Oscar season is upon us, and that means goddess gowns. Goddess gowns usually share elements of classical drapery and the simple construction of the toga and chiton. Here’s a selection of patterns for Greco-Roman-inspired evening wear.
This 1920s evening dress from the House of Worth features elegant back drapery, with a beaded appliqué holding more drapery at the left hip:
The illustration for this 1930s Lanvin ‘scarf frock’ plays up the classical mood with a fluted pedestal and ferns:
This late 1940s one-shouldered evening dress has a long panel that can be worn belted in the back or wrapped around the bared shoulder:
Toga-like drapery distinguishes these short, Sixties evening dresses by Pauline Trigère and Jacques Heim:
This late ’60s Yves Saint Laurent evening dress has a classical simplicity, with the bodice gathered into a boned collar:
This Pucci loungewear has culottes on the bottom, but still has that ‘goddess’ flavour (modelled by Birgitta Af Klercker):
Angeleen Gagliano models this mid-Seventies Lanvin evening dress and toga:
This Pierre Balmain evening ensemble, modelled by Jerry Hall, shows a more literal interpretation of classical dress:
Finally, this jersey gown with beaded waistband, from Guy Laroche by Damian Yee, is an example of the recent trend for goddess gowns:
(From the Spring 2007 Laroche collection, the pattern is
still in print now out of print.)
“Goddess” was the theme of the 2003 Costume Institute exhibit; the catalogue, Goddess: The Classical Mode (Yale UP, 2003) is still available.
16 thoughts on “Clash of the Titans: Goddess Gowns”
If only the modern day actors were as well dressed as this – it would be worth watching!
I had no idea the House of Worth ever lent it’s name to sewing patterns. Amazing!
I was pretty excited to find that one! I haven’t seen any other Worth patterns from McCall, I think, except for one coat pattern.
That 30’s Lanvin and 40’s one shoulder number – I’M DYING. Why oh why isn’t my life more fancy? I want to wear shit like this EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE.
I say make your life as fancy as you like! I admit I have a lot of evening gown patterns, and not enough charity balls to attend. There should be some event for us bloggers—Formal February? the Sewists’ Ball?—to provide an excuse to make & wear these things..
OMG, there SO should be The Sewists’ Ball! Can we have one? How do we do it? In the summer maybe, so we don’t have to make super-fancy coats to go with the gowns? That sounds so awesome…
Thanks, Jagoda! Summer is a great idea.. I don’t know what would work best—a virtual, blogger event, like Jungle January?
Love these that 1930’s Lanvin….swoon. I have nominated you for a few awards over at my post Move over Meryl Streep! Congrats – If you have been nominated before for some of these, as I suspect you may have, no worries. Your blog is a valuable resource and I wanted to show my thanks.
Thank you, Annie, you are too sweet! I’m off to check out your post 🙂
Oh these dresses are gorgeous! It was super nice meeting you yesterday, Sarah! Some pictures of the meeting are up. Talk soon!
Thanks, Adrienne, it was great to meet you too! I borrowed a lot of your pics for my meetup post 🙂