Thursday, January 3, 2008

In Celebration of the Iconic Dress

The Dress - the symbol of beauty and femininity - has throughout history defined women's social standing. There are countess dresses synonymous with a period in time and there are endless gowns that are synonymous with a particular woman, real or fictitious.

As the month of January begins to unfold, so does the Award Season, where TV shows, magazines and yes, blogs will be praising dresses to the high heavens or indeed ripping them to shreds. What with the dresses the stars wear being such a pivotal part of the season to come, here is a short selection of iconic dresses. Some beautiful, some not so much (ahem...Elizabeth Hurley!), some old and some new, some so iconic they are cemented into the history of popular culture, others could well be iconic, for better or for worse, in a matter of time.
Without dispute the two must iconic dresses on this list. Marilyn Monroe's white halterneck dress from The Seven Year Itch, made famous in the scene where the skirt flies up after being hit by a blast of air from a vent and of course Audrey Hepburn's legendary Givency number from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

The little black dress has been synonymous with style and elegance since it was created in the 1920's by Coco Chanel, or rather it was refashioned by Coco from something worn by maidservants and at funerals to something of great taste and class. I'm not sure can the same be said for Elizabeth Hurley's rendition of the LBD. This famous Versace gown became iconic, despite Hurley's questionable acting career, because it was held together with oversized safety pins.

Floaty, fabulous dresses. Audrey Hepburn's black and white, lace - frilled dress from the Ascot Races scene in My Fair Lady, is an iconic costume from cinematic history. Nicole Kidman's dress of sugary - pink froth from the 2004 Chanel advertisement, is one I have lusted after for some time. This Dior dress from the autumn/winter 2007 collection has been everywhere in the last couple of months and with good reason too, the magenta layers are sumptuous.
Princess Diana, captivated the world in this voluminous, fairy - tale dress of ivory silk, designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel. The dress became the wedding dress template of the 1980s. Carrie's dress of a 'thousand layers' is one that sticks in my mind. The mermaid, sea - green, Versace dress encompasses everything about fairytale glamour too.

Mary Quant's Rugby Girl dress from the 1960s, was one of Quant's famous mini dresses. Quant pioneered the short hemline which continues to be the symbol of youth and vitality today, that it was in the 60s. I love Sienna's Gold Burberry dress that she wore in 2006. She continues the 60's vibe with opaque black tights and patent shoes.
Grace Kelly - Hollywood's princess - in an ethereal gown in the 1954 film Rear window. Keira Knightley, in 2007's film adaption of Ian Mc Ewan's Atonement, wears this sinuous, emerald green, satin evening gown. The dress, is quickly gaining iconic status, due to the fact it probably had more coverage then the actual movie!
Rita Hayworth, in her defining role Gilda, caused quite a stir in this satin number designed by Jean Louis. The thigh - high slit, long gloves and figure - hugging silhouette made Hayworth a femme fatale. Bold Naomi stepped out in style in March 2007 after cleaning the streets of New York, in this glistening Dolce and Gabbana dress, creating one of the fashion moments of the year.
Halle Berry made cinematic history in 2002, as being the first African - American woman to win a Best Actress Academy Award. She collected her Oscar in this memorable Elie Saab dress. Gwyneth Paltrow received her Best Actress gong in 1999 in a girly, candy - pink, Ralph Lauren dress which probably ended up tear - stained.

Here's hoping there will be some iconic dresses in the upcoming award season!


emsie said...

some absolutely stunning dresses.
i agree with you about the nicole kidman dress in the chanel advert and i do think keira knightley's atonement dress is beautiful.


coco said...

This post is just amazing!!!
I love dresses more than any other item of clothing, and these were all amazing ones
And I did see Lily on it, she really won me over on it actually, she was bery funny and sweet

Aretha said...

Amazing work! I really love all your choices, specially the Audrey and Sienna ones... Cher had some iconic dresses too, and Barbra Streisand in the 70's Oscars or Funny Lady... But it's gorgeous what you chose!

FashionQueen101 said...

amazing post! you gotta love a good dress

The Clothes Horse said...

I love dresses that have that "wow" affect, everyone should just go for it come award season. But the person inside makes the dress as well.

jenuine glam said...

found your blog on the teen vogue forum. :]

anyway, EW. held together with oversized safety pins?! :X

Elisabeth said...

Oh, I love dresses. A woman can never have too many.

I loved Carrie's dress of a thousand layers. Yum, you could just get lost in it!

Kira Fashion said...

Both, Monroe and Hepburn are two classics for the eternity!
i love them and i have similar dresses that i love!

a kiss for you!
have a nice day...

Nicola's Vintage Boutique said...

I love the Mary Quant dress and Sienna looks stunning in the Burberry one.

riz said...

I swear I clothes my eyes and I STILL see that Carrie Bradshaw "milles feuilles" dress!! It's just magnificent. And the way she savors wearing it...!

Heather said...

Gwyneth Paltrow pulled that dress off so well, even if it was a little too big. These are some gorgeous dresses you've posted, I want to go back in time and meet Swinging London Mary Quant.

LML said...

cool post! you pretty much covered all iconic dresses. LOVE LOVE LOVE nicole's dress - that commercial is gorgeous and i agree w/ u - i think keiras dress will reach iconic status too :)

penelope said...

gorgeous dresses!! awesome post!! and i;m pretty sure when millions of girls saw princess di's wedding, they were ALL lusting for the same dress~~

love carrie's mermaid green one the most!!! it;s so pretty!!

Ana said...

this was an amazing post. dresses are my favourite item of clothing to wear, even to school because i always dress up or overdress for school.
but wait what about Bjork's famous Swan Dress?!

Diana @ So Fash'on said...

great post!
I've just tagged you. More details here:

molly said...

thank you for your fantastic comments, i loved them! i especially love that you said you read my older posts...well i just did that with your blog! i think its one of my new favorites!
also, if youre into vintage, you should see my friends vintage blog

looooove this post, and your blog!

Aisha said...

I'd love to have all those beautiful dresses! specially the green one Keira is wearing on that picture.

Lovely post, as usual.

On your comment, of course I'd love to trade links. I've already added you ;)

discothequechic said...

Great comparrisons between the modern and older dresses!

That Atonement dress became iconic just this year, in my opinion, which is pretty amazing.

And Sienna's burberry dress was gorgeous. I'm really looking forward to see what she'll wear for Awards season. We've only seen her in her scruffy street clothes of late.

English Rose said...

well them dresses are lovely.
i love dresses, just the wayy they make me feel so girly, its brilliant.
i was just wondering cos your blog is the first blog i've commented on, could youu please tell me how to subscribe to peoples blogs.
i'm new to this and i'm struggling with that factor.


English Rose said...

well them dresses are lovely.
i love dresses, just the wayy they make me feel so girly, its brilliant.
i was just wondering cos your blog is the first blog i've commented on, could youu please tell me how to subscribe to peoples blogs.
i'm new to this and i'm struggling with that factor.


Anonymous said...

wow amazing post! i really would love it if the green halter dress from atonement made iconic status


that dress made liz a star! i love it! and sienna is just MEGA amazing, to put that out there.

Cool Urbanite. said...

Funny that you are from Ireland too. My aunt comes out Longford, where do you come from?

And another question :P : are you familiar with the brand Smith & Canova?

molly said...

i linked you! and thanks for linking me
one tiny biggie but its "asHcan rantings"
if youre too lazy to fix it, thats fine, no biggie

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...




Jen (MahaloFashion) said...




molly said...

thanks so much for fixing it!
and noo problem at all linking you! loove the blog!

ByRICHaRD said...

i know what you mean!
braveheart would have been rubbish if it wasnt for all those tartan dresses.

alluretone said...

stunning dress, the one in my fair lady, princess diana and carrie are gorgeous. amazing post!

Catherine Ashley said...

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