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Your Guide To Finding The Perfect Gown

The most special of occasions calls for the most special of gowns. One so beautiful, it will transport you to a moment of fantasy. Finding ‘the one’, however, can be somewhat of a challenge. Let our guide lead the way. We’ve even enlisted the help of the experts, designers including Carolina Herrera and Jenny Packham, to impart their advice on choosing the perfect colour and achieving that fairy tale of fits. Read on and you shall go the ball!

1. Choose your colour. Black may be an obvious, fail-safe option, a colour that is timelessly chic, however, embrace the moment to dress up and opt for something a little bolder. “There is nothing more beautiful than a woman wearing a gown in a striking colour walking into a sea of black at a gala,” notes acclaimed fashion designer, Carolina Herrera.

2. Find the right fit. Wearing a gown is the perfect opportunity to exploit the female form. “I always design with a woman’s shape in mind and try to accentuate the female figure,” explains famed designer, Monique Lhuillier. However, you need to find the fit that’s right for you. “You've got to feel good in what you're wearing. If you're uncomfortable, it will show,” adds Georgina Chapman, one half of the design duo behind A-list-favourite, Marchesa. Carolina continues: “The best silhouette will be the one that a woman feels most confident and beautiful in. Every woman is different and she must find the shape that works for her body.”

3. It’s all in the details. This is your time to stand out so indulge in decadent embellishment. “Elegant embroidery and geometric guipure lace are some of the design details you will find in my new season collection,” notes Monique. Also make way for voluminous silhouettes this season. “For the first time in a long time the really big gowns are back,” Jenny adds.

4. Exude confidence. “Choose a dress that complements your look and character. If you feel comfortable and can move with confidence, you will shine,” advises Jenny. “I love to design gowns that are bold, timeless, and feminine. Above all I hope that they that celebrate how unbelievably extraordinary it is to be a woman,” notes late designer, Oscar de la Renta.

5. Don’t follow trends. “I try not to follow trends,” explains Carolina. “Women must find something that makes them feel beautiful and, more importantly, shows their style and personality.” Georgina continues: “It doesn't need to be related to trends, you need to feel beautiful.”

6. Style accordingly. The extra use of fabric and heavier emphasis on embellishment often means it is better to adopt a ‘less is more’ attitude when styling gowns. Avoid looking too done by following Jenny’s expert tip for looking a million dollars on the night: “Keep your make-up and hair natural and light. I love the combination of high-glamour dressing with very relaxed and natural styling.”

Shop our edit of the most extra-special gowns below, or choose from our selection of dresses.

Found ‘the one’? Then complete your look with our pick of the Top 5 Party Shoes.

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