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lirika matoshi strawberry dress
@lirika.matoshi

Investigating the sudden viral fame of a glittery strawberry dress

Unsurprisingly, TikTok is partially to blame

Over the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard people talking about The Dress. Maybe you’ve seen it – all pink flowing tulle and glitter strawberries – on your FYP, Twitter feed, or Instagram. Maybe, without knowing why, you’ve become possessed by a sudden desire to throw off your sweatpants and put on such a fanciful garment. But what is The Dress? Where did it come from? And why is it so suddenly, massively famous?

WHAT IS ‘THE DRESS’?

The dress – no, not that blue or gold one, and not that Zara polka dot one either – is this summer’s viral fashion item. Designed by Lirika Matoshi, a young Etsy seller and fashion school reject turned self-trained designer based in NYC, the dress retails for $490, which is around £370. It comes in sizes from XS to XXXL, and features a flattering plunging neckline, pouf sleeves, and a calf-skimming length with extra frills at the hem. Oh, and you can also upgrade it with a matching mask.

WHY IS IT POPULAR?

Searches for ‘strawberry dress’ peaked on Google trends on the 10th of August, but interest had been building since late July. Notably, this was when 20-year-old TikTok user and Cosplayer Avery Mayeur posted a chaotic but cute viral video of her unpacking the dress – which followers had donated to help her buy – and then one rollerskating in it to “Stawberry Blond” by Mitski. The dress (and the Mitski song) both fit well in TikTok’s bucolic cottagecore trend – which you can read more about from our April feature here

@mailleur_maker

THE STRAWBERRY DRESS HAS ARRIVED!!! BE READY FOR CONTENT ANF THANK YOU ALL SO SO MUCH :sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::strawberry::strawberry::strawberry::strawberry::strawberry:

♬ original sound - mailleur_maker

WHO WORE IT FIRST?

The dress has been for sale since last summer, and model Tess Holliday wore it back to the Grammy’s back in January. Although Life and Style called her outfit “seriously magical”, the Daily Mail called the look “strawberry sweet”, and the Independent had her on Best Dressed, she says the reaction wasn’t all enthusiastic. “This dress had me on worst dressed lists when I wore it in January but now bc a bunch of skinny ppl wore it on TikTok everyone cares,” Holliday wrote on Twitter yesterday. 

IS IT STILL FOR SALE?

Yes, you can buy it – and the matching face mask – from Matoshi’s website. According to an interview with the New York Post, the designer has been working “24/7” to match demand – which increased by 738% in the first 10 days of August compared to July. It also takes three people two days to make each dress, which justifies what some have seen as an extravagant price tag. But buyers beware: there are poor quality fakes out there too – like this very lacklustre Amazon number. No kiss for him! 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

For many people, the dress is a major indulgence, a glittery-strawberry act of self-care in some very bleak times. Despite the ways WFH style has taken over, its popularity means that no, we do not live exclusively in a world of athleisure, sweatpants, and pyjamas. Actually, dressing up still has a place – maybe an even more important one than before.