WHAT'S in a dress? Just ask actress Kate Winslet who has turned Stella McCartney's 'miracle dress' into her very own red-carpet sensation of 2011.
Kate turned heads at the Venice Film Festival in September wearing Stella's €925, colour-blocked frock -- a triumph of optical illusion which makes you look two sizes slimmer.
Curvy Kate couldn't get enough of the dress -- dubbed 'The Miracle' because the contoured front panel creates the illusion of a deceptively narrow waist. And in a highly unusual celebrity move, the 'Titanic' star reprised her Stella fashion hit in Paris last month, wearing the same dress, but this time in a red-and-black combination.
Style fiends have been smitten by the clever optics and built-in girdle-qualities of the dress. The black side panels barely visible to trick the eye into just seeing the slim front panel, while the stretchy fabric consolidates the dress's bodycon credentials.
Kate's double bite at the design -- which started out in life in Stella's collection as 'The Octavia' -- has only fed into an international fashion frenzy to land a 'Miracle' for Christmas.
The demand reached Brown Thomas on the capital's Grafton Street yesterday when the long awaited, pre-Christmas delivery of the dress finally hit the rails.
Christmas shoppers at the BT 'Marvel Room' were able to put their name down on Santa's fashion list for a pre-order of the dress and yesterday only a handful of the dresses were still available to buy.
The hefty price tag -- with only €75 change left out of €1,000 -- hasn't deterred afficionados who love the dress with its double whammy of slimming sides and enhancing bust line.
Stock vanished within days at Stella's New York store after celebrities such as Liv Tyler was papped in the dress.