Thursday, October 20, 2011

The "Miracle Dress": Yea or Nay?

I spotted this dress in the New York Post a while back, and made a mental note to write about it. The article featured a form-fitting dress by Stella McCartney that has slim panels at the sides in a much darker color than the main fashion fabric. The effect is an optical illusion that gives the wearer a pronounced hourglass shape at first glance. The press has dubbed it the "Miracle Dress" since it supposedly takes off 2 dress sizes. (It also has some strange bust shading and shaping that makes one's breasts seem to be looming in the foreground.) The $1600 dress has been worn by several celebrities and is sold out in stores.

On one hand, the whole thing is rather ridiculous. There are no "miracles" being performed here--just illusions. Also, Kate Winslet's figure doesn't really need any help. It's a little disturbing how the dress is engineered to give the impression of the ideal female form, in a sort of extreme way. If you look at it too long, it becomes flat and overly stylized, like Kate Winslet is sticking her head through one of those boardwalk murals with the face holes. (What's the correct term for those things anyway?)

But on the other hand, I enjoy how the dress highlights the way color and seaming can work together to create a certain effect. The whole thing reminds me of the Lanvin Castillo dress that I saw at the Golden Age of Couture exhibit, which our guide pointed out as having a trompe l'oeil ("trick of the eye") effect from the beading. From across the room, one might be scandalized by how low-cut the dress is, only to discover that the neckline is actually fairly modest upon closer inspection.

The Miracle Dress effect would actually be quite easy to replicate, and there are several color-blocked patterns on the market now, including Butterick 5554:

One could make the panels curvier and voila! A Miracle Dress. But the question is: should one?

It's also easy to see this kind of paneling fitting into a retro look. The two-tone thing in light and dark was popular in the 40s, as seen in this repro dress:

{source}
What do you think of the Miracle Dress? Sublime or silly?

116 comments:

  1. The cut of the neckline and the impression of a wasp waist makes her look like she's built like an Olympic swimmer which might not have been the intention. A bit too Jessica Rabbit as well.

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  2. Yea!

    I drafted and made my own copycat version of this dress which you can take a look at here: http://charityshopchic.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/stella-mccartney-tribute/

    Let's just say it cost a lot less than $1600 ;-)

    Personally I think the optical illusion works - it's so simple but it does make me look slimmer. I think it's a neat concept and although I wouldn't necessarily wear this every day, it's a fun effect for an evening out and definitely makes people look twice, which is the intended effect!

    --Sally

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  3. I think it looks silly, especially when you compare Gloria Estafan in the same dress
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2035370/Gloria-Estefan-wears-Kate-Winslets-optical-illusion-dress-doesnt-quite-effect-.html
    the effect isn't 'quite' the same which shows that Kate looks great because she has a great figure and not because of the dress. It also strikes me that from the wrong angle it would just look so weird and obvious that the panels are there to shade and distract the eye, straight on looks of but what about from the side?! Not a great idea....

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  4. I'm "nay" on the miracle dress solely for the fact that I think the colour choices are poor and do not complement the wearer at all! The big white bib is also ten shades of hideous and unflattering. If for some reason I had $1600 to spend on a dress, I would not spend it on this.

    That said, I'm not completely opposed to these types of "visually slimming" panels since I think it's just an extension of the many ways in which different structures in garments can be used to draw emphasis to or away from certain parts of your body to make it look like it adheres more closely to the western beauty standard. I think that's a larger issue taken on the whole, but I don't think that this particular technique is necessarily any worse than other techniques.

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  5. I think the optical illusion is very clever but I do think it produces a fairly 'aggressive' take on the female shape. Kate looks as though she wants to take someone out! 'You looking at me?!'

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  6. Theres a BurdaStyle dress from this summer that I think might have the same effect. I'm yet to make it up to check this out (its still spring here in Australia)

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  7. I am absolutely not a fan. There are so many much cleverer ways to do what this dress claims to do! It just looks a bit weird if I'm honest, but then I'm not a fan of 'fashion' or dresses that cost $1600!!

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  8. It looks scary! Like star treks "Seven of nine"

    Naaay.


    I prefer the galaxy knockoff dress that suits every woman the way shr is!

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  9. the boob thing is rather jolting. (not in a good way)

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  10. Hi Gertie,
    I am very on the fence about this particular dress. This look is not intended for everyone. I think a personal body silhouette helps. It has a unique design structure that shows a great example of seaming. The illusion is great, but is severely not a miracle. Kate has the perfect body silhouette for the dress as would many other natural hourglass figures. I could not see this working as well for other body types and presenting that wow factor.
    Bran

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  11. I personally don't like it! Like somewhere already mentioned it screams swimwear. But I do agree that shapes, embelishments and colors can be incorporated in design to make the body look a diferent way and I think that's fantastic.

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  12. Overall, I don't find the idea too disturbing. It has an experimental quality that appeals to me. Maybe it's a novelty, maybe we'll see it at H&M? I thought the side panels were really nicely done, but the bust shading does look like a vector illustration pasted on. Although, the weird bust shading creates a weird 2-D aspect to it, as you pointed out, perhaps it could be put to better use in a different way... I just haven't come up with that way yet. :D

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  13. So, on first glance in my blogroll, I actually thought that photo was a picture of a video game character. The shapes on the dress, especially the bust, are just so odd, like a teenage boy's idea of a woman's body. I don't have a problem with using fabric to emphasize or de-emphasize a part of your body (that's what we do every time we get dressed, regardless of how we do it), and I really love the other dress you showed, I'm just not a fan of that particular dress.

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  14. Whether an optical illusion or not, you definitely have to have a great hourglass figure and a toned body (like Kate Winslet) to rock this dress! I don't think anyone with weight issues would look in such a fitted dress.

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  15. I like the cartoonish effect. Would love to see it worn with a bright wig and cartoon character make up!

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  16. I'm all for slimming tricks in clothes! But I don't care for the way that particular dress makes her shoulders look like a linebacker. How different is it from the tiny waists of the 50s or the waspie corsets of the 19th century? Though I agree Kate Winslet needs little help to look beautiful and glamerous.

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  17. I actually like the color blocking on the sides of the dress... it is a pretty good optical illusion for the first few seconds. However, as you say, after a few seconds staring at it, it looks like Kate Winslet is one of those paper dolls with the flat dress just added on top of her in 2D. Pretty funny in a way. Oh, and I really really DON'T like the bust shading...I don't find that very classy at all.

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  18. eeew, such a strange boob line! It reminds me of a female soldier game creature or these plastic party boobs. Fail!

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  19. I think playing with colorblocking and seaming in order to create illusions about your shape is completely fine. The only problem would be if you only wore particular styles because you were afraid of how your body would look without them. That said, the "miracle dress" looks like shapewear worn as outerwear - never acceptable in my opinion! She also doesn't look comfortable at all.

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  20. Nah. It's a little too obvious for my taste. While clothes should flatter the figure, and a bit if illusion is a great thing, I really don't think that making you look slimmer should be the main focus of any dress design, that seems unimaginative and a little sad to me. It's a dull dress, too.

    I am in awe of her foundation garments, though! That is one smooth form to hang a dress on.

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  21. I think that the most interesting thing about this dress is its extreme exaggeration and flattening of the idealized (hyper-idealized?) feminine form. Reading the dress as an art piece, I would conclude that it denaturalizes "feminine beauty"--revealing how constructed, weird, and impossible that idealized shape is--and thus offers a feminist visual critique of beauty culture. Of course, all this critical potential becomes irrelevant in a culture that chooses to hail the dress as a "miracle," insisting on the desirability of this body shape regardless of its impossibility!

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  22. It's like the unholy offspring of a little black dress and a sports bra. Major "nay".

    It really only works because Kate Winslet is built like an Amazon in the first place (I say that as a compliment). The boob thing is just weird. I guess it might work from a distance, but up close, it's just . . . really weird.

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  23. I think this is just an extreme version of what clothing often strives to do; i.e. change the silhouette to something more 'acceptable' at that time.

    I personally don't like the 'boob' section mainly because I'm often trying to 'minimise' that section in my own wardrobe, but it is an interesting concept.

    I've been looking for a similar patern recently but mainly to show-case both sides of a double woven fabric but shape flattery will dictate my choice as it always does.

    That said, Charityshopchic's version has totally won me over and I'm looking for oversized men's t-shirts as I type...

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  24. The Lanvin Castillo dress is stunning. The Stella McCartney not so much; the result is too cartoony for my liking (as somone else said, too Jessica Rabbit...). Also Kate Winslet pulls it off, but I've seen it on at least one other celeb where it looked terrible, accentuating her curves in all the wrong places. I think it only looks 'miraculous' if you've got a fantastic figure to start with...

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  25. The miracle dress pictured is not my favorite. There are versions I love where the corset piece is paired with a sheer (one with black dots) that make much better use of illusion, not just for the slimming, but for the cool extreme risqueness of the bodice. This white and cream "watch my boobs follow you around the room" effect has kind of a drag queen side effect.

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  26. I do not care for it one bit. Sure, it makes your waist look slimmer, but it is suuuuuper boring! Those are hospital floor-tile colors. I'm all for color blocking, but it does nothing for me in this instance.

    Also, I feel like Ms. Winslet is standing soldier-straight for a good reason. The cut and fabric both look rather unforgiving. I bet if the wearer slouched or her body any hint of softness, the dress would cling tightly and create bumps where none really exist.

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  27. Oh, this is hideous. I don't mind using different sewing and design techniques to make a body look more feminine (doesn't everyone do this by choosing favorable patterns?) - but this dress is just plain ugly. It wouldn't even look nice if it was a bathing suit (which it reminds me of). The colors (or non-colors) look like grammies extra-strong tights.

    Well, if anyone wants to look like a cartoon figure, fine, this dress might actually be fun for this.

    I guess that's a "nay" ;)

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  28. I can't decide. At first glance, I was impressed, but like you mentioned, the longer I looked the more strange and contrived it appeared. I do like the idea of color blocking to flatter your figure, though.

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  29. It's a stunt dress. Only a woman with an extraordinary figure could wear that, just to show she could.

    It's ugly, which is fortunate, because it does not look easy to copy.

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  30. It's just not attractive; nope not flattering at all. I'm all for dressing to make the best of what you've got, but I don't think this does it at all.

    The optical illusion IS fascinating, though.

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  31. My biggest problem with the dress isn't the side panels, it's the bust treatment. The whole thing looks like someone painted over the photo. It's rather anime looking, IMO.

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  32. Also, there's a similar effect going on here: http://www.thesartorialist.com/photos/on-the-street-mashup/
    but I think it works better.

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  33. Though I am all for slimming effects in clothing, I find this dress an overly exaggerated example of what can be done. I find that my eye keeps being drawn to the dress and I am struggling to even see Kate's beautiful face. Maybe it's the camera angle, or the way she is posing but she looks absolutely stiff and uncomfortable- as if the dress is wearing her. Perhaps I would like it more if the bodice were different? It just seems too structured and perhaps futuristic, which just isn't my thing. Now as for that vintage suit that you posted, that color blocking is fabulous!

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  34. Meh. I think some things should be left to the imagination. I love the 40's color-blocked suit! Reminds me of "The Notebook" movie.

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  35. First, Kate can wear just about anything and look lovely. Second, I think most men would really like this dress if questioned when their ladies were not within ear shot. That said, some elements of this type of construction are very flattering and some color blocking has its place. I am slow to warm up to the trend, however, having lived this fashion feature in the nineties. Oh well, I am frequently late to the party!

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  36. Huh....I suppose it is cheaper than plastic surgery!!! It does work, but it also makes the body look very stiff and statue like. In fact, Kate Winslet looks fake- like she is in a "wax museum". I am all for looking slimmer- But I am not sure... Maybe in a different color so it is not so obvious- Why don't we all just wear our SPANX on the outside of our outfits!!!

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  37. I think the illusion effect is interesting. Just not the bust illusion. And not on Kate Winslets body. She looks downright scary. I also prefer this one http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTa6BNBgqRGGDakCEQZqQvomD7oyTaPqcUoEj7aPJeyBbK1lLmRcA more. I think it's a bit to late to worry if we should use cut and colour blocking to look "better" everyone does already. Just think about the all-popular princess seams or peplums (the skirty part on blouses) or "dressing for your body shape". I also think it's something people have done for as ong as clothes exist.

    To sum it up: YEA for optical illusions (that bead example is lovely!)
    NAY for that example

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  38. I think it's kind of freaky. More subtle shading would have been flattering and less robot looking.

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  39. Ugly! I'm all for clothes that fit and flatter, but this is like a punch in the face. Too obvious and not attractive.

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  40. A definite no from me. It makes her look very strangely shaped indeed, particularly in the boob area. Very unflattering. dishn

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  41. I like the black waist nipping action, but the boobs look terrible in my opinion. Also, this would do nothing to help camouflage my left over baby belly lol

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  42. Color blocking can be effective and stylish in itself. But this dress... oh my. The under-the-chest shading is, frankly, ugly.

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  43. I think it's okay - if I put it on and it performed a similar 'miracle' on me, i'd be pretty pleased :) What I found jarring was the racerfront. I think that the Butterick color block will become dated really fast.

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  44. Those things you put your face through are called Comic Foregrounds!

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  45. I loathe it to be honest but I'm not a big Stella McCartney fan. I think it makes Kate Winslet, a stunning woman with a stunning figure, look bizarre which surely isn't a good thing?

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  46. I think the dress is a little silly, particularly since Kate's curves are much prettier than the weird robot-figure illusion the dress creates. But I do really like the Lanvin Castillo neckline. It's sort of like an old novel, where sensuality is hinted at but never revealed.

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  47. At first glance the dress looks like a cartoon with her head sticking out of it. It probably looks more lifelike in person, but this photo is just weird in its flatness.

    I don’t have that much of an issue with the “idealization” of the figure, I mean, please tell me we are all intelligent women and have recovered from any Barbie-induced confusion about the reality of the female body. No one should be getting low self-esteem from this photo.

    What I do have an issue with is the unnecessary ugliness and lack of imagination of the garment. I think it's a worthy experiment, and the results show the extreme potential in optical illusion fashion design. But instead of stopping with something that looks like a neck-to-knee girdle, the concept should have been taken a step further and turned into something lovely with pleasing colors or patterns. I have a lovely OdlR pattern, V1678, where the waist insets are shaped like a bow or a bracket, and the neckline is in the same shape. It’s shapely and elegant without being obvious.

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  48. While the "illusion" here is effective at a glance, I do not really want to wear this dress. It looks like something from the 90's, and not the good 90's. (Was there a good 90's, anyway?)

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. I haven't read all the comments, but that dress reminds me of those old-tyme carnival photos where you stick your head through a hole in a wooden board painted with the body of Cleopatra or Hercules or whoever. Hideous.

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  51. I like the side colorblocking. It's definitely slimming and curve creating. And lets face it, just about all of us who sew think about how to create illusions that flatter our figures (the style and cut of a dress, the hemline length, fabric type)...just not as overtly or aggressively as this dress.

    But I think the bust is going too far - verging on vulgar for me. I don't really find it flattering. I agreed with Tom & Lorenzo's assessment of it: http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2011/09/deauville-americanvenice-film-festival-red-carpet-rundown.html

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  52. Ooh god that's horrible! The more I look at this photo the more it looks like it's been digitally altered. The shape of the shoulders is so unflattering and the colour does scream control knickers to me lol. While it's very succesful in it's aim of giving the illusion of an hourglass figure, I think there are much more flattering ways to achieve the look and have a nicer dress to boot. As others have pointed out, it's a dress that only really works if you have the shapely figure that Kate has in the first place. Kind of defeats the object to me.

    Also, from the side-view that someone linked to, the bust seam makes her boobs look wonky! A good idea in theory and as an experiment in how colour blocking can be made to work in a girl's favour, but to my eyes just doesn't work in person.

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  53. I LOVE the side panels (for shaping)! Really a super idea!

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  54. I think she is a lovely woman and fine actor, but this dress
    makes her into a cartoon. I like the cut in shoulder, but the bust treatment is extreme, and the "hourglass" is silly. I enjoy color blocking, but this one is a major miss in my book.

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  55. I agree with those who say that it creates an interesting silhouette, though I also think that the proportions are a bit cartoony looking.

    It's true that it takes someone whose body is fairly toned already to make it look good. Louise's link to the Gloria Estefan picture proves the point, though it's hardly fair to compare Kate Winslet and Gloria Estefan. Estefan has almost 20 years on Winslet and is at least 6 inches shorter.

    More interesting is the fact that Winslet chose to wear a dress that is designed to create a certain shape, when she has been very adamant about women accepting their bodies as-is.

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  56. The thing that sticks in my head from the article is the comment by June Ambrose 'It keeps your meat neat'. Really? REALLY? Keeps your meat neat? Ye gods.

    On the other hand as someone with very little in the way of waist curve I like the idea of playing with the side shapes/contrast in a more subtle way. This is too in yer face though.

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  57. I agree - looks far too cartoon character-like and slightly disturbing. A dress to give you mad Barbie proportions.

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  58. I like the basic concept -- using color blocking to create figure illusions -- and I like the sleek modernness of this particular dress, but I *hate* the bust shading, and the attention the dress has gotten seems a bit silly to me. It also seems like modern fashion goes to great lengths to approximate but not replicate what women knew for centuries: corsets and girdles are the only way to get that "ideal" figure. A gym membership and a pair of spanx will just never live up to the waist-shaping of a corset, or the inherent sexiness you get from *not* feeling guilty about skipping the stairmaster this morning.

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  59. This dress is kind of fun in an exaggerated cartoony way, though as others have noted, the effect doesn't work from all angles. How different is it from contouring the planes of the face (or the decolletage) with makeup? Or padded bras or girdles or bustles?

    Though I have to say, my very first thought when I saw this was: It's just manscaping for girls.

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  60. All thumbs WAY down on that dress, just because of the exaggerated lines. And the color. And the tightness. Even modified, as in some of the patterns, I'm not a fan of the lines, but that dress, imho, looks ridiculous on KW (even thought I AM a fan of her work) ;)

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  61. At first glance I thought she was a Second Life character, she looks very cartoonish to me.

    It's sort of neat but sort of weird. I don't know

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  62. Honestly at first glance I thought that someone had photoshopped Kate to have Barbie like proportions. The black side panels are clever, but probably only from precise viewing angles, the boobs are just freaky looking.

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  63. As others have said: side panels, yay! Strange bodice (both the breast area and the strange racerback type top) boo!

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  64. From a techical point of view it really is interesting, but like you, I think Kate looks just a bit odd after a while. Possibly something to file under 'just because you can doesn't mean you should' ;o)

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  65. She looks like a Second Life avatar. I think this dress crosses the line from being clever at brining out your assets and hiding your not-assets, to being overly manipulative. But worst of all, I think it objectifies the wearer. It is about body. I didn't even NOTICE it was Kate Winslet wearing it until I read what you said. IT was just a femle form. Almost like one of those comedy barbeque aprons with a cartoon woman's body on it, all curves and frilly undies. *shudder*

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  66. I think the dress itself is vile, and I don't like the exaggerated hourglass figure at all - it looks so wrong that she almost looks like an alien pretending to be human! It is a clever effect, but I just don't think it should be worn. Something a little more subtle might be better I think. So, NAY.
    Tabatha.

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  67. That's Kate Winslet? Geez, between that photo and one I saw of her in a Lancome ad I hardly recognize her anymore!

    This is the first time I've ever seen this Miracle Dress and it definitely looks stranger the more you see it. I agree with the first commenter, her shoulders look really wide compared to the illusion waist and doesn't look very flattering. But it is interesting how you can mix and match colors and play with seams to create such an illusion!

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  68. Oh... Jessica Rabbit is right. I'm okay with the side panels, but the breasts look strange and the optical illusion was a bit unsettling. I wasn't sure what was going on, but it wasn't tricking my eyes 100% so it just seemed weird.

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  69. Perfectly dreadful. That is all.

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  70. I like the vintage examples you showed. The Stella McCartney dress, not so much. She looks like a Barbie doll, in that "this is how scary her proportions would be if she was a real woman" way.

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  71. I saw Gok from the British "How to Look Good Naked" put a skirt with a white front/back and black side panels on a not very thin woman a couple of years ago. She looked great, and the skirt didn't look silly. The side panels looked about 6" across, total. When Kwok chose it, I thought it would look just awful, but it worked and looked OK front the side, too. A skintight dress is another thing.

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  72. It appears I'm in agreement with most of the posts here. I'm all for using color, seaming, whatever to enhance what one does or doesn't have, but this bustline is crazy. Does any woman who is mentally healthy & secure in who she is really want to wear something that draws the eye so obviously away from her face? It makes me think of a line in a book I read as a teen where the young lady was meaning to be unkind when describing someone entering a room as "here's my chest, the rest of me is coming along". This dress MAKES you just stare at the chest and forget the person there. Bleck. (Hate the colors, too.)

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  73. When I apply make-up it's to enhance the features I like, and downplay the features I'm not so in love with. I dress the same way. I'm not about to wear a cropped top when I have a tiny tummy from three kids. The dress is very unflattering on her. I don't think it would be very flattering on too many women.

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  74. Nay

    Not flattering for any woman who has a remotely large bust, gives the impression of a speed-bump chest.

    I prefer a dress that is shaped in such a manner to flatter or enhance what the wearer wants to enhance and take attention away from areas they don't want noticed so much. So.... I don't think there is one miracle dress for all :)

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  75. I actually like it, but wouldn't wear it myself. Have you seen CharityShopChic's DIY version made from t-shirt jersey fabric here >

    http://charityshopchic.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/stella-mccartney-tribute/#more-512

    Quite clever I think

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  76. Ops I should have read the comments above as I noticed Sally of CharityShopChic already commented..

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  77. I thought there had been some serious Photoshopping in that photo.

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  78. I'm saying nay, but most of all because of the incredible ugly arm openings! I think those make the dress look very disfiguring, but for the illusion part I'm ye'nay... It's OK, but I'd rather go for natural figure no matter what figure.

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  79. Gertie, you might be interested in this woman's re-fashion of used tee-shirts into a pretty credible knock-off version of the "miracle dress"

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  80. Oops, I forgot to post the url for the tee-shirt/re-fashion of the Stella McCartney dress. It is
    http://refashionco-op.blogspot.com/2011/09/stella-mccartney-tribute.html

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  81. It looks awful, but not because of the optical illusion part, which could have been flattering. (Actually, I like the optical illusion part. The side panels and the darker lower bodice are both kind of cute.) Both It's the wife-beater neckline that kills this dress. Not only does it contrast in a fairly unsuccessful way with the otherwise feminine shape of the dress itself, it gives underarm fat pockets even to someone as toned and gorgeous as Kate Winslet.

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  82. Wow, this really struck an nerve! I'd like to vote "sitting on the fence". While I am intrigued by the concept, I don't think it is going to do much for someone who is built like I am (55 years old, 90 pounds overweight and so out of shape it isn't funny). I just don't think it will have the same effect. While on Kate Winslet who clearly doesn't need any enhancement, it makes her look a little over processed, like she's wearing armor clad Spanx. Those things aside, I like the simple silhouette and the clean lines of the dress.

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  83. I used to own a pair of Liz Jeans that were similar in design to the miracle dress. Instead of shading, Liz designers moved the side seam foward, by about 2-3 inches. The effect was wonderful. When I looked in the morror I looked slimmer! BUT...I've been told it didn't do a thing for my back view!
    LaDeeDa

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  84. The side optical illusion I think works - but her boobs and what the dress does to them are just crazy! Someone above mentioned "Olympic swimmer" - I think this dress makes her breasts look like floatation devices!!

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  85. Fashion illusions are no new thing. Stella's version is just extreme and plays into a whole new level of shock effect. Would be interested in hearing a male take on this dress :)

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  86. I think it looks awful, kind of like a joke dress.
    Actually, after the first double-take you give it, it has the opposite effect: instead of the desired slimming effect, when you realize what is in the shaded area, it begins to look like there is surplus -even if there is not.

    I think Kate Winslet is beautiful and thought people were crazy when they called her "doughy" back in Titanic. Penelope Cruz' version looked better because it was far less contrast: http://www.fashionhippo.com/kate-winslet-reduces-her-waist-in-stella-mccarney-miracle-dress/

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  87. Not so sure on the boob part, but I have no problem with the rest of the faux silhouette look. It is a take on a retro style. She isn't doing anything new, just pulling from inspiration for some new window dressing. But still, not so sure on the boob part.

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  88. You still have to have a figure in order for it to be a miracle :)

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  89. The illusion the shading creates is really awesome. However, the shading also makes the dress look "cartoonish" to me.

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  90. I hate this dress. It makes the wearer (in this case the incredibly lovely Kate Winslet) look like a cartoon character--a highly idealized male chauvenist version of "woman". Slap a cape on her and give her super powers and she'd look just like any other super heroine in comic books. In the (slightly altered words) of Jessica Rabbit, she's not bad, she's just drawn that way.

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  91. Hm, I like it when the side panels don't look invisible because I agree with your assessment that it looks kind of cartoonish. Then I think it just brings attention to curves that are already there. I usually chafe against "illusion" garments that go to great lengths to make my body look different, because it seems like a bit of deception.

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  92. I don't really have a problem with it in concept but that photo is so WEIRD! I had to look at it several times before I believed that it was a photograph and not some sort of video game illustration.

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  93. Does not appeal to me because I don't think it looks feminine.

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  94. I really think the idea is rather cool, not sure I like how it was presented.

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  95. I use tromp l'oeil all the time for my clients and it works time and again - although not to this extent. Mostly cause I'm an artist, I see clearly how some techniques (not really tricks) work very effectively and can slim down a figure remarkable without appearing strange. And I encourage it with my students as well.


    Bravo to Stella McCartney for not only using it, but also for favoring a more womanly figure that some might reject as being thick or too full.

    I say vivre la différence!!!

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  96. Personnally it's a no, makes her look a bit too much like Jessicca Rabbit! She's lovely without something that extreme. X

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  97. I think you're dead on re: the first photo being very boardwalk cutout extreme. What is going on with the boob shelf! But I do like subtle tricks of the eye. A few months ago I picked up one of the new color blocked patterns on a whim, but have yet to sew it because I don't want it to look so obviously "she's trying to look slimmer"...waiting on the perfect mix of fabrics.

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  98. The way the "miracle dress" looks in cut and fabric, I bet it feels really cool to wear. I love dresses that are snug but thick and supportive and sleek. They feel so good! But the bust shading kinda freaks me out.

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  99. I think in the beginning it makes the wearer look amazing. And then after a few moments it makes you think "I can tell that she looks amazing because the dress is made to make someone look amazing" which then generally detracts from the person, and places more attention on the dress. Yes you wear the dress to look amazing, but it should also show through some of your personality. Which would then make a person think that the wearer was probably a little bit self conscious, and again the effect of a beautiful dress is lost.

    If I'm not overthinking it, and this comment makes sense...

    And +1 on the "looks like an Olympic swimmer

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  100. I'm late to the party, as usual, and I'll admit that I haven't read all the comments...but my first impression is that this dress reminds me of those "sexy gal" kitchen aprons that have a bikini body airbrushed on the front. I guess that's a nay.

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  101. I think the boob effect is a bit grotesque, actually. And the fact that it's being marketed as a "miracle" as in one should aim to look like this is a bit disturbing. Like photoshop isn't enough, we now have to use visual tricks in real life, as well.

    I'd like to see someone playing with this, not trying to rock it as a real dress, but actually making a statement.

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  102. Color-blocking taken too far... looks like she's been Photo-shopped into something very bizarre.

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  103. That freaked me out on first viewing, like "What has lovely Kate done to herself"! Interesting concept, a bit too freak rather than chic in reality

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  104. I invented this sort of thing (the dark side panels and light centre panel) years ago and it didn't look like a cartoon style even though I had only drawn in felt-tip pens.

    Don't you just hate it when someone else gets the same idea as you and it takes off?

    Never mind. I have another way of giving the illusion of an hourglass figure using a safety pin (can you guess what it is?).

    The shading thing is clever (I didn't think of that), but it could have been done better. Plus, the armholes look kind of weird.

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  105. Its pretty unsubtle and gimicky, and I can only think that once the splitsecond illusion gets your attention, the close inspection that follows will undo it!

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  106. Oh my gosh, I just did the comparison with Kate and Gloria, and talk about Mutton dressed up as Lamb. No offense intended for Ms Estafan but come on love, look in the mirror before you go out. It looks great on Kate because she still has a youthful body. @charityshopchic, awesome work... anyway, thanks for the chuckle, back to my real life now....

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  107. I think in England they call them "mug boards." The painted board where you poke your head through a hole for a photo. Not the weird dress.

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  108. Nay. It looks strange! Especially the illusion on the breasts - like a cartoon. On the other hand, I loved your example of the plunging neckline illusion. The basic idea could be put to better use and is an interesting tool for a pattern maker / seamstress.

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  109. Barbie comes to mind, and then why?

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  111. lots of talk on this one, I enjoyed it. I like the idea of the slimming illusion but I actually like the Stop Staring retro suit better. Sorry Stella...

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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