The Olympics are coming up, and with them come references to the first games in Athens. While we are excited to see Stella McCartney's take on the British teams' uniforms in action, we are always up for for a bit of Grecian-influenced fashion stateside. In ancient Greece, women wore light-colored tunics, and both sexes wore the leather woven sandals that are still so popular today. Heavy kohl eye makeup was de rigeur, as was large ornamental jewelry, often with stones like lapis and turquoise. Basically, this sounds like our perfect outfit.
However, the ethereal goddess gowns that we associate with Grecian-style dressing actually originated in ancient Rome, and we continue to see incarnations of the classic style on red carpets today. The continued popularity is owed to a few factors: the one-shouldered silhouette showcases the neckline, and the draping and ruching define the body (while also hiding any multitude of sins). Designers return to the look season after season: Donna Karan is a master at making the shape thoroughly modern.
The look isn't just for red carpets, though. Draped, ruched tops and cocktail-length dresses complement most body types: the pleating gives the illusion of an ample bust for small-chested women, and the structure under the fabric provides support while keeping a sleek figure. Top off the fluid look with a waist-cinching belt and gold jewelry.
Check out 25 celebrities who serve as inspiration for this centuries-old trend, as well as a few of our favorite options.