You know, he may have forgotten how to make daywear, but whatever you might say about the relevance of John Galliano, he does have a way with an evening dress.

And I don't mean elegant, or chic, or beautiful. I mean ravishing -

These were less cartoon-y than the stuff he did for Dior, and this time, you can bring yourself to look past the make-up and hats and all the bric-a-brac and recognise them for their exquisiteness.

I particularly like the mustard one with the rosette details, because of its weightless, modern quality. It's a ballgown with a twenties' languidness and the quirly colour makes it stand out. I'd like to see it on a cool debutante.

Another standout evening dress - this ombre one from Louis Vuitton -

I like the lazy drape, but there's also a rigor to it so it looks rather regal. And of course, I like the painterly effect of the colours.

Olivier Theyskens did the dreamiest dresses for Nina Ricci. Whatever identity he's trying to give the house, you can't fault him on the craftsmanship and beauty of his evening dresses -

The silver satin looks as though it had been blown by the wind onto her body.

The unexpected jolt of yellow highlights the delicate ripples on the dress -

I love the drama of the face-framing ruffles on this one, and it's amazing how it doesn't look fussy; it has a very intense, sculptural quality -

And while this grey one won't flatter everyone, it's the kind of dress I want to see and touch up close, to feel every ruffle -

She looks like she's rising out of a sea of grey, with ruffles rippling off her body. I love how the dresses have a tattered, unfinished look - it makes everything feel very raw and intense, it not's cold perfection. These are dresses fit for a Narnian queen.

I know evening dresses are the kind of thing that doesn't have much relevance to most people - it doesn't fit in the context of everyday life. But while attempts at fantasy can go awry and come across as ridiculous (I'm thinking Dior here), we all still need something to dream about, something that brings about a hush when you bring it into a room.

And that's the beauty of the dresses here - they're not red carpet spectacles, or costumes from a dead era, or homages to glamour and luxury, or selling an idea of chic. These are the stuff dreams are made of, and they can touch you emotionally, whether you'll ever wear them or not.

Pictures from www.style.com


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