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Twelfth Night and Twelve Mardi Gras Gowns

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The New Orleans Carnival season kicks off with what is traditionally known as Twelfth Night, the feast of Epiphany. It starts January 6 and the festivities continue straight through Fat Tuesday. Twelfth Night marks the beginning merriment of parades, pageantry, king cake and a mayhem of Mardi Gras celebrations.

It was celebrated by Creole society from the early days of colonial Louisiana with Bals de Roi (the King’s Ball) given at plantations and homes for family and friends; Revelers dress for every occasion; from elaborate costumes, to the traditional festive colors of green, purple and yellow, to grandiose ball gowns. This long standing tradition continues to be a huge part of New Orleans winter social season, debutante balls, and an opportunity to pull out all the stops when it comes to dressing for carnival season.

View the slideshow of the top twelve gowns that will take you from Twelfth Night through Fat Tuesday.

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Twelfth Night and Gown One for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown One for Mardi Gras Photographer Gustavo Escanelle

Twelfth Night and Gown One for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 is by designer Ashley Gunkel.

Twelfth Night and Gown Two for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Two for Mardi Gras Photographer Gustavo Escanelle

Twelfth Night and Gown Two for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 is by designer Stephanie Young.

Twelfth Night and Gown Three for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Three for Mardi Gras photographer John Charles

Twelfth Night and Gown Three for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 from Chatta Box.

Twelfth Night and Gown Four for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Four for Mardi Gras photographer John Charles

Twelfth Night and Gown Four for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 from Chatta Box.

Twelfth Night and Gown Five for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Five for Mardi Gras Photographer Jeff Strout

Twelfth Night and Gown Five for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 from Red Carpet Boutique.

Twelfth Night and Gown Six for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Six for Mardi Gras Photographer Jeff Strout

Twelfth Night and Gown Six for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 from Saks.

Twelfth Night and Gown Seven for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Seven for Mardi Gras Photographer Gustavo Escanelle

Twelfth Night and Gown Seven for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 by designer Sidratu.

Twelfth Night and Gown Eight for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Eight for Mardi Gras Photographer Gustavo Escanelle

Twelfth Night and Gown Eight for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 from Raffaele.

Twelfth Night and Gown Nine for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Nine for Mardi Gras Photo Courtesy of Pedram Couture

Twelfth Night and Gown Nine for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 by designer Pedram Couture.

Twelfth Night and Gown Ten for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Ten for Mardi Gras photographer John Charles

Twelfth Night and Gown Ten for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 from Prima Donna's Closet.

Twelfth Night and Gown Eleven for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Eleven for Mardi Gras Photographer Gustavo Escanelle

Twelfth Night and Gown Eleven for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 by designer Tabitha Bethune.

Twelfth Night and Gown Twelve for Mardi Gras
Twelfth Night and Gown Twelve for Mardi Gras Courtesy of Harold Clarke

Twelfth Night and Gown Twelve for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras festivities start long before Fat Tuesday with extravagant parties, balls and pageantry. And dressing in top style is a huge part of the celebration.  One of the top picks for Mardi Gras 2014 by designer Harold Clarke.

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