As athleisure continues its stronghold on the retail market, people have wondered what's happening to evening wear aside from the red carpets. By the looks of New York Fashion Week shows from Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan, evening wear is here to stay, and it's transcended beyond ball gowns. Although there are still those customers who want the Disney Princess style gowns with floral prints, lace and jewel embellishments, they also want more options from their evening wear offerings.
Inspired by Italian painter Caravaggio, Badgley Mischka's fall/winter 2018 collection featured a full breadth of women's formal choices, from the ball gown to a sequin trench coat with black pants and a sweater. Caravaggio was known for his realistic observation of the human state, and the human state of evening wear today came through with Badgley Mischka's line. While there were a few of the dramatic ball gowns, silhouettes were more tailored and form fitting. The evening wear customer in America wants to make a statement, but she's interested in a bit less drama.
She still loves a good dress, but she's more in the realm of something sleeking and sexy now. Please give her the embellishment and bedazzling she is used to though, because she still wants to feel feminine and pretty.
The need for new ways to do femininity were also evident at Naeem Khan. Jumpsuits were big for the designer this season, as they were several of his first looks. Sequin details gave full Hollywood actress effect, as Khan is known for being a red carpet favorite. He didn't shy away from his signature details, however. He was still big on embellishments, fringe and patterns inspired by his Indian heritage.
The finale look was a black velvet jumpsuit embellished with the face of the statue of liberty on the back in sequin crystal. It was an homage to the new liberty in fashion, and, just like America, Khan's collection was a melting pot of different ideas.
It's a new era for evening wear, but no, the market for it isn't dead. Rather, it has adapted to fit today's woman who can wear a jumpsuit for many occasions, who wants something more tame than a ball gown.Badgley Mischka photos courtesy of Full Pic Naeem Khan photos courtesy of the brand