This dress is RIDICULOUSLY gorgeous in person. Seriously. My pictures do NOT do it justice.
It’s the Ekanta beaded dress from plus-size powerhouse Igigi, and it’s an absolute showstopper.
It’s been a while since I had a Really Fancy Dress for Really Fancy Events, so when Igigi asked if I would like to review this one, I leapt at the opportunity.
Igigi’s clothes are always beautifully made, and while I’ve found that I’ve had some sizing issues in the past, when it works it WORKS. This dress is an absolute case-in-point. The size 12 fits me perfectly (as my measurements would suggest) though the fabric’s Igigi’s good quality stretch-lined jersey so there’s a bit of margin for error in either direction.
I love the empire waist, which for once doesn’t make me look ridiculously top-heavy OR pregnant! The silhouette – combined with the wide neckline and embroidered skirt – actually reminds me of a Regency period gown.
Umn… If I’m being 100% honest, it actually reminds me a lot of a Regency period gown from the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice that made such an impact on me as a teenager that I had my Grandmother make me a version for my year 12 Graduation formal. (Nerdy? Me?)
The bodice is ruched around the bust and showcases ones cleavage to devastating effect. The straps are wide enough to hide your bra, but you’ll definitely need a balconette; that neckline is wider and lower than it appears in these photos.
The dress comes with a satin sash, which surprised me a little as it’s not pictured on the website. If you’ve got the enviable waist of the model then you probably won’t need it, but I wanted a little bit more cinching assistance so I included it in my outfit.
The skirt of the Ekanta dress is something else. The underskirt is made of Igigi’s customary jersey and isn’t gathered, so you don’t have an excess of fabric sitting around your middle. The overskirt is made of a soft netting and it slightly gathered, giving it a lovely soft drape. The embroidery is heavy with beading, and culminates in a GORGEOUS scalloped hem.
I’ve seen the dress described as a halterneck, but it definitely isn’t (Hurrah! No convertible bra needed!) The back does have a feature of its own though: an elegant keyhole fastening.
All in all I’d say this is one of the most perfect “formal” dresses I’ve seen. It’s elegant, easy to wear, travels well (great for interstate weddings!) and I can’t WAIT for more opportunities to bring it out.
Now, who wants to invite me to some balls?
You look very sophisticated and beautiful. I hope you get to take that incredible dress out for a night on the town soon!
Thanks Lynne – me too!
Hot diggity dang – you look AMAZING!! You & The Husband need to plan a fancy evening ASAP. That dress is perfect on you!
Aw, thanks Molly! We might indulge our Foodie tendencies and go out somewhere really nice for dinner
Wow. This dress suits you so much!! 🙂 This is really pretty.
Thanks Rena – it’s an amazing dress
Thanks Anita 🙂
You look lovely in that dress, and that dress is gorgeous. Your hair looks especially beautiful today, as well. (:
Aw, thanks Sydney. I’m not loving my hair at the moment – trying to grow it out & not sold on the colour – so it’s nice to hear it doesn’t look too disastrous!
OMG! it’s just GREAT!!!
you look like a princess! 🙂
Thanks M 🙂
Lilly, I love all your clothes but I have to say that after seeing how absolutely gorgeous you look in this dress, I have a new favorite! Oh my, what’s not to love about this gown? The keyhole in the back, the neckline, the empire waist. I love, love, love it! You look stunning! 🙂
Thanks Bella. I’m quite in love with it, myself!
That dress is incredible! Wish I had somewhere to go so I could buy it too but seeing as I’m a bridesmaid in two weddings in the next four months, I think I’d better just focus on paying for my bridesmaid dresses!
Ow! I hope they’re nice bridesmaid dresses at least!
You look beautiful!! He had better take you out somewhere nice to show you off!!
I’m sure he will 🙂
This is one of those wonderful and rare occasions where the dress looks better on someone “real” than the website model. You look amazing.
Aw, thanks Suze. I don’t quite have the amazing waist, but I got some VERY positive feedback about my, er, assets for The Sophisticate
Our friend Claire Roberts, who used to curate the Morrison exhibitions (amongst others) at the Powerhouse Museum, is currently curator of an exhibition of contemporary Chinese portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery on 12 September and then at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington on 15 September. We are invited to both openings and your outfit would suit the occasion if you are around at either place on either day.
Swanky! I wish I could Dad – Maybe for the Icons opening <3
I saw that dress on the site, immediately liked it, and I see now that my view was justified. Also, you look *beautiful* in it! You’re very right, when Igigi clothes work, they WORK.
Thanks Veronica 🙂 I loved it too – it’s such a statement number, but gorgeously comfortable to wear
Stunning but I think it probably looks even better in person- when u can see how the light plays on it and the swish etc! But lovely lovely lovely!!
Definitely even nicer in person!
The beading looks quite different on this dress to the one on the website. What’s your thoughts on that?
Good spotting Bri! I hadn’t even noticed.
It’s odd, because the first “preview” pictures of the dress had the embroidery running all the way up to the waist, then after the dress was released it was altered to what’s on the website now. Side-by-side they look a little different (the embroidery on the finished dress is denser than what’s pictured) I do like the more “organic” embroidery in the product photo, but I’m so used to pictures – especially of clothes with prints – looking completely different than the product photo because of size discrepancies that it didn’t even make a blip on my radar.
Hmmnn… Food for thought. I guess that’s why blogs are so helpful when shopping online!
You know, I was only looking at this dress two days ago- pondering if I should buy it for a couple of swanky weddings I have coming up, and then lo, there you are modelling it!
It seriously looks stunning on you, and you may have convinced me to make the rather expensive (eep, $290 shipped) leap to purchase.
I have bought it… just hope it looks 1/2 as lovely as it does on you….
Wow! This sure is stunning! Haha yes it does look like a modern version of something from Pride and Prejudice (gosh I love that version!) 🙂
Wow, this dress is just stunning! You look amazing in it.
I think this dress is amazing, and looks great!
I’ve been following you on pinterest, and I hope you don’t mind that I’ve repinned your post! It feels a bit rude to not ask 🙂
Really beautiful! It’s great when clothes look good on you, and you know they look good, so then they look even better 🙂 I have a feeling this is going to be one of your most popular posts!
You look really gorgeous in that beautiful dress, lucky thing!
The only thing that irritates me is when I look at the size chart and see what measurements a size 12 are… why invent a whole new sizing scheme just because it’s a plus-size company?? (Those are my measurements, too, and I wear a UK 18-20, which should be a US 16-18, right?!)
A US 12 is an Aussie 16, which is prob right I think? An Aussie 16 is about a UK 18???
How confusing!! And plus sizes are always more generous, too, so in the end, it makes it pretty hard to get the right sizing!! (And within Europe, sizes vary, too…!) Sigh.
I always go by the measurements not sizes… It’s actually rather liberating!
Um seriously, I need that dress!! It’s so beautiful! And you look fantastic in it!
Very pretty! The Ekanta dress is my FIRST Igigi purchase and I have not worn it out yet. It will be going with me to NYC in a couple weeks and I will wear it to a show. I bought it to wear to walk my little sis down the aisle at her wedding in October. It’s beautiful and you (and I both) look great in it!
Wow, this looks really stunning on you! It looks very slimming and the design is fabulous! Also, I’m on page 137 of I’m not sure how many but I’m loving all of your posts! Thanks for being so wonderful =D
Wowza!!!! How gorgeous is that dress (and it’s wearer). I have a wedding coming up at the end of the month and a 100th birthday party in October. I think I might have found my outfit without leaving my couch.
Off to check out the Igigi website. Fingers crossed I can afford it.
I’m so glad you reviewed this dress – it’s always nice to see things modeled on women other than the brand model. I thought this dress was pretty when I saw it on the website, but I wasn’t really interested in buying it for myself. After seeing it on you, I feel like I have a better idea of what the neckline and straps are like. It’s really gorgeous on you. I hope you go on many special nights out to wear it!
Love! Absolute love! Well modeled! I’d love it in an ecru with a gold overlay on the skirt!!