With their ability to flatter, mermaid dresses will keep coming back like the waves

As she strutted the red carpet at Cannes, at the screening of Wes Gordon's Moonrise Kingdom, Eva Longoria could well have risen from the sea. The embroidered Marchesa gown she wore — neckline gradually merging into skin, with the train quite like the froth of the water — was the mermaid gown at its best. (Eva probably didn't give away the gift of speech, though.) A perfect embodiment of women's quest for the hourglass — hugging one in all the right places, going away where it needs to — the mermaid dress is a gown silhouette that'll never go.

The past few weeks saw many a breathtaking example. These ranged from the more broody black Alexander McQueen gown that Cate Blanchett wore at the Met gala in New York to the more romantic and wispy embellished tulle number that Scarlett Johansson wore at the same event (the latter from the actor's favourite Dolce & Gabbana).

Dancing with the Stars star Julianne Hough opted for a magenta silk mermaid dress from Carolina Herrera at the Met ball, while at Cannes, Jane Fonda shone in red Atelier Versace. At the Met ball, again, model Karolina Kurkova sparkled in a gold Rachel Zoe creation.