old Hollywood icons to inform their exaggerated, more-is-more concoctions. As Kate revealed post-show: “Certain things were just appealing to us, like glitter and bows… We don’t ever do anything in a literal way.” Not to be outdone was Japanese designer Tomo Koizumi, whose series of loofah-esque tulle dresses played up his mastery in whimsical, lively couture.

03 | Show your true colours

It was better and brighter as designers offset the winter blues with fearless hues of cobalt, tangerine and fuchsia. Sarah Burton’s ode to fabric mills took the form of sublime taffeta thrillers — one in scarlet and another in pink — which she lovingly wrapped around the body to create a rose in bloom. Meanwhile, Donatella Versace further evolved her oeuvre by revisiting the rebellious nature of grunge and turning up sex appeal with slinky dresses in acidic hues. Fendi had a vivid moment too, thanks to striking turquoise and yellow visions dreamt up by Karl Lagerfeld in his final collection for the Italian house.

03 | Shine bright

Glitz and ritz are par for the course as party season rolls around, but how you rock it shouldn’t be predictable. By teaming it with layers of chunky costume jewellery, Jeremy Scott put the fun into a fabulous gold column gown. Lace tights and a face-obscuring mask, meanwhile, gave a sequinned mini Alessandro Michele’s signature “anything goes” treatment. Our favourite look of the lot? Kaia Gerber’s glam snowy sprite in a fuzzy, sparkly little dress from Chanel.

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