Diane von Furstenberg may have gained fame and following for her wrap dresses but it was actually renowned British designer Charles James who created the first wrap dress, way back in 1932. While James was known for his exquisite couture dressmaking for the likes of Marlene Dietrich, his wrap dress was a sartorial innovation. The designer, who inspired the theme for the 2014 Met Gala, called it his "Taxi Dress" because he intended the piece to be so easy that you could get dressed in the taxi on your way to a big event (fashion that considers practicality is the best kind, non?).
Diane von Furstenberg modernised the shape, of course, introducing it to a whole new audience in 1974. Her jersey wrap dress was worn by Studio 54-goers, the Park Avenue set and bohemians alike, with the flattering shape and varied prints surging in popularity. However, over the past decade or so, the wrap dress has been seen as slightly dated, banished to the back of wardrobes and replaced by more contemporary shapes. That is, until the catwalks of SS17 ushered in a 21st-century refresh.
Etro showed graphic monochrome dresses belted at the waist, Balmain presented sheer sparkly minis, and Topshop Unique gave the '80s suit dress a halter-neck wrap dress update. Emilio Pucci and Versace showed wraps that were low-slung on the hips, while Victoria Beckham and Bottega Veneta paid homage to '50s English tea dresses with chintzy florals. Now, the high street has followed suit, with the wrap dress taking its rightful place as your ultimate summer piece.