Fashion loves juxtaposition. So it’s hardly a shock that the hooded gown, nestled amid the paradox of a component designed to cover the wearer making them stand out, has risen to the highest of style’s trending lists.
The silhouette just lately catapulted to fame on the Cannes Film Festival 2023 — that concludes at the moment — when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan walked the carpet in a Sophie Couture robe with a large silver hood hooked up to the black corseted bodice. While this look prompted the hooded robe to occupy mainstream Indian consciousness, it has hardly been the one one round. Mrunal Thakur walked the Cannes carpet in an ornate hooded outfit by Anamika Khanna whereas Anne Hathaway was labelled “mother” by social media feeds globally for her sequinned Versace gold hood at a latest Bulgari occasion.
First launched by Yves Saint Laurent on the runway in 1969, the hooded gown silhouette was popularised by Azzedine Alaia’s customized Bond-girl wardrobe for Grace Jones within the 80s. The latest fashionable resurgence has seen it throughout worldwide homes like Saint Laurent, Alaia, Coperni, Halpern, and Schiaparelli to call a number of. Closer dwelling, designer Gaurav Gupta’s hardened shell hooded creations have drawn consideration, particularly in an electric-blue iteration worn by Cardi B for the Grammy Awards 2023.
So what’s it concerning the silhouette that has discovered favour with celebrities throughout the globe? “I think hooded silhouettes are gaining popularity right now, especially with celebrities because they are constantly trying to redefine themselves,” says Lylah Shaw, founding father of the label Ituvana. “As a designer, I find the technicality of designing and creating hooded dresses exciting because it adds an element of mystery and edge to the outfit,” she provides concerning the silhouette’s private attraction to her. “I’ve experimented with incorporating hoods with traditional garments like kaftans and kurtas as well and it instantly offers a unique and unconventional style.”
For Gaurav Gupta, the attraction of the hooded gown lies in its drama. “People are looking for something new, different, and interesting. A lot of traditional outfits of many cultures had this silhouette as the touchstone of the drapes or hats people used to wear and I also see the hood replacing that while adding the right kind of new age drama to it. It’s a new silhouette that’s being widely accepted, which is exciting for me right now.”
Additionally, with the speedy and reliant rise of the style markets within the Middle East and south-east Asia, hooded clothes are climate applicable and resonate with cultural values too.
The cultural join
“I think hooded silhouettes provide a sense of nostalgia,” Lylah says. Hoods have been worn throughout cultures via the years, as markers of cultural identities and faith. This nostalgic attraction has performed an enormous function within the silhouette’s recognition. “The act of covering one’s head with a hood carries a certain symbolism and evokes memories of different times and traditions. I think celebrities are trying to think about what an outfit means to them as a person,” she provides.
Take, for instance, mannequin Bella Hadid paying homage to her Middle Eastern roots with a hooded gown at a latest look at Fashion Trust Arabia Awards. This fashion-forward intersection represents a celebration and normalisation of self-expression and cultural id.
A brand new-age sensuality
In a sartorial panorama populated with skin-tight silhouettes and bare clothes, the hooded gown appears antithetical. However, regardless of the surplus cloth on a hooded robe, they normally add a stage of attract to the wearer that the slinkiest of strappy clothes don’t.
A significant component for that is the consolation a hooded gown affords the wearer. “Simply put, if you feel good in an outfit, you look good,” says Fatima Punjaabi, founding father of the label Mati. “Hooded dresses have a perfect balance of an exposed neckline or even shoulders while adding mystery with the hood.”
There can also be the fluid factor of the languidly draped materials that add to the sensuality. “Fabrics play a crucial role. High quality silks and cottons drape and flow gracefully and enhance the overall sexual appeal,” says Lylah.
The silhouette’s recognition seamlessly transcends into the true world. Straddling the road between couture glamour and high-street ease, informal variations of hooded clothes have the potential to be a long-lasting development.
The development off the runways is a bit more relaxed, with shift clothes and tunics adorned with a minimal hood. Mati’s breezy hooded tunics had been favoured by their clients in line with Fatima. “The hooded tunic did very well for us. People aren’t using the hood like in the gowns with celebrities. It’s just a cool fun element. With gowns it’s elegant while with casual dresses it’s more sporty.”
The hood can also be an understated extension of self-expression, making it a fascinating selection. “I think it’s equally interesting for the consumers to wear this off the runway – it’s easy and bold at the same time and makes a proper fashion statement,” concludes Gaurav.