Never Blow Up: How Balloon Skirts Got Back In Fashion

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Never Blow Up: How Balloon Skirts Got Back In Fashion
Never Blow Up: How Balloon Skirts Got Back In Fashion
Video: Never Blow Up: How Balloon Skirts Got Back In Fashion
Video: Reacting to Weird Fashion Shows (are balloon clothes really stupid or a fashion moment?) 2023, February
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In English, balloon skirts there is another name - bubble, that is, "bubble". The funny word and the same shape make this garment controversial: cylinders never make it to the lists of "most elegant" and "timeless" items. However, their emotional design, which is associated with the femininity of the 1950s, then with the extravagance of the 1980s, continues to inspire designers.

Text: Svetlana Paderina, author of the telegram channel wannabeprada

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How it all started

If we look at the history of fashion, we can assume that the balloons are constructively, and in spirit, close to the silhouettes of the Renaissance - when the richness of outfits was emphasized not only by the type, but also by the amount of fabric. True, the key element of that era was not skirts, but sleeves. In the absence of elastic materials, the sleeve, restricting movement, was cut in several places and fastened with strings again - and from the cuts a looser underwear made of the finest material peeped through. In the 1770s, French fashion brought the flirty robe à la polonaise form: a dress with a tight bodice and a wide layered skirt, like a lush blooming bud. A hint of today's balloon skirts can be seen in the fashion of the 1910s, when an elongated blouson was worn over a narrow long skirt, the bottom of which was gently bent or draped beautifully, creating a small volume. The silhouette appeared under the influence of averaged oriental aesthetics - suffice it to recall the work of Paul Poiret, who, in contrast to the outgoing corset fashion, popularized elements of the "harem" style with its oval silhouettes and soft folds.

In the 1950s, there was a wave of experiments with feminine forms, and the impressive volume of the skirt was intended to emphasize the waist in contrast. The canonical bubble dress, corresponding to the fashionable image of the "flower woman", came out from under the hands of Hubert de Givenchy, Cristobal Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent, who worked at Dior, and looked surprisingly minimalist - even by modern standards. Dresses with inflated skirts fully corresponded to the idea of ​​couture fashion of that time: a large amount of fabric was used to create volume, folds were formed by hand, and to keep the dress in shape, it was planted on a hard lining.

In a reduced volume and a shortened version, this silhouette has passed

in the 1960s, but lingered only in a conditionally evening wardrobe: everyday clothing during the period of the technical revolution and automation of production became more and more simplified, while bulky cylinders required not only sewing costs, but also special care. It is not surprising that for some time they were not remembered, enjoying simple and comfortable things.

The 1980s will be remembered for the triumph of Italian designers, who, as you know, were not alien to exaggeration and drama. In general, it was an era of controversy, when economic instability coexisted with the rapid flourishing of pop culture, and monumental forms and sporty chic, romanticism and power dressing coexisted in clothing design. Balloon skirts and similarly shaped dresses, including those made from bright taffeta and sparkling brocade, fit perfectly into this eclectic carnival, and dresses with an elongated bodice and a fluffy flower skirt, starting just above the hips, were especially popular. This silhouette is most often cited when it comes to the fashion of that decade - including in a humorous, grotesque form (coupled with an exaggerated shoulder line).

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How balloon skirts are back in fashion

In the spring of 2012, on the pages of Italian Vogue, the editor-in-chief of the publication at that time, Franca Sozzani, described inflated forms in clothes, methodically listing examples of the appearance of balloons from the 16th century to the present day. As expected, the name of the Dolce & Gabbana brand appears in the text - it can be assumed that it was their glossy maximalism that inspired the creators of outfits for school proms in the 2000s.But at the turn of the decade, a completely different style loomed, which developed as a result of the rethinking of fashion during the global crisis and determined practically the entire next decade - minimalism.

They started talking about the return of "bubbles" in 2016 - albeit without much enthusiasm: they were still associated with the notorious bad taste of the early 2000s. For the spring-summer 2016 season, avant-garde artist Nicolas Ghesquière has made soft, snow-white balloons for Louis Vuitton, adding a strong romantic component to his beloved cyber aesthetics. A couple of years later, the silhouette began to be repeated in the collections of Miu Miu, Erdem, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Mary Katrantzou - and it became finally clear that the time for ultra-romanticism with appropriate shapes and silhouettes had come. In the moodboards of designers and stylists, images from the Dynasty TV series flashed, and to the scattering of sequins, to puffy sleeves and corset bodices, balloon skirts suggested themselves.

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Where to look today

and how to wear

In the fall-winter 2019/20 collections, Jonathan Anderson and Burberry-based Ricardo Tisci have shown their versions of balloons. This reminded me not of frivolous romanticism, but of similar experiments with form by Rei Kawakubo and Yoji Yamamoto in the conceptual 1990s. Emilia Wickstead, Jacquemus, Patou, and Louis Vuitton again have balloons for the spring-summer 2020 season. They are walked with youthful ease by singer Ariana Grande and actresses Millie Bobby Brown, Natalia Dyer and Sophie Turner, who, due to their age, hardly managed to acquire their own associations about this wardrobe item.

Today, those who are looking for something special for a New Year's party will first of all pay attention to a skirt or dress of a balloon silhouette. Until these things have flooded the mass market, you can look for something authentic in vintage stores and not be modest in terms of styling: tights with a metallic sheen and large catchy jewelry will help to recreate the image of the liberated 1980s, which are now cited literally. Remembering the elegant laconicism of the 1950s, you can choose an elongated balloon skirt of a small volume, made of elegant fabric - taffeta or satin - wearing it with a thin turtleneck and pointed ballet shoes.

And if you want to bring this silhouette as close as possible to everyday life, just change your shoes for massive boots (inspiration - in the Louis Vuitton cruise collection) or universal sneakers. Closer to spring, it will be possible to wear a balloon in the style of the Maje lookbook - with flat-soled shoes and a bulky denim jacket - in such a set, the skirt will not lose a degree of modernity; or, inspired by the aesthetics of one of the Miu Miu collections, rhyme a voluminous cropped skirt with romantic blouses and large bow-shaped hairpins. Well, in preparation for summer vacation - be inspired by the idea of ​​a cheerful Jacquemus: an ultra-short skirt, bustier top and sandals.

PHOTOS: Getty Images, Maje, Patou

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