The theme for Galveston's 30th Annual Mardi Gras Ball  (March 1st at the Tremont House) is Pearls and Prohibition, and judging from the Mardi Gras Fashion Preview at Saks last night, we can expect a decadent celebration worthy of Jay Gatsby. While plastic beads and a drunken demeanor might be the look du jour for regular attendees of the Galveston-based cousin of the Bourbon-street bacchanal, some of us go for the gowns. Lace, sequins, and mermaid hems are major trends for this year’s festivities, each a nod to the 1920s. 

The night’s gowns fell into two categories: statuesque and flowing. A mauve, lace-overlaid gown well represented the former, with a peplum lace and slim cut, while another look captured movement by featuring a cape that billowed as the model walked down the runway.

Statuesque with lace.

Flowing and ethereal.

Other looks incorporated sequins, either as a structural detail or, in the case of one stunning rose-gold number, a dazzling shimmer all over. Options for the body-conscious these weren’t—each dress was close-fitting and made from materials meant to slink over curves.

Glittering 1920s-inspired beadwork on a simple silhouette.

The front is dazzling...

But the audience went went wild when they saw the back. Simply stunning.

The look of the night came from a somewhat unusual choice: a neon-hued, criss cross-bodiced dress with a sheer-overlaid short skirt. The sexiness of the sheer with the almost athletic color of the gown was bold and perfectly jarring for the delicate flow of the silhouette. If you want to get noticed at this year's parade, this is the way to do it. 

 

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