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Inspired by… the Met Ball

Taking a break from the World’s updates for a bit – I’ll get around to all of them, I promise. I’m just getting tired of them and I want to keep things fresh! After all, a new Irish dance competition is right around the corner! Good luck to everyone competing at the CLRG Irish Nationals this weekend. Remember to report back with any trends!

Last week, the world’s celebrities stepped out for the Met Ball. Though technically a fundraising event  for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York, it’s mostly an excuse for celebrities to put on their most glamorous couture gowns. The Met is one of my favorite places in New York – it just oozes old world sophistication mixed with the best of modern art. Most gowns gave a nod to that sophisticated tradition while showing off bold fashion sense – sounds like a feis to me! I love drawing Irish dance inspiration from the real world fashion, so here are some of the stand-out looks from the Met Ball along with some Irish dance dresses and normal outfits inspired by them.

1. Beyonce

This was the dress that had everyone talking. New mama Beyonce sported a very sheer, ombre dress and showed everyone that she’s lost every ounce of that baby weight. Use her style by combining an intricate bodice (though maybe a little less sheer!) with an ombre skirt.

This dress has a similar effect. It’s an ombre skirt (though in reverse – it goes from light to dark) and an intricately designed, bold bodice.

Here’s another intricate bodice from Worlds. The design is light enough to look classy but bold enough to be seen from the audience.

2. Diane Kruger

Diane looked amazing in this bright purple Prada gown with ostrich feather trim. I know that bright purple, feather trim and chic don’t usually go together but this look really worked. The simple silhouette and seamless integration of the feathers toned down the potentially deadly combination. Peacocks and birds have been a big trend in the Irish dance world recently. Several dresses have popped up with a peacock theme and we all know that Gavin has relaunched feathers into the Irish dance fashion scene. Feathers were all over dresses at the Met Ball as well – definitely a cross world trend! If you love the bird look, draw inspiration from some of these dresses which have seamlessly integrated it into their dress design. Tone down the boldness of the design with a simpler silhouette. Looking for something a little more subtle? Weave the purple, blue and green of a peacock feather into the color scheme of your dress. I can imagine it looking amazing on an asymmetrical Celtic knot style dress.

Here’s a great peacock dress from Worlds. The key to making these dresses work is by making it subtle so that if you looked very quickly you wouldn’t realize the design was the peacock tail.

3. Scarlett Johansson

I absolutely adore Scarlett’s Dolce and Gabanna gown – it reminds me of the halls of Versailles. The white with gold accenting is perfectly on trend in the Irish dance world right now. Draw inspiration from Scarlett’s gown by making your gold design bold and large enough to be seen from the audience. Because the color contrast isn’t great, you have to rely on large pieces to really see the contrast. And of course, ornament with lots and lots of rhinestones to add to that old world luxury look. Finish with a soft skirt to keep the loose, royal Princess look.

Here’s a dress that has a similar effect, with blue accenting. It would look equally amazing in a color scheme like Scarlett’s dress.

The bodice design on this dress is exactly what I would picture the inspired dress to look like. Add a white background and some large, colored rhinestones and you’re all set!

4. Emma Stone

It might be the complete opposite of Scarlett’s dress but I love a good little red dress. And, for those red heads amongst you who claim you cannot wear red – here’s your proof that you can. Like I posted earlier in the year, red dance dresses are very popular right now. Make your red dress stand out by using a golden lace overlay that reaches just past the end of the dress. Leave the rest of the dress simple, maybe adding a few touches of white embroidery or a belt and you’re good to go!

This Gavin dress (which was just premiered at the Irish Nationals this week!) may be green, but it uses the concepts of Emma’s dress. It would look great in red as well. Make the design more mature by taking out the bow and the white lining at the edge of the dress. Leaving a little lace overlay at the end would make for a very interesting (in a good way!) effect.

5. January Jones

I almost feel like January Jones got inspiration from Irish dance with this Atelier Versace gown. It reminds me so much of Lauren Early’s dresses! I love a good black/yellow dress (it is the color combination I wore when I danced!) and lucky for me, it’s having a bit of a come back moment. Use January’s dress as inspiration by keeping most of the dress simple and focusing on bold, geometric designs. Let the colors of the dress speak for themselves.

Here’s Lauren’s newest dress. I really think January took this look from Lauren – it’s so similar.

Not so keen on yellow/black? Try this look with any stark color combination.

6. Coco Rocha

Every Irish dancer’s favorite model made a splash at the ball in this Givenchy yellow jumpsuit, formally owned by the one and only Elizabeth Taylor. Not only was the outfit bold, she finished the look with pink hair tips! I’m not sure if it’s my favorite look, but the girl rocked it and definitely stood out. For that reason, it’s perfect for dance dress inspiration. The color scheme and design reminds me a lot of Olivia Drury’s dress. Take advantage of the color blocking trend and use large swatches of bright colors to take your dress design up a notch. For example, try a pink bodice and arms with a yellow skirt, integrating a simple design across the whole dress to make the look work together. And, like Coco, don’t be afraid to play with the silhouette – just make sure the tailoring is perfect.

Here’s another yellow and pink dress that has a similar feel as Coco’s outfit with the structured design. It’s a very cute design on a younger dancer.

7. Diana Argon

Diana looked like a fantasy character in this emerald green Carolina Herrerra dress. The low cut of the dress is contrasted by the full, looser skirt which keeps the look classy. This dress color would look absolutely amazing on stage. The winter colors – deep greens, blues and purples – aren’t as popular at the moment which means you could really stand out in a brilliant emerald green dress like this one. A loose skirt and simple white embroidery would make for a positively regal dress. I would love to add a ribbon belt to it as well complete with a little brooch in the front. Imagine creating a solo dress out of a Riverdance style dress – that’s the look you would be going for.

I couldn’t find a great example of what I mean, but imagine all those loose white skirted dresses, but in an emerald green. Here’s a good example of how emerald can shine on stage.

8. Karolina Kurkova

Alright, so the hat/hair deal might be a little much. But how amazing would this fabric look on an Irish dance dress? It’s a Rachel Zoe sequin gown – it pretty much screams to be made into an dance dress. I can visualize it looking great with some really elegant black Celtic embroidery and a hard skirt. The key to making this look amazing and not overdone would be to keep the design very simple.

This Craggan Design dress (on sale at dance-again) has a similar effect. I would love to see a dress made of all light gold, with just a touch of accenting and a simple silhouette. It would look amazing on a senior dancer – trendy, but classy.

9. Carey Mulligan

Carey certainly made a statement in this Prada dress with fish-scale sequins! We all know sequins have returned to Irish dance in a big way. Make your sequin dress stand out by using larger sequins and using the two tone approach. Like Karolina’s look, the key is to making a good dance dress is a hard skirt and simple, Celtic knotwork. The Celtic knotwork will keep the dress looking somewhat traditional and tone down the intensity of the sequins. Celtic Star uses this approach all the time to great success.

This Gavin dress in the style that premiered at the Worlds has a similar effect. I would love to see a dress in this style that fades from gold sequins to silver sequins. The transition would look amazing on stage.

Here’s another dress that rocks large sequins in a very cool way. A much more colored look, but a great example for how to use large sequins in an Irish dance dress.

10. Florence Welch

One of my favorite singers rocked a crazy Alexander McQueen dress! It might seem hard to get inspired by this dress, but just take it in pieces. 1. An Interesting silhouette. As dancers on a big stage, our silhouette is crucial. Don’t be afraid to try a slightly new and interesting silhouette to stand out. Doire does this excellently. 2. A soft white skirt with gold overlay. Not unlike the inspiration from Emma Stone’s dress, take a soft white dance skirt and overlay it with delicate gold. The combination will sparkle on stage while giving a more romantic look than the large rhinestones. 3. A side ponytail. For all of you who love the side ponytail look or side bun look, take inspiration from Florence’s hair. Enough volume but clean and crisp. It’s fun but classy.

Anyone else dying to wear an amazing designer dress now? What looks from the Met Ball did you love? Which ones inspired you for dance or normal fashion?

Stay Fashionable, Feisers!


2 thoughts on “Inspired by… the Met Ball

  1. Love this article. One of my favorites. I love correlating Irish dance fashion with the real world!

    Posted by Caitlin K | May 21, 2012, 1:02 am

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