Fashions speak and media say ‘2017 is the year of the statement sleeve dress’. Well in my book dresses with sleeves have always been a wardrobe staple regardless of the fashion trend or season.
Fashion history has always had some form of dress or dress coat for that matter with elaborate sleeves, if we look to the Orient the Kimono sleeve its drama and embroidered detail warrants attention.
There’s something romantic about a sleeve made in lace for example, it’s ephemeral grace as the lace weaves around your arm, with slight hints of what lies beneath. Or the way a slim fitting sleeve can lengthen your arms, creating a slender look, then there’s the look of a Bishops sleeve which plays homage to an equestrian look of bold and dashing.
Long sleeves on dresses provide an alluring quality, and are a great cover up if you don’t like to show off your upper arms. Three-quarter length sleeves provide and opportunity to show off bracelets and a fine watch. Short sleeves are also wonderful in evening wear, and they vary from having a flared sleeve to a petal shaped sleeve of the 40’s as seen on vintage dresses.
There’s a whimsical feel to a sleeve with volume and flare, a throwback to the 60’s bohemian, peace and love, did you notice how everyone seemed much happier in their floral outfits? The sleeves for that era, crazy patterned flared pleated sleeves, bell sleeves elasticised at the wrists, lots of fringing and tassels, it was all so groovy.
Sleeves can and do make a statement, long sleeves in particular, more distance for the eye to travel. I think of sleeves on dresses, the same way a peacock struts his plumage, you’re looking so fine, you have to take another look!
(Happiness a ready-to-wear dress, can be found on my website in the collection called Glamour, only one made).