Still dreaming about those magnificent hand-sewn gowns from Chanel, Dior, Valentino, and countless more seen at this year's Fall Haute Couture shows? Though most of us will never have the opportunity to partake in such fashion fantasy, there are many equally stunning ready-to-wear options that can easily pass for couture. Here are our favorite close-to-couture dresses to wear now.
Giving Valentino a Run for its Money
If you are one of the many who became instantly enamored with Valentino's darker and more mysterious designs for its Fall 2012 Haute Couture collection, look no further than this gorgeous Temperley London creation. This statuesque lace gown trimmed with scalloped eyelash edges lends elegant movement to the silhouette, while the feminine bow accents the removable crepe belt. The design's covered silhouette, nude slip, and peekaboo hole at the back which buttons at the nape of the neck has a Victorian feel that was present at the Valentino show. This exquisite dress holds its own and is definitely worth its investment price tag.
If you are inspired by Valentino's midnight blue collection, albeit done in a more modern interpretation that won't break your bank, check out this stunning ball gown from Adrianna Papell. Grand and dramatic, this gorgeous gown is covered in feminine ruffles and rosettes. The deep blue hue keeps the look from becoming too sweet, and instead makes for a sophisticated and regal evening selection.
Zuhair Murad Who?
While Zuhair Murad's Fall 2012 Couture collection was filled with encrusted stones, and bold crystals, a few non-embellished creations stood out mainly for their seductive prints and fluid silhouettes. To get that look now, try on this sultry and elegant Rachel Zoe dress that is patterned with a painted abstract print. A draped scarf detail refines the scoop neck, while the skirt is slit to the thigh in the middle with artful pleats, allowing for sensual movement. Wear this fabulous gown to a summer wedding or a fall gala, but make sure to keep accessories minimal as the gown's print is a loud enough statement on its own.
The Iconic Dior
One of Couture Week's most lauded and anticipated collections was, without a doubt, Raf Simons' debut for Christian Dior. If you are looking for a taste of that Old Hollywood glamour, which Simons showcased through his structured and fitted frocks, check out this siren-worthy strapless gown from Zac Posen. Done in a poppy red, similar to the hue used at the Dior show, this silk-taffeta gown features contoured raw-edged chiffon along the sweetheart neckline, sides, and waist. An elegant train with a structured hem adds further glamour and drama to this gorgeous creation.
A Touch of Chanel
To get Chanel's 2012 Fall Couture look when dressing for a fancy occasion, look for a gown that features both vintage and modern aspects like this Adrianna Papell beaded gown. Sprinkled with sparkling sequins that feel modern and contemporary, this gown boasts a sheer yoke and a floor-sweeping chiffon skirt that takes us back a few decades. The gown's sparkling hue is right in sync with Karl's most recent haute collection.
Ruffle Like Valli
If you are looking for voluminous accents and dramatic flairs a la
Embellish Like Elie Saab
Ever dream of walking the red carpet like a Hollywood celeb? Then opt for a dress that boasts Elie Saab's most important technique: pile on the embellishments. The answer to your fantasy may lie in Temperley London's tulle gown which is sprinkled with shimmering sequins, gems, and crystals. The perfect choice
Gaultier's Boyish Woman
Take heed from Jean Paul Gaultier's 2012 Fall Couture collection and integrate masculine accents into your eveningwear. Start by looking for tough accents or fabrics like the leather peplum seen on this Yigal Azrouel dress. Lending a hard edge to an airy sleeveless maxi dress, the leather accent incorporates menswear details into an otherwise very feminine dress. Shutter pleats on the silk-chiffon bodice, and a front slit make for flirtatious elements, which contrast with the more streamlined crepe skirt. Alluring and avant-garde, this sensual dress borrows just enough from the boys to make you feel like a really sexy lady.
Flash Your Couture the Versace Way
Like Versace's Couture frocks, look for bold colors that feel flashy and glamorous at the same time. Tibi's Sleeveless Gown is streamlined and sexy, yet boasts a bright and bold yellow hue that flashes more than not. A total notice-me dress, this jersey gown is not meant for the wallflower chica. Like the dresses at the Versace show, it is meant to flaunt your assets by showing off your curves in a very sexy manner.