After about 15 years of being in the dress business, every year gets more and more exciting. Back then, fabric choices included Italian or Matte Satin, Taffeta, Satin, Crepe, Chiffon, Chiffon Georgette, and a variety of knitted products, some with metallic threads. Then came fused glitter fabrics, pleats, fused glitter, and more knits with more interesting thread. Each year brought fabrics so beautiful and lavish.
Then came varying styles. Back then, strapless was the wave. Some designers like Jessica McClintock came up with cute ways to cover shoulders, including the shalero, bolero, and translucent lace or chiffon jackets and dusters. If a style did not include one of those, a long piece of matching fabric was provided, both for use in tailoring a gown to the wearer or to cover up. Some even used the shawl fabric to customize their gown with sleeves.
Quinceanera’s, a Hispanic fiesta that celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday, was very much a dress rehearsal for her future wedding. She’d even wear a pure white ball gown fit for a princess. Underneath the skirting and all the crinoline would be a hooped half slip to give the gown all the expansion possible as in the days of Gone With the Wind.
Nowadays, the ball gown is seldom pristine white, and can be just about any color or color combination, or pattern. Favorites include Fuchsia, Coral, Turquoise, or even all of these colors on one gown. Life is truly a ball!