Posted on 23 June 2016
Fighting the little black dress for the position of ultimate evening ensemble, the cocktail dress is the embodiment of femininity, it’s fun, sexy and super flattering on any shape. Whilst a liquid lunch and cocktail hour no longer hold the same glamour as by-gone eras, the spirt of the dress remains intact. (Above: The Sarah Bond Perriand Dress).
The cocktail dress, like cocktail culture, emerged after World War I as social changes allowed women more freedom and independence to engage in traditionally male dominated activities such as frequenting clubs and lounges. Naturally the women of the time needed something stylish that bridged the gap between tea-dresses and elegant evening gowns. Thus, the cocktail dress was born. Contrasting with Chanel’s simple and understated little black dress of the 1920s, the bold colours and tight, body conscious style quickly became the most desired fashion item for women.
The cocktail affair generally took place in the evening, however the cocktail dress allowed women to adapt their ensemble through the careful manipulation of accessories to transform their dress into something appropriate to wear from early afternoon until late evening. By virtue of its flexibility and functionality the dress became as essential as a cocktail itself and was revered as somewhat of a uniform by the high-society, fashionable elite.
Christian Dior was the first to name the early evening frock a “cocktail” dress in the late 1940s, and in doing so allowed magazines, department stores, and rival Parisian and American designers to promote fashion with cocktail-specific terminology.
Like our tastes in partying, the cocktail dress has moved with society, from Dior’s full skirted, cinched waist New Look Collection to the draped disco dresses for Studio 54 from Halston. Our Sarah Bond Electric Dress encompasses the old traditions of cocktails hour - exquisite tailoring and elegant posture within the modern age - as we move into a bolder time, characterised by bright colours and daring sartorial accents.
Whatever your poison, the cocktail dress is always the right choice.