Good Designers for Hourglass Figures

The iconic hourglass figure is  a symbol of feminine sexuality.

Photo: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

The hourglass figure is all about attitude. Only 8 percent of gals have this perfectly proportioned 36-26-36 figure, reports fashion editors at the "Daily Mail UK." Sadly, many who do will hide their valuable assets under baggy clothes. The "If you've got it, flaunt it" crowd knows better. They realize that the Marilyn Monroe figure never goes out of style, but some designers just do a better job at celebrating it.

It's a Wrap

When a curvy woman puts on a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, the image in the mirror screams "I am woman, hear me roar!" The dress has two front panels that cross over each other and tie in the back with fabric cords or ribbons. Von Furstenberg used a sexy, slinky silk jersey for this knee-length, long-sleeved dress. You don't have to be skinny to look good in it. In fact, Von Furstenberg publicly criticizes the fashion industry for its obsession with subzero-sized models and unhealthy attitudes about women and their weight. Curves are healthy. The wrap dress shows them off.

Stella for Star

The father composed "She's a Woman." The daughter designs dresses that show off a woman's body. Just ask Kate Winslet. She showed up at the premiere of "Mildred Pierce" in Venice flaunting a dress from Stella McCartney’s Winter 2011 collection. The white Lycra dress featured black side panels, which created the illusion of the perfect hourglass figure. Keira Knightly also plays for Team Stella. She waltzed down the red carpet aisle in a form-fitting blue dress with black side panels.

Nouveau Victorian

The Victorians idolized the hourglass figure and used special corsets and undergarments to create the illusion of a tiny waist and an ample bosom. Their dress styles embodied a paradoxical blend of innocence and eroticism. Dainty, lace-trimmed floral patterns clung to the waist and breast, but the high necklines and flaring skirts hid the lady's cleavage and womanly parts. Designer Jessica McClintock created a new Victorian look with her Gunne Sax line. These dresses work best on confirmed girly-girls and aspiring romantic heroines. Gunne Sax reached its heyday in the 1970s. In fact, Hillary wore a Gunne Sax gown when she married Bill Clinton, a man known for his appreciation of curvacious women. Vintage shops, eBay and Etsy occasionally feature Gunne Sax designs.

Heavens to Betsey

If your mom reached adulthood during the 1980s, you might owe your existence to a Betsey Johnson dress. Donning a little velvet number with a tight, lace-up bodice, she approached your soon-to-be father and ... OK, too much information, but you get the picture. Johnson is a perpetual champion of the hourglass figure. The full-figured models on her catwalks prove the point. La Betsey titles her fashion shows using slang names for female body parts, and features hourglass-enhancing designs that display a sense of the whimsical, the iconoclastic and the outrageous. Her designs mix fashion-era metaphors, combining Victorian and punk, 1980s with 1950s, or anything she can get away with.

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