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Prairie Dresses Are Back In Fashion, Apparently


DangerNoodle
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Former fundies can put those 90s dresses to good use as haute couture. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2018/09/13/prairie-dresses-yes-prairie-dresses-are-the-most-provocative-thing-in-fashion-right-now/

 

 

And that will be a hard no from me. Why can't they bring back something attractive- like the tailored look of the forties. 

I'd wear a plague doctor mask in public before I wear Prairie dress.

 

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Edited by DangerNoodle
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I have to admit it...I LOVE prairie dresses. There are two of them (circa 1980s) in the back of my closet. I will never fit into either of them again, but I can’t let them go. ?‍♀️

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These have been in fashion for a while, its kinda a silly article. Valentino and the Vampire's Wife has been pumping them out for years.

Batsheva Hay comes from an orthodox background which influences her style.

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I have a picture of my mom and a group of her friends all dressed just like this for a high school dance some time in the mid 70s... they look like they're in a cult. Or a production of "Oklahoma." 

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11 hours ago, Emilycharlotte said:

I have to admit it...I LOVE prairie dresses. There are two of them (circa 1980s) in the back of my closet. I will never fit into either of them again, but I can’t let them go. ?‍♀️

Laura Ashley Edwardian style cotton dresses were absolutely trendy when I was in college in London.   So I think of prairie dresses as 1970s high fashion not 1980s, but perhaps the trend took a while to work its way across the Atlantic.  I was never into Laura Ashley; I was more of a Biba type.   

However, my bridesmaids in 1979 picked out their own dresses.  I was absolutely not to blame for them looking like this:

Laura-Ashley.jpg

 

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I have the Folkwear prairie dress pattern. I've never made it, but maybe I should now! It would give me an excuse to go fabric shopping--not that I need one; I've got plenty of fabric--because prairie dresses take lots of fabric, and most of what I have is maybe 1-2 yard pieces.

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14 hours ago, AliC said:

I kinda like prairie dresses honestly. ACTUAL prairie dresses. Not these haute couture "prairie dresses"...lol

You’re right, those are pretty awful. I was so excited by the thread title, I didn’t really look at the pictures!

4 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

Laura Ashley Edwardian style cotton dresses were absolutely trendy when I was in college in London.   So I think of prairie dresses as 1970s high fashion not 1980s, but perhaps the trend took a while to work its way across the Atlantic.  I was never into Laura Ashley; I was more of a Biba type.   

However, my bridesmaids in 1979 picked out their own dresses.  I was absolutely not to blame for them looking like this:

Laura-Ashley.jpg

 

You’re right, too. I remember having a denim prairie skirt and a ruffled blouse ensemble in the late 70s, and Laura Ashley was around as well. Also Gunne Sax, those high-necked, lacy, Victorian ones—not prairie style, but old-fashioned and surely modest by anyone’s standards. (My son once saw an old picture and asked if I was Amish.)  My hoarded Laura Ashley dress is one I bought in the late 80s, and it isn’t really prairie style—but it has a low waist, cloth-covered buttons, a big lace collar, and I think it’s beautiful, no matter what anyone says. ? 

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I admit to loving Gunne Sax-style frumpy dresses. They're so interesting. I have noticed a lot of people rediscovering them lately - there was an episode of Girl Boss about them too. So I'm quite happy to reclaim them as couture while fundies mill around in bland and uninteresting modern modest ensembles.

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I recently attended a wedding where the bride wore a vintage Gunne Sax dress and it was adorable. 

That said, prairie dresses are going to be a “no” from this old girl. They don’t do short women any favors. 

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In the sixties granny dresses were popular, I really wanted one but you had to be on the shorter side and very thin to carry it off.  Back in those days you had to wear a freaking dress to school or you got sent home!  Still makes me mad.

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I absolutely loved Gunne Sax!  I wore quite a few of them in the late 70's - early 80's.  And even as late as 1985, I wore one when we left our wedding reception.  But they were very good quality and it showed.  My daughter, who grew up to love Lolita fashion, says that a lot of that style and Gunne Sax in particular are very popular with the Lolita culture.  She was a little miffed to discover that I did not keep my dresses 30 + years for her, but she does admit that there is no way I could have known that she would like them.  This dress is a picture I found online but it is very similar to the one I wore away from our wedding.  I think the skirt fabric may have been different but I can't find my pictures at the moment.  It was not a maxi dress, I think it was probably below my knees in length though. :)

image.thumb.png.71216a0f9b6829649888b2c18b555dc3.png

Edited by Briefly
Added a picture and a sentence.
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Those "haute couture" dresses are ugly, IMO.

I LOVE actual prairie dresses, though.  And I got married in Jessica McClintock, and will always adore my dress.  

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18 hours ago, Emilycharlotte said:

You’re right, those are pretty awful. I was so excited by the thread title, I didn’t really look at the pictures!

You’re right, too. I remember having a denim prairie skirt and a ruffled blouse ensemble in the late 70s, and Laura Ashley was around as well. Also Gunne Sax, those high-necked, lacy, Victorian ones—not prairie style, but old-fashioned and surely modest by anyone’s standards. (My son once saw an old picture and asked if I was Amish.)  My hoarded Laura Ashley dress is one I bought in the late 80s, and it isn’t really prairie style—but it has a low waist, cloth-covered buttons, a big lace collar, and I think it’s beautiful, no matter what anyone says. ? 

My friend group (plus me and Mr Gobsmacked) all married in the 1980's. Every wedding involved a huge photo full of Laura Ashley dresses!! Huge collars were de rigour (sp very tired just now!). My own dress was a casualty of our recent house downsize. I hope it's next home will be with someone who loved it as much as I did! It went to a retro second hand shop. 

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17 hours ago, Briefly said:

I absolutely loved Gunne Sax!  I wore quite a few of them in the late 70's - early 80's.  And even as late as 1985, I wore one when we left our wedding reception.  But they were very good quality and it showed.  My daughter, who grew up to love Lolita fashion, says that a lot of that style and Gunne Sax in particular are very popular with the Lolita culture.  She was a little miffed to discover that I did not keep my dresses 30 + years for her, but she does admit that there is no way I could have known that she would like them.  This dress is a picture I found online but it is very similar to the one I wore away from our wedding.  I think the skirt fabric may have been different but I can't find my pictures at the moment.  It was not a maxi dress, I think it was probably below my knees in length though. :)

image.thumb.png.71216a0f9b6829649888b2c18b555dc3.png

I've been wearing stuff like this for ages, I buy stuff from joe browns that looks like this. Does this make me fashionable for the first time in my life? :P

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I've got a couple of my mum's 70s Laura Ashley dresses - one blue with white flowers with an empire waist and a square neck, and a grey flowered one with a high neckline, buttons down the front, leg o'mutton sleeves with long, buttoned wrists and a HUGE amount of fabric from a high sash waist.  It's so impractical, just because it's fabric everywhere!

But what's making me grin is how, if modest prairie dresses come into fashion, the Fundies who still wear them will have to stop, because "modest wear" isn't about actual modesty, but about drawing attention to themselves by looking different.  All those Fundies who layer up 2 skirts, or 2 tops, when they could just wear the longer ones - but that would miss the point, which is showing off how holier than thou they all are.  Why buy a modest wedding dress, when buying a strapless one and having a godawful adaptation will make it unmissable?

(That said, I wonder what the fashionable yummy mummies of the Fundy world will do about their own daughters.  I can't see, eg, Alyssa Bates putting her daughters in prairie dresses, even if they're über fashionable, just because they'd give her frumper flashbacks...)

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I don't hate the modern take on the prairie dresses. The Laura Ashley/horrid long sleeve floral dresses of the 80s are SO ugly. Even in the early 90s I thought they were ugly and uncomfortable looking. 

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Mr Keen went to Prom in 1994, with a Pastor's daughter, who made her own dress. It was very much Laura Ashley inspired. Short sleeve leg-o-mutton sleeves. HUGE butt bow. Florals. She made him a matching pocket square and cummerbund.

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I feel like a lot of fashion lines have been borderline prairie muffin lately - ie Realisation Par's long, super floral, loose skirt styles, or Dolce & Gabbana longer hemline dresses.  

It drives me nuts because I'm very much a "tailored solids, pencil dresses, silk blouses, sweater sets" girl and the look lately is either Kardashian Ho or Baggy Florals for All. 

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I'm not sure how long they've stayed, but at one point Laura Ashley moved their US offices into one of Jim Bakker's old Heritage USA buildings!

90's and 80's stuff is back in a big way, but I'm too short and round for prairie dresses.

I am holding my breath for the Courtney Love babydoll dresses with combat boots to return. We're on the verge of it, but not QUITE there yet. I'm keeping my eye out for a cute shorter floral or lacy dress to wear with my doc martens, though.

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