An evening dress for women refers to a long, flowing gown. The fabric of the dress is likely to vary between satin, organza, chiffon, velvet and others. As such silk is one of the most popular fabrics in making this particular variety of clothing merchandises. Many people mistakenly use the terms ball gown and evening gowns interchangeably. But from technical aspect they are not exactly the same.
An evening gown is simpler and it can be just any silhouette including A-line, sheath, mermaid or trumpet-shaped along with a dropped waist. On the other hand a ball gown should have a well-fitted bodice and a full skirt.
Court dresses of yesteryears gradually transformed to evening gowns of today. As you may have guessed correctly, this range of dresses originated in the royal courts of Europe. The 15th century Burgandian Court under the stylish and tasteful ruler Philip the Good bears the earliest account of court dresses for women.
In the earlier times court dresses were most designed from wool. it was a popular trend for women from royal lineages to add a train to their kirtle while attending any regal event. Plush fibers and fabrics were very costly back in those days. Only the nobles could afford spending that kind of money. Social status of an individual invariably reflected in the clothing of the person.
However all these time tested and rigid ranking systems, imposed the erstwhile society, were washed down with the dawn of Renaissance. As the barriers were lifted people, who could afford never backed out from displaying their wealth and affluence through their dresses. These people were mostly wealthy merchants, who enjoyed considerable clout at various European courts.
Furs were a premium item even in those times. Those expensive silken clothes were trimmed fur and the combination of two extremely costly components used to reveal the social status and ranking of the wearer.