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Oscar De la Renta

Amber Jane Butchart

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Ball Gowns

Emma Davenport

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Ball gowns are considered to be the most extravagant category of evening dress. Although balls date back to the Middle Ages, and historically were seen as dance parties to celebrate all manner of occasions, they reemerged as a popular way to introduce eligible women and men into marriageable society during the mid-1800s. Competition for suitors centered on the expense and opulence of a woman’s ball gown. Subsequently, ball gowns have continued to represent ideals of romantic femininity. On the ca

Dolce & Gabbana, Spring/Summer 1997

Tessa Maffucci

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Dolce & Gabbana’s spring/summer collection of 1997 capitalized on their strengths. Sensual chiffon hugged curvaceous (but trim) hips and bra straps peeked out from under delicate, negligee-inspired fishtail gowns. The palette of the runway was punctuated by animal prints and florals, often visible beneath the sheer material of the dresses or through open-weave crochet sweaters. Their look is sexy and upbeat, drawing influence from Domenico Dolce’s Sicilian heritage and the imagery of Italian film

Ball Dress

Jane E. Hegland

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Balls have existed for centuries among royalty and the social elite, dating back to the Middle Ages. During the mid-1800s, the ball re-emerged as a desirable manner of entertainment among the upper and middle classes. Through the 1800s, the ball served as a means to bring together people of similar social backgrounds, often for purposes of introducing young women and men of marriageable age. Coming-out balls, debutante balls, or cotillion balls became standard events by the mid-1800s, and have co

Competitive Ballroom Dance

Jonathan S. Marion

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Competitive ballroom costuming facilitates and maximizes the artistic and expressive impact of competitors’ dancing. It is meant to accentuate the movements of dancers’ performances and enhance the artistic images being produced. Artistic costume on the one hand, ballroom dress serves simultaneously as functional athletic wear that must stand up to the physical rigors and stresses involved in the tremendous movement and motion competitors produce. Balancing art and athletics, and in line with spe

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