Evening Wear: Not Just a Ball Gown

Florence Vocolla, owner, F. Bianco discusses the creative ways you can dress up


"This dress is by Norma Kamali. You could call it a bat dress. You can either do it as a dress and make it very formal or do what I did and dress it down a bit with a pair of pants.

I’ve been interested in fashion since I was a very young girl. I used to make my own clothes and I’m also a seamstress. I’ve never been to college, never taken a course in fashion, but I learned from experience. My store was in Garden City for 26 years until my lease expired recently and I moved to Wayland Square. I just needed a change.

My closet has almost all black clothing. I just always feel good in black and a lot of customers do, too. The pieces are timeless and some of them I’ve had for many years. I’m not really a trendy person but your hair and accessories can update a basic piece.

People will come into my store and ask what color is in. I say, whatever color looks good on you is in.

I look at quality, style and price. I think your clothing should be an investment. If you wear something that’s trendy, by the time you put it on your body, everybody is wearing it already. And who is to say this is in and this is out?

I think that evening wear is more creative than it used to be. It’s not just a dress anymore – it could be separates. It could be a soft, flowy pant with a fabulous shoe, a great handbag and a little beaded top. Nowadays, black tie is not only a gown.

There are a lot of professional and business people in Providence who come into my store. They want kind of a classic, funky, basic look. People love basics. It’s not as heavily accessorized as what you might see elsewhere."

F. Bianco
467 Angell Street

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