It’s almost September! Time for back to school, cooling temperatures and, most importantly, the September issues of all the fashion magazines. As any feisonista knows, these issues are usually the biggest of the year and showcase all the new fall/winter fashions. I love spending hours scouring over the editorials and plotting on how I can get that perfect $3000 luxurious red coat into my life.
One of the fall trends for this year is a very regal, opulent look. It uses ornate detailing with gold trim to create a very antiquey look. Think Versailles. Jessica Chastain’s Alexander McQueen dress at the Oscar’s is a perfect example and likely one of the catalysts for this trend.
Irish dance fashions do often revolve around real world fashions (realize it or not!) and this trend is being perfectly reflected in new Irish dance dresses right now. The regal look falls right in line with Irish dance dress design – wearable art with intricate detailing and sparkly accents. Sounds like a perfect fit to me! In the pictures Gavin just released of his newest designs, the regal trend is very prominent. Celtic Star has also been developing their own take on this trend for a while now.
There are several key elements to this trend. Let’s break down how to get the ruling effect on stage:
1. Simple Color Scheme. The key to making the ornate detailing pop is keeping the rest of the dress simple, including the color scheme. You want to ideally pick two contrasting colors and stick with that as your color scheme. One should be the background color and one should be the pop. You could also possibly pick one other accent color, but three should be the absolute max. After that, the dress starts looking too busy. Combinations like black/gold, navy/white, black/red/white work very well.
2. A Manderin Collar. One surefire way to look regal is to add a collar. They give a dress a more formal look, not unlike how a collar on a polo shirt instantly gives the look a more formal edge. Also, done right, these collars will emphasize a confidently raised head. Your collar should follow the natural line of your neck so that when you are on stage, poised like you are about to dance for your subjects, your collar naturally outlines and supports the line of your neck. The collar in the picture above is a good example.
3. Ornate Detailing. Whether its via Celtic Knots or simple complex appliqué or embroidery, this element is key. The idea is to create wearable art. Nuanced details and intricate swirls draw the eye in and create something that’s as impressive off stage as on stage. Of course, you don’t want to get too in detail or it won’t come across on stage at all. The idea is a good balance. The simple color scheme will help emphasize more ornate detailing as well and make it really pop. Keep the detailing Celtic if you want or really latch onto the mainstream trend and do very baroque style detailing, like the Gavin dress above.
4. Structured Bodice. Beyond the detailing, the rest of the bodice should feature strong, structured elements. A ballet shrug is one way to do it, vertical lines down the bodice are another. You want the dress to feel like it was constructed, kind of like an old gown would be. The structure will play off the ornate detailing so you get a look that’s formal, but opulent.
5. A Simple Skirt. With all of that going on with the bodice, keep the skirt simple. A soft skirt looks nice with this style, but you want to make sure the skirt doesn’t just hang and flow. We want soft, not twirly. It should be a controlled looseness – sounds like a contradiction, but the new soft skater skirts nail the combination perfectly. You want people almost to not notice the skirt because it goes so naturally with the more complex bodice.
6. Bling It Up. Of course, it wouldn’t be regal if there was no bling! Add rhinestones galore. Incorporate them into your design and add some large ones for accent. Diamonds, as always, are a girls best friend here! Don’t just leave the bling up to the rhinestones though – for the complete royal treatment, pick a color scheme with gold and silver and accent with sequins to really shine on stage.
What do you think? Are you feeling a little more regal this fall? Will you be jumping into this trend in your real world clothes or Irish dance designs?
Stay Fashionable, Feisers!