I’ve never met her before, but I can guarantee that Sarah Jessica Parker loves a gala. Nothing excites her like goofy dresses, fancy appetizers, and polite chit-chat with billionaires and magazine editors. I’m also not a historian. I don’t know anything about the European royals (of which I’m told there are many), and I’m not sure that milkmaids were even a thing in Sweden... or Germany—wherever they’re supposed to have existed! But if I had to describe the Zac Posen ensemble SJP wore to the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala last night, it would be “sexy milkmaid who discovers she’s actually a princess.” And I fucking love it.
Zac Posen frequently fields criticism from the younger fashion crowd for being pedestrian, or perhaps populist in his design choices. And they’re correct! There isn’t a new idea being presented in this ruching, made popular again during Pierpaolo Piccioli’s landmark solo run as the steward of Valentino Haute Couture. It also references Christopher John Rogers, who interpreted the big, bulbous taffeta trend for a younger audience. You could even accuse it of looking like everything Vivienne Westwood already did in the ‘90s and be correct! But there’s something to be said for seamlessly crafting clothes that compliment how (extravagantly rich) women move through world, while also making them feel beautiful. Zac Posen is a master of both.
Many designers, young and old, often show collections that present an interesting concept, or maybe look to the future, but would be wholly unwearable off the runway. That a dress of this scale can even be maneuvered in speaks to his craftsmanship. (And for contrast, look at the the vintage Valentino Haute Couture dress Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the Emmys. Fashion without function!)
Anyway, where would you wear this dress? Personally, it makes me want to throw down my milk pails and run up a hillside into the arms of my one true love. I could also envision myself sobbing on an expansive marble floor high in a mountain palace, wondering if that same love would ever return from the war. Tell me what you think in the comments below!