French designers have always provided the perfect wardrobe for any occasion. Including special ones! It's no secret that the signature Parisian style is all about a cool sense of casual ease. It's all about looking your best while also exhibiting effortlessness. But elegance is also a major factor. The French have a knack for sophistication, due in large part to haute couture
. However, not everybody can afford haute couture. And if you need a dress or a suit for an evening gala or a special occasion, where do you get it? Well, consider going for underrated brands like Alexandre Vauthier, Rouje, or Coperni.
Source: Lanvin Instagram Page/ Photographed by Julia Noni
Admittedly, it's a little weird to start this list of underrated French designer brands with Lanvin, a centuries-old haute couture house. During the time of the late great Alber Elbaz, the label was at its peak. It was the most sought-after womenswear brand in Paris, beloved for its whimsical yet elegant style. Nowadays, however, there's no denying that Lanvin is nowhere near what it used to be. Other French designers have taken over its top spot, but it remains a great label nonetheless. Current creative director Bruno Sialelli has continued what Elbaz started—offering up beautiful showstopping evening wear pieces.
Although Alexandre Vauthier has been a staple on the Haute Couture Week calendar for many years now, it's still overshadowed by the likes of Chanel, Christian Dior, and Valentino. Fortunately, stars like Rihanna and Tracee Ellis Ross have taken notice of his designs. Both superstars and supermodels love wearing Vauthier's sexy designs on the red carpet. His style is signature Parisian
—a perfect balance between casual chic and classic elegance. Though he's notorious for his low necklines and high slits, his clothes never look vulgar. They're great for going out on the town, just as they are on the red carpet too!
Source: Alexandre Vauthier Instagram Page
There are two things you need to know about Marcia as a French designer brand
—they're sexy and sustainable! This widely underrated label takes pride in the fact that the making of its clothes never harmed the environment. And that's on top of the fact that they look sexy as hell too! Cut-outs are the name of the game for Marcia's cocktail and evening dresses. Though they expose some serious side skin, they don't look too cheap and vulgar. If you're feeling a bit daring, you can always go for some shimmering animal print or a sparkling jumpsuit too!
Source: Marcia Instagram Page
If you're more into the easy and breezy side of French fashion, then look no further than Maje. Known for its fun and flirty aesthetic, the brand's evening wear looks as effortless as ever. Think flowing maxi-dresses that billow in the evening wind. or floral cocktail frocks that undoubtedly make an impact. A two-piece set can also make waves at night, especially if you're in the Mediterranean. All in all, this label is all about making evening wear look easy. They don't need sequins and sparkles to bring out one's inner sophistication!
Source: Maje Instagram Page
Like Maje, Rouje is another French designer brand that makes evening wear look as casual as a pair of jeans. But the main difference between the two is that the latter is more in-tuned with the current trends. This isn't to say that it doesn't have its own identity. Rouje is as distinctly Parisian as it gets. But the way it interprets French style reflects the zeitgeist of the times. It's here where you can get a sexy satin slip dress that almost looks like it came from a luxury lingerie label
. It has that 90s/2000s appeal to it that's very on-trend right now!
Source: Rouje Instagram Page
Jour/Né defintiely defies convention when it comes to evening wear. This isn't the brand to go for if you want to look like you're wearing haute couture. You won't get sequined gowns or embroidered dresses here. What you will get, however, are sexy slips, strong suits, and easy elegance. Though the Jour/Né doesn't brand itself as one that offers up evening wear, many of its pieces will look just as good on special occasions as they would in everyday life. A tie-dye maxi dress, for instance, will make just as big of an impact as a well-embellished gown. It's all about your confidence when wearing it.
Source: Jour/Né Instagram Page
In a nutshell, Coperni is a sinfully sexy French designer brand for evening wear. Think mini-dresses that are so short, they're practically just tops. Or sparking sheer numbers that are so transparent, you'll need to wear good underwear underneath. Coperni is unapologetically sexy that, admittedly, is borderline flashy. But as the saying goes, 'if you got it, flaunt it!
' And Parisians certainly know how to flaunt it when it counts. Though you may not have the body of Bella Hadid, you just need to have her confidence when sporting Coperni!
Source: Coperni Instagram Page
Although IRO Paris is more known as a denim brand
, that doesn't mean they don't have some evening wear to spare! Their little black dress, for instance, itself a beloved wardrobe staple, is just as sexy and sophisticated as those from other French designer brands. You can have it as a one-sleeved number for an edgier yet elegant look. But if you're more into wearing suits, this label's blazers and trousers are just as well-cut! You'll look posh and powerful in them, whether you're on the red carpet or at an evening gala!
Source: IRO Paris Instagram Page
Need an outfit for a special occasion? French designers got you covered! And not just the famous ones too! There are other incredible labels that offer up chic ensembles for evening wear. Sometimes, it's the underrated ones that deserve your attention!