Want to look as glamourous as a 30s Hollywood diva? This is what you need


Not to worry, this is a fashion post, but let's get a bit technical first because I want to make a case for THE BIAS CUT.

If any of you have ever sewn before, you are probably familiar with this technique. If you haven't, all you need to know is this: instead of cutting fabric on the grain when constructing a garment, the material is cut at a 45° angle. Why, you ask? Because then you get something like this – a dress (or skirt) that hugs the body beautifully and emphasises any curve worth emphasising. I will be forever grateful to fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet who allegedly invented this technique in the 1920s.

It really creates the ultimate feminine silhouette: a bias-cut garment clings to the hips and thighs and extends into a fishtail–like lower part. The result is a sexy, drapey, mermaidy goddess look that suits any figure and works as well for a nightgown as it does for a wedding dress. Since bias-cut garments were heavily featured in 30s Hollywood movies, wearing this kind of skirt or dress today looks wonderfully vintagey and very glamorous, and nobody can go wrong with a 30s vixen/diva look!


Items with this cut also have such a lovely fluid drape and amazing movement – so much so that I was inspired by my own bias-cut skirt to do a little jump shoot, just so you can see my point! Now that I've thrown around words like glamorous, Hollywood and vintage, you might think this style is a little out there and/or hard to find, but that's not true at all! The technique is used in the construction of many maxi skirts and dresses, especially by high-end designers – you can see two beautiful pink specimens here and here. The High Street master of the bias cut dress is Coast (case in point: this little number). Even ASOS is in on it, see this wedding dress. And to finish, my personal favourite in black.

If you have any event to attend this year that is even slightly formal – be it a wedding, a Christmas party or some other glamorous shindig, please get yourself a bias-cut dress for an entrance that would make Rita Hayworth go green with envy. It really is that easy – the right cut and you look 100% divine in mere seconds.

What I wore: skirt by Tombolini, boots by Vagabond, leotard by H&M.

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