You Are Reading
Thanks to Little Women, The Prairie Dress Trend May Live On Into 2020

Thanks to Little Women, The Prairie Dress Trend May Live On Into 2020

It’s the dress trend that just won’t die: the Victorian prairie frock cut from chintzy florals with a few ruffles around the neck or sleeve. Championed by designers like Batsheva Hay (city-ready with a cool-girl spin) and Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen (exquisitely made and steeped in British heritage), the trend has been in full force since early last year. Now, the Victoriana-meets-frontierswoman look is getting yet another stamp of approval from the zeitgeist. Today, the trailer for Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women was released and immediately went viral, with throngs of online fans proclaiming their love for a wispy-haired, ascot-wearing Timothée Chalamet and for the badass cast of ladies pursuing their own paths during Civil War–era America. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen as the March sisters, along with Meryl Streep and Laura Dern, who play Aunt March and Marmee March, respectively, the story was originally written as a novel in 1868 by Louisa May Alcott. It was revolutionary at the time for the way that it promoted the real lives and careers for women, choices that existed far outside the traditional mores of marrying well, cleaning house, and procreating.

The Little Women trailer comes off as a pretty classic period drama, even if the clothes look all too familiar in 2019. The March women wear corsets and bib dresses or petticoats and linen peasant blouses. It’s Dôen and Batsheva and Alexander McQueen all wrapped up into one, bound for millions of Instagram likes and plenty of luxury iterations on the runways. With all of the hype that Little Women has been getting as of late, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to guess that Gerwig’s Oscar-buzzy movie will be responsible for keeping the prairie trend alive well into 2020. Even better for high-necked devotees: The movie won’t be out until December 25th, allowing for plenty of time to plan Jo March–inspired wardrobes for the coming year. It might be a controversial trend—made even trickier by the fact that much of a woman’s wardrobe in that era was restrictive and ultra-feminine—but Little Women proves that you don’t have to be precious or soft spoken to wear something pretty. The March sisters have always taught us that being an all-American girl has depth—and the ability to be a playwright, a painter, or anything else, even a wife. So in the spirit of Meg, Amy, Beth, and Jo: Long live the prairie dress, the ones made for the girls who, as Dern’s character says of the sisters in the trailer, “have a way of getting into mischief.”