Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

How the slip dress became this season's fashion must-have

These 1990s staples are enjoying another revival and were the most searched-for fashion item in January

The slip dress is a throwback to the 1990s.
The slip dress is a throwback to the 1990s.

Whichever fashion direction you look to right now, the chances are you’ll see some variation of the classic slip dress. From runways and malls to fast-fashion sites and Instagram influencers, it has established itself firmly as this season’s must-have garment.

The slip dress, like so many of this generation’s trends, is a throwback to the 1990s. It was popularised by supermodels-of-the-moment such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon, who made it their off-duty look, but the style has been around for centuries.

The slip dress began life in the Middle Ages in the form of a smock or chemise – a loose and lightweight garment worn beneath women’s dresseswith the chemise becoming famous in 18th-century France after Marie Antoinette began wearing an adapted version as outerwear for more casual gatherings.

It was revived in the 1900s amid the suffrage movement as women freed themselves from the corset and was especially popular as outerwear during the 1920s, thanks to the flapper style.

Over the following decades, slip dresses were an item common in most women’s wardrobes, with Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs and Prada among the designers responsible for the style’s mass resurgence in 1990s. Short, satin styles were soon adapted into more formal evening styles.

The slip dress fell out of favour again during the Noughties, when fashion favoured a tighter, bodycon style of dress. But in 2016, the catwalks brought it back, with Burberry, Celine, and Givenchy all featuring loose-fitting, bias-cut satin dresses, blurring the lines between public and private style.

This season’s take on the slip features spaghetti straps, jewel tones and cowl necks, with mustard having a particular moment.

Updated: February 16, 2019 12:33 PM