Dress Watch: Chanelling The Victorian Nightgown

Miu Miu nightgown dress SS 2016

It’s been suggested that Raf Simons had inadvertently launch a minor trend: the day Victorian nightdress, specifically those shown at Dior’s spring/summer 2015 collection. These were not, contrary to its popular description, frumpy bedroom clothes; these were sensational and ‘pure’ enough that the Bennet sisters would have worn them, even in the earlier Regency Period, to the suitors-awaiting Netherfield Ball.

It is, however, not clear how well these Dior dresses fared since no figures were released. More significantly, they weren’t considered the epitome of modernity or sexiness in a time when so much fabric for a single outfit is contrary to the less-is-more preference of women with ample not to conceal. Still, the trend prevails for yet another spring/summer season and we’re quite happy that it has. One of these outdoor-ready night gowns that we find positively charming is the above by Miu Miu.

Prada’s sister line (not diffusion, we should add) has always approached fashion as wackily as their fan base allows. No period, no occasion, or the suitability to either is off limits. It is not surprising then that some form of a nightdress should appear since Miu Miu is no stranger to house clothes as out-and-about attire.

The lace-trimmed ruffles caught our eye. While they may be associated with spinsterhood-bound women, the ruffles, in a V-formation that seems to underscore the high neck, are, in fact, off-beat romantic in a way that Chloe Sevigny would appreciate. And there’s the print: drawing of lit candles that clearly had been burning for hours, adding to the whole night clothes spiel. Rather Florence Nightingale, we thought. Or, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Things get a little tricky in the silhouette of this viscose dress, which the cheery salesgirl in the Miu Miu boutique was keen to point out, is based on the “boyfriend cut”. We assumed she meant “boyfriend shirt” but we’ll take her word for it. There’s nothing wrong with the roominess. It’s rather refreshing given the excess of body-con dresses on social media. However, for most women, used to emphasising the waist, presented with a tented (read: maternity) dress such as this may be like putting a cart before the horse.

Miu Miu ruffled maxi-dress, SGD5,900, is available at Miu Miu, Ion Orchard. Photos: left, style.com; right, Galerie Gombak

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