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A Stairway to Fashion

Dresses That Changed The History Of Fashion (part 2)

1. Versace’s Safety-Pin Dress
Everyone, from your nan, mum, dad and postman, remembers seeing Liz Hurley step onto the red carpet for the Four Weddings and a Funeral premiere wearing Versace’s now-iconic safety pin dress.

Versace's Safety-Pin Dress

Versace’s Safety-Pin Dress

2. J-Lo’s Versace Dress 
Another totally stand-out Versace red carpet moment was created at the 2000 Grammys when Jennifer Lopez stepped out on the arm of Puff Daddy in thattropical-print, plunging, sheer dress. What. A. Moment.

J-Lo's Versace Dress

J-Lo’s Versace Dress

3. Grace Kelly’s Wedding Dress
The dress designed by Helen Rose and worn by Grace Kelly for her wedding to Prince Rainer III of Monaco in 1956 is thought of as one of the most iconic bridal gowns of all time, and it’s even said to have inspired our very own Kate Middleton’s Sarah Burton wedding dress creation.

Grace Kelly's Wedding Dress

Grace Kelly’s Wedding Dress

4. Kate Middleton’s Sarah Burton Wedding Gown
There was a collective gasp as the now Duchess of Cambridge stepped out of her car and into Westminster Abbey wearing her unbelievably beautiful and elegant Sarah Burton-designed dress. An incredible moment that we’ll never forget.

Kate Middleton's Sarah Burton Wedding Gown

Kate Middleton’s Sarah Burton Wedding Gown

5. The Issa Engagement Dress
The blue Issa dress Kate Middleton wore to announce her engagement to Prince William has already achieved cult status, and is a symbol of the ongoing Kate Effect. The designer has since re-issued a version of the dress for high street favourite Banana Republic.

The Issa Engagement Dress

The Issa Engagement Dress

6. Sarah Burton For Alexander McQueen For Pippa Middleton
The exquisite cut of Pippa Middleton’s royal bridesmaid dress will go down in history – as too now will her bottom.

Sarah Burton For Alexander McQueen For Pippa Middleton

Sarah Burton For Alexander McQueen For Pippa Middleton

7. The Paper Dress
Paper dresses were a short-lived trend, but one that perfectly captured the fast, fun and affordable attitude of the sixties.

The Paper Dress

The Paper Dress

8. Vivienne Westwood’s Lily Dress
The Lily dress rose to fame following its appearance in the 2008 Sex And The City movie. Carrie Bradshaw’s epic wedding gown inspired a new generation of structured, corseted dresses, and the cocktail version – worn by Nicola Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Nigella Lawson and Sarah Jessica Parker herself – completely sold out, despite retailing at over £4,000.

Vivienne Westwood's Lily Dress

Vivienne Westwood’s Lily Dress

9. Mick Jagger’s Michael Fish Dress
Does anything embody the spirit of the sixties more than the white smock-dress Jagger wore for the 1969 Rolling Stones gig in Hyde Park? We don’t think so.

Mick Jagger's Michael Fish Dress

Mick Jagger’s Michael Fish Dress

10. Michelle Obama’s Inaugral Ball Gown By Jason Wu 
Michelle Obama’s decision to wear Jason Wu for both of her inauguration balls (not to mention her 2009 meeting with the Queen) has cemented the Taiwanese-Canadian designer’s place in the fashion world and the history books.

Michelle Obama's Inaugral Ball Gown By Jason Wu

Michelle Obama’s Inaugral Ball Gown By Jason Wu

11. Chanel’s Little Black Dress
While she didn’t invent the little black dress, Coco Chanel has become synonymous with the staple style since she dressed Audrey Hepburn in an understated, yet seriously glam slash-necked short silk dress in 1926. Chanel predicted that the style would become the ‘uniform’ for women’s evening wear. And very right she was.

Chanel's Little Black Dress

Chanel’s Little Black Dress

12. The Hussein Chalayan LED dress
Hussein Chalayan’s 2006 creation was groundbreaking.

The Hussein Chalayan LED dress

The Hussein Chalayan LED dress

13. Kate Moss’ Vintage Yellow Dress
If ever there was a dress that sparked a thousand copycats it was Kate Moss’ lemon yellow vintage dress. Picked up from Los Angeles vintage store Lie et Cie, the model was photographed wearing it on a New York night out in 2003. Two years later she created an almost exact replica for her first Topshop collection. Like everyone else, we rushed out to buy one.

Kate Moss' Vintage Yellow Dress

Kate Moss’ Vintage Yellow Dress

14. Preen’s Power Dress
The Power dress burst onto the scene in 2006. The likes of Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cheryl Cole and Rihanna were all photographed in the dress weeks apart. The undeniably sexy design has now become a staple for Preen, although refined slightly with each season. The ultimate party dress.

Preen's Power Dress

Preen’s Power Dress

15. Delphos Pleated Dress
The Delphos gown was first created in 1907 by Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo. The relaxed nature of the finely pleated silk dresses during a time of uncomfortable corsets was revolutionary and has made the designs a vintage collector’s dream.

Delphos Pleated Dress

Delphos Pleated Dress

16. Stella McCartney’s Octavia Dress
This figure-flattering design from Stella’s 2011 autumn/winter collection quickly became known as ‘the miracle dress’ thanks to its genius optical illusion that makes the wearer smaller, curvier and more toned. Magic.

Stella McCartney's Octavia Dress

Stella McCartney’s Octavia Dress

17. Matthew Williamson’s Electric Angels Dresses
The designer’s debut collection saw the likes of Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Jade Jagger parade down the runway at London Fashion Week September in 1997 wearing bias-cut dresses in tangerine, fuscia and magenta. The show lasted seven minutes and featured just 14 dresses, but the impact on the fashion world was huge.

Matthew Williamson's Electric Angels Dresses

Matthew Williamson’s Electric Angels Dresses

18. Isabella Blow iIn Alexander McQueen
To Isabella Blow the fashion world is eternally grateful. She was the first person to truly recognise the designer’s talents and when she bought every single piece from his 1992 graduate collection she set him on the path to creating some of the most incredible fashion moments of all time.

Isabella Blow iIn Alexander McQueenIsabella Blow iIn Alexander McQueen

Isabella Blow iIn Alexander McQueen

19. Grace Jones In Keith Haring
Andy Warhol introduced Grace Jones and Keith Haring in the mid-eighties and, though the pair worked together on many projects (Grace became a sort of human canvas for Haring), it was the 20ft Haring dress that the singer wore to a New Year’s Eve party in 1987 that most people remember.

Grace Jones In Keith Haring

Grace Jones In Keith Haring

20. Angelina Jolie’s Leg-Revealing Dress
The Atelier Versace gown that Ange wore to the 2012 Oscars was undoubtedly stunning, but it was the star’s exaggerated pose (sticking her right leg through the split unnaturally far) that caused a Twitter account to be set up in her honour and Photoshopped images of her leg to go viral.

Angelina Jolie's Leg-Revealing Dress

Angelina Jolie’s Leg-Revealing Dress

21. Carrie Bradshaw’s Oscar De La Renta Dress
We could have picked any number of dresses from Sex and the City but for us it was the belted Oscar de la Renta gown from season six. One of Carrie’s best ever looks that put the de la Renta at the forefront of the minds of not just fashion fans but women everywhere.

Carrie Bradshaw's Oscar De La Renta Dress

Carrie Bradshaw’s Oscar De La Renta Dress

22. The ‘Shall We Dance?’ Dress
The voluminous ballgown from The King and I has been included in our list for no other reason than the sheer scale of the thing. It weighed forty pounds and actress Deborah Kerr had to wear rubber pads to stop it bruising her hips. It was totally authentic for its time and a costume design triumph.

The 'Shall We Dance?' Dress

The ‘Shall We Dance?’ Dress

23. The Atonement Dress
Designed by Jacqueline Durran, the slinky green dress worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement was voted the best film costume of all time. It’s sexy, elegant and powerful all at once – totally deserving of the accolade.

The Atonement Dress

The Atonement Dress

24. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Ralph Lauren Gown
The full-skirted dress Gwyneth wore to the 1999 Oscars divided opinion, but there is no denying it was copied en masse and was credited with bringing pinky hues back into fashion.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Ralph Lauren Gown

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Ralph Lauren Gown

25. The Flapper Dress
The term ‘flapper’ was originally given to young girls in the 1920s who were known as social butterflies, dancing the night away in their dreamy dropped-waist dresses, with the fabric ‘flapping’ as they waltzed. The flappers wore stunning creations by Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret, whose designs have made into the history books. Anyone for the Charleston?

The Flapper Dress

The Flapper Dress

 

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