Once upon a time, ball gowns were only worn by a handful of women who belonged to a particular group in society – the aristocrats. “Ball” was derived from the Latin word ballare, which means “to dance”. These floor-skimming and full-skirted gowns were often made with satin and crinoline, and ranked the highest in the hierarchy of white tie-appropriate ensembles, thereby serving as the ultimate status symbol from the 18th century to the 1950s.
Fast forward to Hollywood in the 21st century, with ball gowns becoming a lot more accessible to any woman who has ever aspired to be a modern-day belle – celebrities included. Actresses like Blake Lively and Elle Fanning regularly take advantage of award ceremonies like the Oscars, Cannes Film Festival, and Golden Globes to enjoy their all-eyes-on-me moments on the red carpet. With prom season approaching and the release of Beauty and the Beast just days away, Savoir Flair rounds up the top 20 princess moments from Hollywood’s royalty in frothy, fairytale-inspired gowns.