Finally! Opulent, extravagant fashion has returned in the fabulous form of statement shoulders.
In the post-pandemic world, our best-dressed celebrities are desperate to have a little fun, and oh-so-big shoulders — all the better to shrug off your woes with, my dear — are the way to do it.
In a rare public appearance at the wedding of LA Lakers basketball star Anthony Davis, Adele stunned in a custom-made dress from Schiaparelli Haute Couture, whose fabulously exaggerated shoulders left her looking like she’d fallen straight out of Disney princess film Enchanted.
With its fitted black wool crepe column design and dramatic silk taffeta off-the-shoulder rosette sleeves, she will have turned heads — and parted crowds given the extra space that arm furniture will have taken up. She certainly looked incredible, though you can’t help but wonder what the bride would have felt about it…
UPSTAGING THE BRIDE? Adele shows there’s no one like her in a haute couture Schiaparelli design at a friend’s wedding
A STAR OUTFIT IS BORN: Lady Gaga, in a custom-made velvet gown with oversized satin shrug by Schiaparelli, at the Academy Museum of Motion Picture
DEVIL DOESN’T WEAR PRADA: Actress Emily Blunt switches to Schiaparelli at the Disneyland Jungle Cruise premiere
MIGHTY LOOK FOR A LITTLE WOMAN: Little Women star Florence Pugh dons a dramatic Dries Van Noten gown for the BAFTAs
For proof that the bolder shoulder is having a moment, look no further than the red carpet, where celebrities aren’t so much elbowing as shouldering each other aside so they have space for their statement sleeves.
At a Los Angeles Gala this weekend, Lady Gaga’s voluminous shrug contained more fabric than the rest of her dress.
Supermodel Karlie Kloss looked like she’d walked off the set of Dynasty in her show-stopping Carolina Herrera crimson dress at this month’s Met Gala. It took 25 yards of silk to create the design, with its blossoming silk faille roses.
And actress Sarah Paulson also opted for a striking red balloon sleeve Herrera design at the Emmys.
A STUDY IN SCARLET: American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson in Carolina Herrera at the 2021 Emmys
PERFECT SLEEVES FOR MR BIG: Sex And The City star Sarah Jessica Parker wears Zac Posen to a New York Ballet gala
SPLASH THE SASH: Billie Piper at the BAFTAs in Moschino on 6 June 2021
SIMPLY RED HOT: Supermodel Karlie Kloss in Carolina Herrera at the MET Gala
Pink puff sleeves have proven particularly popular; there’s Sarah Jessica Parker in Zac Posen, Julianne Moore in Lanvin and Florence Pugh in a bubblegum-coloured design from Dries Van Noten.
Admittedly this trend is not for the faint-hearted, but the bolder the shoulder the better. If nothing else, it’s an instant way to drop a dress size: big shoulders make your hips and waist look smaller, so the bigger the puff, the smaller you’ll appear.
Plus, everyone’s so busy looking at those statement sleeves they work wonders as a distraction from the effects of lockdown, not to mention hiding those sometimes problematic upper arms in a way that’s considerably more fashionable than a cardi.
REWRITING FASHION LAW: Jude’s daughter Iris Law stood out in black and white Richard Quinn at the British Fashion Awards
BAT’S THE WAY TO DO IT: Sofia Carson takes wing in Elie Saab at the Golden Globes
WHEN GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN: Cyndi Lauper proves she’s so unusual at the Tony Awards in an Alexander McQueen jacket
It’s also a power move. Accentuated epaulettes have long been a way for women to assert themselves, and although the power suit still has its place, a ballgown is a considerably more glamorous way to make a stand.
However, if two giant sleeves are still too much, take a leaf out of Billie Piper’s book and go for an asymmetric design like her black lace and pink satin Moschino number. The High Street has also jumped on the bandwagon, with toned-down versions that are less likely to see you stuck in a doorway. Statement, 1980s-style sleeves can be seen on blouses, dresses, coats and even jumpers.
And whether you decide to try it for yourself or not, as celebrities’ ever-expanding outfits burst back onto the scene, I think there’s one thing we can all agree on: isn’t it fun to have frivolous fashion back!