Deccan Chronicle

Cape' of good hope

Deccan Chronicle| Kiran Kalra

Published on: September 15, 2018 | Updated on: September 15, 2018

For that sweeping and majestic look, that gives you a regal air, try this haute new trend if you want to make a dramatic entry at a party.

A transparent cape adds a sensous vibe.

A transparent cape adds a sensous vibe.

With the New York fashion week going on, the trends are for you to see EVERYWHERE! Among the many, that catches my attention are the CAPES. While you may have spotted some of it all through 2018, this style is going to be predominantly seen through 2019 on the racks.

Capes are seriously fashionable..... used frequently as a style statement, very dramatic & very elevating in every sense.

While we know that the capes in Paris is a luxurious outerwear option. Could be in the form of a ‘half blazer’ maybe to cover up that very short dress - mini-skirt. I can close my eyes and visualise the effect it leaves in my head ..... so chic, so stylish and sophisticated!!!

Designers like Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Missoni and more have through 2018 included various versions of this dramatic piece to their collection.

The cape dress which is a cape-like garment attached to the dress is taking over the runways and promises to be an integral part of fashion through 2019.

There are different ways we can incorporate a cape into a dress. A long fitted gown with an elbow length cape gown is classy and timeless. For a more dramatic effect, a full length cape attached to a figure hugging long gown screams royal and elegant. The woman wearing this feels no less than a queen right out of a fairy tale herself.

For a more fun element, keep the dress short. The cape could be elbow length in the front and ending till the length of the dress at the back. A short silk dress with a layered/tiered cape finished in organza could make this fun dress more dramatic.

Tired of pantsuits? A cape over a tailored jumpsuit is the perfect androgynous antidote. This jumpsuit cape is a refreshing & interesting style to hit the runway this season. While the jumpsuit is more fitted and classic, the cape can be kept either short, waist length or cascading till the floor. I personally love the drama. Whether It’s a gown or a jumpsuit, I’d go with the long flowing till the floor cape.

Since this style is so dramatic, keep the accessories minimalistic and go super sleek with the footwear. I’d stay stick to the pencil like tall stilettos!

Which to buy you ask us? Let’s make it simpler.

If you opt to wear a cropped cape - or capelet as it’s known (defined as a miniature style that swings above the hip), then wear it with short-length skirts. If your cape has plenty of fabric and folds, then counterbalance the voluminosity with a pencil skirt. If your choice is more narrow and tailored, then a mini makes the perfect partner. The longer the cape, the better it looks with skinny trousers. Elevate the look with a pair of heels, or go for a cape dress.

Many wedding dress designers are also leaning towards this trend. What better occasion to add this dramatic trend to an already cascading beautiful white gown!

Let’s understand the history of the cape dress. Cape dresses were traditionally worn by (conservative) Mennonite women. Unlike the prayer (head) covering, the cape dress never became part of dress regulations. Besides its historical associations with Mennonite dress, the cape dress has become a part of the fashion vocabulary. In the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, The cape dress had a plain style and a piece of fabric covered the bodice. This piece of fabric had a square or V-shape form and de-emphasized the female form. The women of the Holdeman Mennonite community in California wore a cape-dress that had a high neckline, loose bodice and fitted waist. The cape of the dress covered the shoulders and bust. Because of religious reasons, no (or only minor) adornment of the dress was allowed. The plainer the dress, the higher it was valued. For Mennonite community women’s clothing symbolised gender roles. The dress showed women’s ‘submission to God, to men in general and their husband in parti
cular’. Besides that it was a statement of nonconformity to the world, especially against the rapid and dramatically changing fashion from the end of the 19th century onwards.

In the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum various cape dresses can be found. In 1933 Madeleine Vionnet created a woollen jersey dress and matching cape. Coco Chanel designed a dress with matching cape in 1937-8. The dress consisted of silk and net covered with black sequins. It was lined with satin. In 1967 Cristóbal Balenciaga created an evening ensemble consisting of a matching cape and sleeveless dress out of black gazar silk. Philippe Venet created a black-and-white dress with a cape-like collar in 1989.

The charming Italian designer, Vito Dell’Erba, says, "There are few fashion symbols as strong as the cape . nobility, elegance, mystery and when you add red, the sensuality factor is multiplied by 100."

Pallavi Foley, the gorgeous jewellery designer  who has been identified as a game changer-part of 35 young achievers who make a difference says, "I love capes. They take me back to my childhood and wearing one at any age makes one feel like super Shero/hero. I also think that capes are super fashionable and so much fun to wear."

You could also experiment with an ankle length jacquard self woven hooded cape in black ,over a silk dress in a shade of an emerald green. Complete the look with, danglers ,gold stilettos and a glossy high ponytail."

Quoting Marilyn Monroe, I’d like to add, "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

Are you bold enough to add some drama into your wardrobe?

— The writer helms a  fashion brand with international elements, and walks the talk when it comes to runway rousing!

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