Look 62, Balenciaga’s fall 2021 collection—it was all the convincing I needed. The penultimate look in Balenciaga’s long-awaited couture debut was a tour de force of a black-tie ensemble: As seen from the front, the lady wears a 1950s-esque icy satin A-line gown featuring metallic embroideries. As she turns the corner, however, it is revealed that her gown is not a gown, but rather an overskirt under which a pair of skinny cigarette trousers can be seen. Gala in the front, after-party in the back. It was divine and just about worth waiting 54 years for—the last couture collection, presented by Mr. Cristóbal Balenciaga himself, was in 1967.
While I would have loved to acquire lovely Look 62 for my wardrobe, couture is more a fashion fantasy than a shoppable reality. Luckily, I happened upon an Alexia María ensemble that accomplished something very similar with all the elegance of a gown and all the practicality of a pair of pants.
Founded in San Diego’s La Jolla neighborhood by native Alexia María, the label is dedicated to bridal and evening wear that borrows from the codes of bygone Hollywood glamour. The look is lady-like, bows are aplenty, and most importantly, everything is photogenic. Alexia María pieces are meant to be documented, after all!
The set I took a liking to was made up of three pieces: a strapless bustier top, a pair of pants, and an overskirt—the latter can also be mixed, matched, and worn on top of any Alexia María jumpsuit. I’ve already taken them all out for a spin to a black-tie charity gala: The evening began with the silk taffeta skirt in place, tricking the eye into thinking I was in a more traditional gown. Come the dancing portion of the night, though, off went the skirt on onto the dancefloor I bounded.
Below, my Alexia María look, plus other similar renditions of the gown/pant hybrid.
Alexia María Signature Collection silk faille strapless bustier
$310.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Alexia María Convertible Collection silk faille cigarette pants with convertible skirt
$1180.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Alexia María silk faille twisted bow jumpsuit with convertible skirt
$1391.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Kay Unger stretch crepe Bijou jumpsuit
$318.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Oscar de la Renta strapless threadwork and floral bustier top
$3990.00, MODA OPERANDI
Loulou tulle skirt overlay trousers
Halston Ira twist-neck jumpsuit
$795.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Alexia María silk faille bow-back jumpsuit with convertible skirt
$1339.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
16Arlington Dickinson feather-trimmed crepe top
Giorgio Armani straight-leg silk pants with skirt overlay
$2495.00, BERGDORF GOODMAN
Elie Saab bridal caped crêpe jumpsuit
Burnett New York crepe cut-out jumpsuit with overskirt
$1095.00, THE YES
Andres Otalora Gingko pleated silk strapless crop top
$620.00, MODA OPERANDI
Bluzat green pants with skirt
$265.00, WOLF AND BADGER
Safiyaa layered strapless crepe jumpsuit
Originally Appeared on Vogue