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Marchesa is known, after all, for its sculptural red-carpet standouts; for its role in best supporting young, toothsome talent, specifically (and they could have dreamt up no better ambassador than Blake Lively, who sat front row in a black and yellow bird-emblazoned frock from spring). In a climate that has become increasingly focused on the modern woman’s reality (a frock to take you from your 9-to-5 to that hurried date culled from a dating app!), the message here is not one of utility or even ease, particularly: It is about sparkle.

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And there is a very strong argument to be made that sparkle, that is to say, fantasy, matters, too. Not least because, for the Academy Awards–bound, the dress that can change your life (get you praised or pilloried in the press, win you that campaign, help bring you onto that magazine cover) is a very distinct reality—but because we all need a little fantasy in our lives too.

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Photo: Stefano Massè / Indigitalimages.com

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