Earlier this month, Leelee Sobieski stole my breath with this long sleeve Dior ensemble. I am not sure if it is a coat that Leelee turned into a dress or if it was intended for this use, but I am awestruck. It is so rare to see reasonable drama in an outfit. When I think of dramatic clothing, I see 1950's Gloria Swanson gracing the screen of Sunset Boulevard or today's Lady Gaga glamming about in a hullabaloo of what have you. Neither of these images can transfer directly into our busy lifestyles. Drama doesn't seem to have a place in our everyday wardrobe, yet when I saw Leelee in this frock with a metallic belt, I immediately think of drama. This could easily be worn in the cold weather for an evening out or to a cocktail party, particularly a holiday themed festivity.
The details giving this bold red dress access to our normal world, is the neutral heel, lack of jewelry, tamed back hair and the modern belt. The edgy belt keeps the silhouette from looking overly retro, while the subtle trimmings grounds the look. The dress is the star. Adding big hair or jewelry will make you feel extremely overdressed and encourage negative feedback and stares. Obviously, in this stunner of an outfit, you will get looks, but the difference between stares of judgment and ganders of appreciation is the toned down accessories.
As for body type, this dress as is goes best with tall women, but for the not so tall, hemming the dress to above the knee will lengthen and flatter a petite woman. Beyond that, the sleeves are great for covering arm insecurities, the vee of the neck works for busty-ish women or shorter necks, while the full skirt is great for narrow hips or subtle apple bodies. Those who should stay away are the really short waisted - the wide belt takes away the little bit of waist that you have, and plus size women. The heavy fabric of the dress will add weight.