Here we're getting glamorous with the most beautiful ballgowns. From classical flowing dresses to slender, elegant numbers, and even some avant-garde handiwork, these are looks perfect for everything from an evening soiree to an extravagant masquerade. So get your glad rags on – we're going to the ball.
01. Carnation Ball
This magnificent outfit from designer Mia is nothing short of a masterpiece. The floral motif is impressively bold and prominent, with the wearer's head sitting in the largest flower while sprouting buds delicately entwine the body. The best point of detail though is the marginally lighter shades of green on the leaf and stem detail, on the right (as worn) side of the dress.
This, combined with the open back showing more of the straight pleated camisole underneath, creates the illusion that the floral layer is elaborately wrapped around the wearer. An utterly beautiful, borderline magical look.
02. Black Silk Dress
A more conventional ballgown look here from designer Xan, with this gorgeous not-so-little black dress. This has an almost regal appearance, with elements of brocade detailing subtly woven into the elongating plumes of the skirt's outer layers. The long trail of buttons and tight sleeves also help make this look like a taller, more shapely gown, without sacrificing the bloom of the skirt. The gentle blend from black to grey-silver lends this look an almost shimmering effect though, which cements it as a real piece of finery. This design is also available in a multitude of skin tones to perfectly match your Islander avatar.
Gossamer wings with stained glass panels encapsulate this almost otherworldly design from FancyAlly. This is a look that masterfully uses the three-dimensionality of Animal Crossing New Horizons' editor, with the 'wings' extending out from the waist, around the sides, and all the way up the back. On the palette front, the soft, lighter purples and gentle, cool blues combine perfectly with the darker royal hues, making this a gown fit for a princess. Like the previous entry, this can also be downloaded in a range of skin tones.
Elegant by name, elegant by nature. This is one of the few more masculine presenting designs that meet our theme this week, and adopts a vaguely steampunk flair along the way – chiefly with the delicate chains across the torso, at the arms, and in a single hoop at the back. These put emphasis on the smart grey waistcoat though, rather than overpowering the aesthetic. The bright blue gemstone at the neck, offering the only flash of colour in the outfit, is a brilliant bit of restraint on the part of designer Jenis, too – making it a statement that enhances the elegance of the overall look.
05. Floral Ball Gown
If you're in the market for something a bit more traditionally floral inspired than the Carnation Ball, but that will still make an impression, look no further than designer Maris' beautiful work here. A meticulously arranged garden grows around the skirt, with the occasional yellow petal breaking up the shades of pink and rose, while flourishes at the waist and sleeves serve up a willowy air. Maris' choice to blur the flowers also gives this a dreamlike, hazy effect, which really works for this look – and, like the best designs, it's available in a range of skin tones.
06. Fairytale Dress
Serving up Cinderella realness, this folklore inspired look – another from Mia – blurs quaint influences with rich detail to great effect. The leather-look corset may not be typical attire for a ball (although we'd say the incredibly detailed 'stitching' seen here makes it as highly crafted as anything else on the dance floor) but the gown underneath, with its dark red velvets, gold hemming, and luxurious white tulle definitely is. It's all tied up with an oversized bow at the back that adds an extra bit of personality to the look.
07. Garnet Wed
Technically, this is a cosplay garment – it's based on the character Garnet's wedding attire from the series Steven Universe. Designer Ben has done a great job of recreating it in Animal Crossing too - it's a perfect match for the on-screen look. However, its gender-blending combo of wedding dress and tuxedo, with rebellious splashes of purple and magenta incorporated throughout, make this a stand-out look that would be perfect for a second outing at a formal ball. Hey, it's always nice to have an excuse to wear wedding clothes again, right?
08. Silver Starlight
If you're looking for something sleeker than your traditional ballgown, this resplendent design from creator Michelle may do the trick. Its dark sky blue base meets a cool cloudy grey, combining for a look fit for an ice queen. One can imagine the large, glittering starburst designs would be oversized gems, while the smaller twinkling stars, arranged in a constellation pattern similar to the Plough, lend the piece a cosmic feel.
09. Blue Lace Dress
Another dazzling design from Xan, this blue number is a slightly less traditional ball look than the earlier Black Silk dress, but is bolder for the changes. The higher cut of the skirt – this uses the balloon hem template rather than the long sleeve dress – and exposed shoulders give this a more flamboyant feel, while the multitude of patterns used keep the eye busy. Putting all that specificity in must have been gruelling work, too – from the checkerboard sleeves to the mosaic of the skirt, this is a true achievement, and the effort has yielded striking results.
At a glance, designer Minty's ballgown is borderline basic – blocks of colour, some puffy sleeves, and a narrow black belt just to break it up. Like many other dresses this week, it uses dark royal purples to great effect, but look closer and you'll notice that what really elevates this is the stunningly detailed mock sheer fabric at the neck and along the sleeves. This creates a stunning translucency, which is accentuated further by the amethyst and diamond coloured sequins. An almost secretly beautiful creation.
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