1980s Italian Cocktail Dresses
Finding the Right evening-dresses for You
With entire museum exhibitions dedicated to examining fashion designers and their creations, we’re finally recognizing that costuming is art. Fashion is a powerful means of self-expression, and sophisticated vintage evening dresses and gowns by our favorite couturier play no small role in making us feel wonderful but, perhaps more importantly, making us feel like ourselves.
Evening dresses over time have conveyed specific statements about social class, position and beliefs. In the 16th century, dresses and gowns were so important that England's Queen Elizabeth I defined rules about what dresses women could wear — guidance included long skirts and fitted bodices. Forward-thinking designers have responded to this history.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel reimagined traditionally masculine garments for feminine shapes, and her elegant evening dresses and gowns promoted comfort and grace in women’s wear that had been dominated in the previous century by layers of fabric. French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent introduced innovative and highly coveted dress designs in the 1960s while at the same time challenging sexist stereotypes about which members of society could wear tuxedos. Works by unconventional British designer John Galliano — featured in houses like Givenchy and Dior — redefined limits that dressmakers faced in terms of material, construction and vision during the late 20th century.
Today’s designers target an increasingly broad audience with their boundary-crossing work, and their tendency to play off of each other’s ideas means that every walk down the runway is also a walk through an entire history of fashion design and dress craftsmanship.
Whether you gravitate toward backless maxi dresses or silk charmeuse gowns by Alexander McQueen or embellished, ruffled floral-print designs by Chloe or Versace, there is an extraordinary collection of vintage and designer evening dresses and gowns waiting for you on 1stDibs.
Barbra Streisand Channeled Klimt’s ‘Woman in Gold’ in This Shimmering Dress
Costumer to the stars Ray Aghayan brought the famed painting to life with his spectacular design.
A Chanel Obsessive’s Cache Extends Well beyond Her Walk-In Closet
From handbags and heels to jackets and jewels, Sharon Coplan Hurowitz has a deep admiration for (and collection of) all things Chanel.
Behind the 1970s and ’80s Glam of ‘Halston’ with the Hit Show’s Costume Designer
Jeriana San Juan explains how she undertook the intimidating project of designing costumes for the new Netflix series about the New York fashion legend. (Hint: She found vintage Halston on 1stDibs!)
A Short History of Capri Pants, on the 100th Birthday of Their Inventor
Once considered a controversial item of clothing, fashion designer Sonja de Lennart's creation is now a bona fide classic.
How the Chanel Jacket Forever Changed What Women Wear
The classic tweed garment has been a wardrobe staple of chic women around the world since the 1950s.
A Pair of Shoes — Heels or Flats — Can Tell an Impactful Story
Amanda Benchley and Bridget Moynahan teamed up to explore the relationship between powerful women and their most significant footwear.
You Saw It at the Met Ball. Here’s What Camp Fashion Is Really About
This year's Costume Institute exhibition is all about embracing the eccentric.
The V&A Takes a Fresh Look at the New Look’s Pioneering Progenitor, Christian Dior
Ballrooms, Bar Suits and British royals — in a sweeping exhibition, the London museum looks back on 70 years of the French fashion house, as well as its illustrious founder and his fondness for the United Kingdom.