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Winter Ballroom Couture

By Julie Michelle Wilson – Creative Director with Emma Francois and Callie Maginnis
Staff Author
Illustrations by Callie Maginnis
Hairpins to Hemlines

Writer’s Note: 

From snowy shimmer to moony metallics and cinematic capes, this season’s fashion trends are peppy, sparkly, and romantic—approved by the likes of Taylor Swift and Emma Stone.  Enjoy!  




For Dior’s winter couture collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri—the first female creative director of the legendary design house—looked to the antiquity for inspiration. The result? A collection of over sixty monumental looks, with classical aesthetics of beauty, minimalism, and femininity. A mostly neutral, and specifically snowy white, color palette highlighted the artisanal tailoring, allowing the wearers and designs to shine through. A perfect sentiment for a trend translated for the ballroom.


Off the runways, the crystal clear trend can be seen on the likes of Beyoncé—whose barely-there Prada number matched her cloud-white hoops and heels—and actress Jenny Ortega, whose chiffon white mini suit-dress by Adeam featured Edwardian corset-inspired detailing. And for the dance floor, look for sleek silhouettes in your favorite shade of frosting or cream, pairing with an elegant updo and soft accessories so the world can focus on your moves.  

The Great Cape


This season’s runways were filled with gorgeous, intricate, unexpected necklines. But it’s the cape silhouette that stole the show, making for wondrously dramatic dance dresses, we might add. No one proved this sartorial point quite like Elie Saab, whose couture capsule was bookended by two petal pink gown-and-cape combinations; the first, a medievalesque embroidered tapestry of a slip and the second, a stunning, structural, svelte wash of sateen.


Proving this trend’s versatility, Carrie Mulligan donned a professional, fashionable and Parisian-cool all-black Ferragamo suit, made even more impactful thanks to the coordinated cape cut. And opting for a slightly more shawl-style take on the trend, Emma Stone positively shined in a starry blue Louis Vuitton slip with a sumptuous periwinkle accent draping her arms.


For your dance dresses, the options are plentiful, from trick-of-the-eye necklines with built-in décor along the decolletage mimicking the cascade of a would-be-cape, to dance dresses swathed with rich fabrics framing the figure almost like a bolero. Whether you want to trend more princess or prairie, these options are stylish and timeless.

Lunar Eclipse:


And fittingly, we end with a twinkling night sky trend, that of moon-dust color ways with cosmic, starry sparkles. In terms of designers, Rahul Mishra modeled this trend with particular shimmer in his autumn/winter collection. Intricately detailed gowns glowed thanks to hand-detailed bedazzling in diamond and pearl hues. His designs mirrored the shapes and sights of birds of paradise, gift bows, disco balls, or sexy spacesuits.


Taking this trend for a whirl, stars from Nicki Minaj to Sydney Sweeney were seen in shimmering, galaxy-worthy glitter numbers repping designers Dolce & Gabbana and Miu Miu respectively. And Taylor Swift, in a glam, figurative take on the lunar eclipse trend, sported a black Clio Peppiatt mini with extreme sparkles and a sequined moon to boot.


If you’re feeling inspired, look for dance dresses in metallic bursts and moony color palettes in any style from smooth and standard to rhythm and Latin.

Do you have a knack for fashion?  Why don’t you share your views with the readers of American Dancer?  There is so much for us all to learn.  Send your ideas, stories, and commentary to:

Julie Michelle Wilson:

Julie Michelle Wilson is the owner of Encore Ballroom Couture, the leading consignment and rental dress company in the ballroom dance industry. She has been a professional dancer for almost 20 years.  She enjoys creative expression on and off the dance floor! 

Callie Maginnis:

Callie Maginnis is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a double major in Fashion Design and English. She is the dress manager at Encore Ballroom Couture and loves the sparkle and shine of the ballroom dance industry!

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