• Connecting you to Australia’s best dress rental boutiques
  • Browse over 7,000 dresses and accessories for hire
Clothing Hire Fashion

The Top 16 Designers for School Formal Dresses in 2023

With your school formal coming up this year, finding the perfect dress can be a daunting task. Whilst it’s exciting, it can be a bit stressful for some. Many haven’t dressed up for an occasion of this style before, so they don’t know where to begin. Whereas others might be feeling the pressure of the big night, feeling like they have to make sure they look their best.

We’re here to help! One way of finding the perfect dress is to seek them out by designer or brand.

A designer’s offerings, in terms of style, fit, materials and length are often consistent, so knowing which designer’s dresses you like first, might take you a long way to narrowing down your choice.

We’ve created this list based on a combination of popularity, availability and our head stylist’s personal favourites. Without further ado, in no particular order, we present to you our top 16 designers for school formal dresses in Australia in 2023!

Jump ahead:


Elliatt is a fabulous special occasion-wear brand created by Australian designer Katie Pratt in 2011. Her goal was to cater to the stylish crowds of Sydney and Melbourne, and boy, has she succeeded!

Elliatt’s signature aesthetic is all about creating bold-yet-feminine shapes that are elevated by intricate details like lace and embroidery. Their designs are the perfect balance of bold and beautiful, and they’re sure to make you stand out from the crowd.

Their large collection has something for everyone to show off their best features – whether its showing a bit of leg, off-the-shoulder or cinching the waist – whilst still keeping it classy and beautiful.

Once you see and feel the quality of an Elliatt piece, you might just be hooked.

Price point: $$$$$


If you’re looking for a sexy, chic and unique dress for your school formal, it’s hard to go past Australian label, Sonya (sometimes referred to as Sonya Moda). Sonya was without doubt the hottest label in its category in 2022.

Sonya Mefaddi, the brand’s founder, has brought together luxurious fabrics and innovative designs to create pieces that are perfect for summer events. With her experience producing shows for other Australian labels, Sonya has put her own twist on the latest trends to create her own unique aesthetic that perfectly balances her Jordanian heritage with her Australian upbringing.

The result is a collection of dresses that are anything from daring and edgy, to classic and feminine.

Each Sonya dress is like a show-stopping art-piece, and some signature styles come in a range of colours & prints, like the hugely popular Nour dress.

Price point: $$$$$

Effie Kats

This young and exciting Australian label is making waves with its perfectly tailored suits, elegant evening dresses, and bold statement pieces – all crafted with exquisite attention to detail.

The eponymous label founder comes from a long family history of tailors, so it’s no surprise the brand combines exceptional tailoring with a fresh and vibrant perspective.

The bold, block colours of Effie Kats’ dresses are perfect for pairing with contrasting accessories to create an eye-catching ensemble.

Effie’s creations have been worn by several of Australia’s biggest celebrities, and you’ll be sure to leave an impression as well in an Effie Kats gown or dress.

Price point: $$$$$


Are you looking for a dress that’s as unique and complex as you are? Look no further than L’idée.

This special occasion wear brand is all about showcasing your feminine strength and confidence through bold colours and unmistakable signature pleating.

Created by Ukrainian Julia Iedvdokymenko and Australian Breeana Smith, the dynamic duo has created an aesthetic that’s all about expressing the multiple layers and complexities of women today.

L’idée has mastered the art of designing pieces that flatter your figure without clinging to it. They really cater to a large audience, with some of their signature styles available in a rainbow of different colours and pastels.

So, if you want to make your mark out at your school formal, choose L’idée and let your unique beauty shine.

Price point: $$$$$

Lia Stublla

Lia Stublla has to be one of our favourite designers for school formal wear in 2023.

This incredible fashion brand creates some of the most strikingly beautiful evening gowns and formal attire for women with refined taste.

Known for their dramatic designs and sumptuous colours, Lia Stublla dresses are all about making a statement and turning heads. It’s no wonder that this iconic brand has garnered attention from the fashion world and has been featured in numerous style magazines in recent times. Iggy Azalea even wore a crimson Lia Stublla dress for her Harper’s Bazaar cover shoot.

Their gowns are renowned for their feature splits and trains, leaving you feeling like a new-age princess.

It’s hard to go wrong with a glamorous Lia Stublla gown for your formal – just make sure you organise it early as they really made a name for themselves with the school ball crowd in 2022, and availability can be an issue!

Price point: $$$$$

Nicola Finetti

If you’re looking for a dress that’s both feminine and edgy, then a Nicola Finetti creation could be the one. This Italian-born designer has been a mainstay on the Australian fashion scene for years and it’s easy to see why. His special occasion and cocktail dresses are all about capturing a sense of liveliness and passion for beautiful design.

Nicola’s garments are known for their structural elements, which are perfectly balanced by delicate touches to create a stunning overall effect.

Whether you’re after something daring or something a little more demure, Nicola Finetti has got you covered.

Price point: $$$$$


If you’re dreaming of a dress that captures the free-spirited, effortless beauty of women, then you should definitely check out Winona.

This iconic Australian label has grown from a local fashion brand to a global presence, thanks to the passionate artistry of designer Alyssa Lani Winona Mobbs. Her collections of dresses are all about infusing a sense of luxury and on-trend design with special embellishments that truly make each piece unique.

From its flagship store in the iconic Bondi Beach to being stocked in boutiques around the world, Winona has become a go-to brand for girls who want to look and feel their best.

Whilst Winona develops a wide variety of creations, they love to bring the glitz & glamour with sparkly sequin dresses or slinky slips.

If you choose a Winona dress, you’ll be sure to turn heads and feel amazing.

Price point: $$$$$

Ivona Skelo

If you’re looking for a truly enchanting dress for your school formal, Ivona Skelo’s evening wear and special occasion dresses are worth checking out.

The Croatian-born Australian designer draws inspiration from the European Baroque era, and her collections showcase opulent patterns and vibrant colours that embody timeless luxury and grandeur.

Each dress is a work of art, featuring the most extravagant detailing and lush fabrics. From daring silhouettes to intricate crystal details, these show-stopping dresses are sure to make a statement.

The Vivia gown, in both black and white, have been getting a lot of interest and attention. We love it!

Price point: $$$$$

Albina Dyla

If you really want to turn heads at your school formal, an Albina Dyla gown is the way to go.

This internationally renowned label, founded by the namesake designer in Kosovo in 2014, has gained recognition in the fashion world for its exceptionally luxurious hand-made evening dresses and special occasion gowns.

Each piece is crafted with the finest crystal detailing or exquisite fabrics, exuding high glamour and commanding attention.

The “Magnifique” embellished leaf gown in particular is one that has had a huge amount of attention on social media. This is another one you should really get onto early as there’s only a few of them available for hire in Australia.

Price point: $$$$$

[[include=blog/product-cards.inc,Designer=Albina Dyla|CategoryName=School Formal,/designer/albina-dyla|View all Albina Dyla Gowns,filters]]


Known for their sophisticated evening wear and cocktail dresses, Lexi’s designs are all about celebrating the female form in a flattering and comfortable way.

The Adelaide-based label was founded by couturier Alexis George, and with over 30 years of fashion experience, Pat Georgiou now leads the design team.

From innovative fabric combinations to vintage-inspired details, Lexi offers elegant pieces that strike the perfect balance between timeless and modern, making them a hit with fashion-forward young women everywhere.

Whilst the Lexi range is extensive, they certainly have a penchant for a playful cut-out or opening around the midriff or waist. There’s a Lexi dress for almost everyone and the price point makes it very accessible.

Price point: $$$$$

[[include=blog/product-cards.inc,Designer=Lexi|CategoryName=School Formal,/designer/lexi|View all Lexi Dresses,filters]]

Bianca and Bridgett

Get ready to make a statement at your school formal with Bianca and Bridgett‘s glamorous eveningwear collections.

Founded by two stylish Melbourne sisters, Bianca and Bridgett’s designs exude confidence and glamour. Their unique and luxurious gowns, dresses, and power suiting are made to flatter and make you feel like a million bucks.

From velvet to sequins and delicate woven fabrics, Bianca and Bridgett’s pieces will add a touch of luxury to your big night.

Price point: $$$$$


Nookie was launched in 2005 by Nikita Sernack, who sought to create party dresses that would celebrate women’s strength and independence. Nookie’s designs are perfect for the adventurous and free-spirited, and each piece is crafted to highlight and enhance the natural beauty of the female form.

This Australian label has developed a devoted following of A-listers like Emily Ratajkowski, Jessica Alba, and Chrissy Teigen thanks to its effortlessly sexy designs. Their pieces often incorporate boujee fabrics such as sequins or velvet, giving a sense of luxury.

If you’re after a seductive body-hugging dress or gown to showcase your figure from top to bottom, Nookie is your go-to.


If you’re looking for formal wear that makes a statement, Jadore has got you covered. This proudly Australian brand is all about sharp, sexy styles that highlight your curves and leave a lasting impression.

With their modern cuts, sumptuous details, and luxurious fabrics, Jadore’s floor-length gowns are the epitome of glamour and sophistication. And let’s not forget their sexy cocktail dresses that are sure to turn heads!

If you’re a confident and daring fashionista, Jadore could be the perfect choice for your school formal.

Price point: $$$$$

Grace & Hart

As one of the top evening wear brands in Australia, Grace & Hart’s designs are simply stunning.

Founded in 1997, Grace & Hart has been providing beautiful formal dresses and gowns for over two decades. Their dresses feature beautiful details like lace and beading, which give them a luxurious feel but are still on the more affordable side.

For a luxe feel without breaking the bank, Grace & Hart is definitely worth checking out.

Price point: $$$$$

House of CB

Founded in 2010 by the young and talented Conna Waller, this London-based brand has quickly become a go-to for statement-making dresses and eveningwear.

House of CB dresses are known for accentuating your curves. The collection boasts daring and gorgeous bodycon dresses that come in stunning colours and fabrics, making you stand out and flaunt your best attributes.

House of CB dresses have a sultry allure and a some might even be considered “lingerie-inspired”.

You’ll love the attention to detail in each design, and it’s no wonder that celebrities like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lopez have all rocked House of CB on the red carpet.

You’ll definitely command attention at your school ball in a House of CB dress or gown.

Price point: $$$$$

Michael Lo Sordo

This talented Australian designer has made a name for himself in the fashion world, creating stunning dresses and evening wear with a clean and effortless style.

Since 2006, Michael Lo Sordo has been showcasing his designs at Australian Fashion Week, and his pieces have graced the pages of many fashion magazines including Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle. Fans of the label include A-grade celebs like Margot Robbie, Kim Kardashian, and Gigi Hadid.

Michael Lo Sordo’s alluring (and sometimes revealing) designs will have you feeling modern, yet romantic. You’ll be sure to get noticed at your school formal.

So there you have it – our top 16 designers for school ball dresses in 2023.

We have a great selection of dresses from every one of them available for hire online at All The Dresses. Just check out our School Formal occasion category.

Renting a dress saves you money, and is also a more ethical & sustainable choice. Not only that, the range and quality on offer at ATD will in most cases surpass what you can buy.

There’s really not many good reasons to be buying your school formal dress in 2023.

For reading till the end, here’s a little tip – go to our homepage and scroll to the very bottom, then subscribe to our mailing list. You’ll be emailed a 10% off discount code to use on your first order!