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Item of the week: the bow dress

By Rachel Douglass


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Mama.licious, French Connection and Madewell. Credits: FashionUnited.

What it is:

There is no denying that bows have had significant coverage as accessories in recent months, taking the internet and runways by storm as the go-to hair decoration. Yet, it appears that this decorative design has transcended the confines of an accessory to become a secured form of embellishment in the outerwear segment. For autumn/winter 2024, runway designers instead brought the bow to their gowns, using the feature as an eye-catching ornament in place of a simple trimming. As such, the bow appeared in exaggerated formations, as a sole fastening device or even in abundance in head-to-toe designs.

French Connection. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Why you’ll want it:

Bow dresses are a continuation and expansion of an already tried and tested trend that has swept social media and garnered a proven customer base that has willingly adopted the style in recent months. The addition of the detail to dresses is a natural evolution of this trend, bringing the design to a wider audience in the form of on-trend eveningwear, an additional clothing category that is currently seeing a major revival in the face of an increasingly returning event industry.

Madewell. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Where we’ve seen it:

There were many fun takes on the bow dress trend on the autumn/winter 2024 runways. Simone Rocha, for example, offered up a bow in an oversized form that was adorned over one shoulder and cascaded to the floor. Richard Quinn and Annie’s Ibiza, on the other hand, stuck to a more minimalist take, using the bow as a waist-defining belt on light-weight, chiffon gowns. For his pre-fall ‘24 look, David Koma also opted to integrate the bow as a belt, but instead tied the contrasting material at the side, making way for a sky-high leg slit. If there was one brand that truly led the way in terms of bows it was Prada, which presented a shift dress adorned head-to-toe in pastel pink ribbons.

Agent Provocateur. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

How to style it:

Bow-embellished evening dresses can be a statement in and of themselves – particularly those that rely on the bow to be the defining feature. As such, it could be necessary to keep the accessories and footwear paired with the piece as minimal as possible in order to let the main character stand out even more. Simple black strappy shoes are an easy way to tie the look together, alongside a sleek black clutch and simple gold earrings. An alternative avenue that takes cues from the runway is that of calf-high or thigh-high black boots that form around the wearer’s body yet still draw the attention to the central attraction.

Brora. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

As an evolution of a currently popular trend, the bow dress already has a firm leg to stand on when appealing to consumers. The added extra of eveningwear’s return only enhances the relevance of the look, making it a sure-fire and on-trend wardrobe addition for the coming season.

Madewell. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.

Item of the Week