Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Fabulous Fashion: My Favourite Dresses Of All Time

Hiya, everybody!

In light of the recent publication of '100 Unforgettable Dresses' by Hal Rubenstein I have decided to choose my favourite dresses of all time. Some you may like, some you may not and I'd like to see what you think. This is in no particular order, so here goes.

So, first up is the Hubert de Givenchy dress Audrey Hepburn wore to the 1954 Oscars, an display of style and elegance. Givenchy had been expecting to dress Katherine Hepburn but was shocked (and probably grateful in retrospect) by the appearance of impish Audrey dressed in a t-shirt and sandals. It was following this that Givenchy began to dress Audrey frequently with great results that still resonate today. The belted ivory lace floral designer dress gave further definition to Audrey's tiny waist and quickly marked her a fashion icon.

In 1994, 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' was being released, but no one remembers much about the premiere but "That Dress". Who could forget that unmistakable Versace dress that Hugh Grant's date wore? Unknown at the time, Elizabeth Hurley made a bold decision by dressing in a black plunging dress held together by strategically placed large gold pins to hold her in place. It was a dramatic choice and is considered Versace's finest dress and the moment Elizabeth became known around the world. Made from a combination of silk and Lycra it is claimed to be inspired by "neo-punk" - well, maybe a more feminine and sultry version of it.

Who wouldn't love to stand outside Tiffany's and munch away on your breakfast in that elegant way Audrey Hepburn does? But more than that, who doesn't want to be wearing that dress? A beautiful piece that inspires millions of women around the world to invest in LBDs. One half designed by Givency and the other by Edith Head as the length originally designed was not suitable for the film and so Head had to created a longer length. Made from Italian satin sheath with a slightly open back to reveal her shoulders and creating a gorgeous, memorable figure. Designed specifically to accentuate her waif features, Givency ensured the accessories (including those fab sunglasses) matched the look down to a T; thus becoming the "Hepburn" look and is still the basis on which every LBD is designed around.

Grace Kelly: actress, princess and style queen. She is the epitome of fashion and proves that simple and understated are always a winner. Her clothes are timeless and classic and the same can be said for the clothes designed in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window'.  The Paris dress she wears in the film has a fitted black bodice with a plunging V-neck with cap sleeves. The skirt, full and made of gorgeous chiffon and tulle gave Grace the appearance of a ballerina. Clearly designed by Edith Head, one of the most famous costume designers of film, it is delicate and beautiful and gives Grace the perfect silhouette, reminiscent of the '50s and the floral spray on the skirt feminises what could be considered a tomboyish cut. A stunning dress for a stunning woman.

It was the designer, Jacqueline Durran's intention to create a diverse outfit that varied from the "scruffy, slumpy and bumpy" fashion adopted by upper-class females in the '30s and '40s; thus Keira Knightly's fabulous, beautiful gress was created. The fabric was made from an emerald green silk - a controversial choice for any film as it can render the audience uncomfortable, but green is often seen through Atonement like the fields in France and the kitchen walls of the estate in the film. A loose-fit around the bust with spaghetti straps descending to the lower-back is a wonderful creation that exudes temptation. The waist is gathered and has been knotted at the front which drops to a straight skirt and a rear train. A gorgeous dress that suited Keira's slight figure and alabaster skin.


Marilyn Monroe is an ionic sex symbol to both men and women and a fabulous icon for fashion. Monroe's approach to clothes was the sexier the better and she proved it in the number she wore to sing for President Kennedy's birthday. A flesh-coloured floor-length gown that was encrusted with rhinestones designed by Jean Luis, it curves around Marilyn's body so tightly that it has been said it had to be sewn on. It's almost a work of art that encompasses everything about femininity and elegance.

In the film 'Pillow Talk' which stars Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Doris wears a fabulous range of clothes to coincide with her job as an interior designer. One particularly stunning dress that I adored was the dress she wears in the nightclub where Rock is sitting nearby. It is a white calf-length dress that has a biased, ruched bodice with a large waistband. The front and back has a contrast: the front has a high neckline and the back drops in a V to her waist. It highlights her fab white-blonde hair and she accessories it plainly with white, simple gloves. It is an understated piece which is just beautiful.

**I apologise for this crap picture - no one seems to have upload the full length picture, but I would recommend watching the film! 

A controversial choice, I must admit, but being a lover of all things Emma Watson I can't help but love everything she wears, including this Oscar de la Renta number that may not to be everyones taste. The simple embroidery on the bodice meant that she did not have to adorn herself with jewellery. With its voluminous size, the colour is kept neutral and simple in order to keep things simple and the attention on the detailing of the skirt. Her young age meant that the neckline and lack of jewellery was perfect and ensured it was fresh and funky. A somewhat daring dress for Emma to wear, but she carries it off perfectly and naturally.

The glamorous dress Kate Winslet wore to the 2002 Oscars was designed by Ben de Lisi was simple in design, but magnificent in effect. Everything was created around the asymmetric shoulder made from a leaf-design that was delicate and feminine. The neckline had a twisted affect and then the dress fell straight with a pleated skirt and rear train. The red hot colour of this emphasised Kate's pale English skin and to ensure the dress was a complete knockout, Kate kept her hair and make-up minimal which is the look we have all come to love from this beautiful woman.

I just had to choose a Princess Diana dress and a blue dress (my favourite colour) and this one is just simply breathtaking. The soft, powder blue chiffon dress has a strapless neckline that compliments her bronzed skin tone beautifully. She matched it with a simple scarf that was integral to the look of the dress, and to-die-for jewels - as usual. Designed by Catherine Walker, this creation has ruching around the bust and a waist band that crosses over one another and falls to a straight skirt that slightly fills out. Princess Diano had evolved her fashion credentials through her years as a public figure and this dress displays her fabulous eye for fashion.

So, there we have. My list is massive in reality, but I don't have the time or energy to write about all the fantastic dresses I love. But please, let me know what some of your favourites are. I'm always interested in other's opinions!

Rebecca xx

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