Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Maryl believes: In Stella McCartney’s Miracle Dress

Kate Winslet, 2011Venice Film Festival 

Would you believe there is a dress that takes you down two sizes, adds curves and firms up your tummy? No Spanx or Wonder Bra required; the magical fibers are already woven into the fabric itself. If there was such a dress, would you buy it? Well, there is and you can’t…at least for the moment. The dress is from Stella McCartney’s 2011 Winter Collection and is called the Octavia quickly renamed the Miracle Dress because of its magical powers. The unique stretch material and the panels of color that create an optical illusion are the “secret sauce.” It sold out immediately everywhere and at $1600 a pop a lot of us may not have been in line to begin with.

Dorothy Perkins                 DKNY, $345                         ASOS         

But the fashion industry is known for its knock offs and there’s a range to choose from with this design. Starting with Forever21, H&M and BeBe, each has their own take on the dress and at prices ranging from $23 to $69 to$125. DKNY has the color block idea down but not the svelte silhouette. There are a number of internet sites, mostly from the UK, that feature some interesting replicas, like Dorothy Perkins for less than $40 and their version has some elasticity.   ASOS, another fashion web site, has a close copy of a polyester dress marked down now to $52 but it appears to have no stretch. You get what you pay for though. You must be willing to sacrifice some of the look in exchange for the lower price.  However, the one knock off that most agree comes closest to the real thing is at Celeb Boutique. It’s got the color panels down right and enough elastane to tame all your bulges. I just ordered it so standby for a full report back.  

And the Miracle Dress isn’t just a fleeting trend as was seen in several Fall/Winter 2012 collections during New York Fashion Week earlier this month:

Phillip Lim                                               Victoria Beckham

Celeb Boutique
Over and above the miracle aspects of this dress, I wonder if it is the right look for a second lifer? Does it only belong on the Red Carpet or at music venues and night clubs?  Interesting enough when I was looking for the Stella McCartney dress and its  knockoffs online, there were only smaller sizes available. So does that mean that larger-sized women are really looking great in this dress and buying them up? Or is the dress just cut too small? Or like me is believing in miracle dresses worth the gamble and not a fantasy at all?

NOTE:  Be sure to check out this Sunday's NY Times Magazine profile of Stella McCartney.
Stella McCartney center crouching
And Stella's also in the Wall Street Journal Weekend edition speaking about her "The Meat Free Monday Cookbook."


  1. Hi Maryl: Can't wait to hear what you think of your Celeb Boutique dress!

  2. Great dress. Fantastic use of colour to create an optical illusion.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.