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Snap Poll: Would You Wear a Cheap Dress to a Fancy Event?


In the midst of fashion week craziness, we missed out on a major red carpet moment: Michelle Williams’s BAFTAs ensemble.

It wasn’t major because of a formidable 8-foot wide silhouette, pounds of embellishment or a head-scratching gimmick. As our friends at Fashionetc noted, Michelle’s outfit from Sunday’s award show—the British equivalent to the Oscars—was kind of epic because of its designer: H&M. Like, the H&M that collaborates with Versace and Lanvin, but doesn’t usually share red carpet space with them.

Although the Swedish fast fashion brand custom designed the dress for Michelle—and we’d suspect her stylist Kate Young had it expertly tailored—the gown still stays true to H&M’s mass, affordable nature. Its material and shape are basic; really, there’s nothing too distinct or luxe about it. Instead, it's Michelle’s glam makeup, Fred Leighton choker and Olympia Le-Tan clutch that dress it up.

While we've long been fans of high/low dressing (where something fancy or designer elevates a cheaper, simpler piece), we're still a little shocked Michelle would try the trick at such a high-profile event. Celebrities, after all, don't have to stretch their budgets; they can wear a zillion expensive things at once or simply borrow couture gowns for black tie events.

But maybe that's what makes Michelle's decision to go the mass market route kind of cool. The message: with a good fit and great styling, fast fashion dresses work even for supposedly "important" occassions. We're fans of the move, and we'd imagine the gloating of "This old thing? It's Zara!" gets even richer during such a major moment, like a prom, birthday or wedding.

But what do you think: would you wear a fast fashion dress to a major event? Or do you save that high/low mix for lower profile moments, and splurge whenever you have a big occasion?

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