Darts are amazing for the kind of look I like. However, I dislike them greatly. Not exactly sure why except it is probably because after all the patterning and cutting I am so ready to sew this thing (whatever thing it is I am sewing) and then I realise I have to mark and sew the darts first!
I used French Seams at the sides, but stopped the second pass at the knee because I am still thinking about how I am going to achieve the look I want.
For me the look also involves how it will move. So, I have this video in my head of how the lower part of the gown will move when the model walks. It may require the side seams to be open from the knee. I would prefer not to take out 2 lines of stitching if that is the case!