Bandage dress

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A bandage dress is a tight-fitting "bodycon" dress that appears to be made from multiple thin strips of cloth sewn together, with the individual strips shaped like bandages.[1] The bandage dress was created by Azzedine Alaïa and is most closely associated with the designer Hervé Léger.[2]

Actress Rachel Weisz wearing a bandage dress in 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival.


According to Max Azria, "[a] bandage dress isn't a woven, it's all knitted on a knitting machine and is a completely different concept...People assume it's cut-and-sew, but there's no cutting. It's knitted in a panel and then attached".[3]

Bandage dresses are noted for accommodating a broad variety of body styles due to the stretchy fabric.[4] The material in a bandage dress is heavy and provides some contouring; not every dress with the bodycon silhouette provides this same shaping element.


Azzedine Alaïa, the "King of Cling", included bandage dresses in his collections in the mid-1980s. Singer Grace Jones wore a bandage dress from the designer's spring/summer 1986 collection as she carried him onstage to accept his Best Designer of the Year award at the 1985 Oscars de la Mode.[5]

Hervé Léger introduced his own bandage dresses in the early 1990s. A 1993 New York Times review of one of his runway shows remarked that his apparent specialty was "girdle-tight dresses" made from strips of fabric, creating what they termed the "sexy mummy look".[6] When BCBGMAXAZRIA acquired Léger's brand in the late 1990s, the bandage dress reached a wider audience.[3] After BCBG Max Azria released a capsule collection of the Hervé Léger dress in 2007,[4] bandage dresses enjoyed a period of red carpet ubiquity lasting through the early 2010s.[7]


  1. ^ Hilliard, Kathleen. "Bandage Dress Vs. Bodycon Dress – Definitions And Differences". Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  2. ^ McKean, Erin. (2013) The Hundred Dresses: The Most Iconic Styles of Our Time, A&C Black. ISBN 9781408190500. p19
  3. ^ a b Melby Clinton, Leah. "The History of the Bandage Dress, From 1994 to Now". Glamour. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b Ilyashov, Alexandra. "Fashion Honcho Says Hervé Léger Bandage Dresses Aren't For Lesbians Or "Voluptuous" Types". Refinery29. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  5. ^ Kendall, Zoe. "7 of Grace Jones' most iconic outfits". i-D. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  6. ^ Gonzales, Erica. "Hervé Leger Founder, Hervé L. Leroux, Has Died at 60". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  7. ^ McCarthy, Lauren. "Looking Back at Hervé Léger Designer Hervé L. Leroux, and All the Times When Bandage Dresses Ruled the World". W Magazine. Retrieved 3 October 2020.