The sweeping-train cape gowns have been gracing international beauty pageants since 2014 but have you ever wondered when did it all start? Among the first gowns to showcase capes were USA and Australia in Miss World 2014, followed by Thailand and USA (again) in Miss Universe 2015. This year, from Miss Grand International to Miss International, the train capes continue to sweep the pageant floor.
If you were a big fan of film noir, then you can trace back the use of cape in the film ‘The Torrent’ (1926) starring Greta Garbo donning a geometrically-designed black and white gown. Moving forward in 1934 and up to 1937, French fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet was the first to showcase silk and lame’ evening gown and cape. She was then known as the lady of the Grecian-style dresses. The popularity of the cape flourished until the 50’s but just like any fashion trends, it dwindled.
It was Stephane Rolland who revived the cape dresses when he presented the design as his finale dress for his Fall 2010 couture collection. Tom Ford further popularized the cape dress when Gwyneth Paltrow wore a white ensemble to the Oscars in 2012.
I think the sweeping-train cape dresses will continue to grace international beauty pageants for the next two years, just like what happened with the sheer, lace and floral gowns in the previous years.