Ballgown or basic?
Remember, back in the mid-90s, it was suddenly fashionable to have a simple, unadorned bias-cut dress that was so plain it was christened the slip dress? It became the ultimate in sophistication for a number of years.
But it missed the point. It didn’t embody the once-in-a-lifetime, over-the-top gown that most women dream of wearing on their wedding day. And it didn’t allow the bride to look much different than her maids and guests. It was inevitable that the "Cinderella" gown would reappear.
In 2005, Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, was the first notable to revert to the full-skirted gown. And in 2010, even though Vera Wang had been an advocate of the minimalist dress, she designed an over-the-top gown for Chelsea Clinton with a huge skirt that had layers of ruffles and a stunning crystal-covered belt. Nicole Richie also wore a bouffant-skirted gown by Marchesa. Then, Oscar de la Renta enthusiastically endorsed its reemergence and all the major designers followed suit.
Today, no bridal collection is without its Cinderella skirts that have a multitude of interpretations with tiers, ruffles, appliqués, feathers, pearls and crystals.
These are bridal gowns that embrace glamour and romance.
Simple dresses are still current and fit the bill for simple weddings. (Getting married at the town hall?) But surely the bride should outshine her maids and her guests. She should be the star. And this only can happen if she’s wearing a dress that is above and beyond what any of her guests or maids possibly could be wearing.
Here’s the difference in the traditional large-skirted gown and the current versions. It’s sex. Many of these newer versions don’t have covered-up bodices as, say, Princess Diana had with those enormous sleeves. The glamour is in the billowing skirt and train. And the sex is in the fitted bodices that have bare arms and shoulders, such as the strapless or halter top versions. It’s a terrific combination of sex and glamour.