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Say Yes to the Giant Dress

This essential pandemic fashion item is expansively fabulous, and expands our personal space.

Dorothy Woodend 21 Apr 2021 | TheTyee.ca

Dorothy Woodend is culture editor of The Tyee. Reach her here.

Any great social upheaval seems to bring a change in fashion. The previous pandemic ushered in the Flapper’s fluid dresses. The Second World War brought on Dior’s iconic nipped-in waists and bounteous circle skirts. The '60s youth quake produced the miniskirt. So it makes sense that today’s social reset would bring in a new style.

With this, I give you: Giant Dress.

If you’re wondering what to wear when we all emerge from this long period of isolation, Giant Dress offers a wide variety of options, and I do mean wide.

For one, Giant Dress acts as six-metre COVID-safe barrier, expanding out like a hoop skirt of old. But rather than cinching and corseting into an hour-glass silhouette, Giant Dress is loose and flowing, like a river.

In the celebrity world, it seems the bigger the dress, the more important the personage: think the Queens of old, by which I mean Rihanna, obviously.

When RiRi took to the red carpet of the Met Ball a few years ago wearing designer Guo Pei’s epic yolk-yellow concoction, the internet went mad. But who’s laughing now? As usual, our girl was on the money long before the rest of the world caught up. But if you can’t afford the frankly insane prices of such haute couture ensembles, never fear: there are always ways to fake epic fabulosity.

That’s the great thing about Giant Dress. There are no rules. Any old bolt of fabric can be transformed into a new look. If you’re not crafty, the fashion world is more than happy to accommodate. Everlane’s tiered option is super cute. Is it a dress or a waterfall? It’s both! For the staider fashionistas, there’s always Eileen Fisher, in neutral colours and quality fabrics.

The fashion world has already come up with a number of different descriptors to convince folks that this is the dress of the moment — “flowing,” “breezy” and best of all, “forgiving,” making the dress sound like the sartorial equivalent of the Virgin Mary, who was actually one of the progenitors of the giant dress. Are you going to argue with the Holy Mother? Of course not, so hie thee to your closest clothing store. Or simply find some old curtains, break out that old Singer sewing machine and get to stitching.

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Giant Dress hides all your flaws, all your sins. Simply pull a swath of fabric overtop whatever you wish to obscure. But the endless yardage can be used for other purposes too. Need to do some tidying around house? Simply don your dress and swoosh around: the trailing train picks up dust bunnies like nobody’s business. When you’ve finished sweeping up, simply throw the dress in the washing machine. Giant Dress is a million times better than a Swiffer: environmentally friendly, reusable, multipurpose.

Need a pup tent? Giant Dress. An awning, some shade from the sun? GD again. Something to shelter an escaped convict? Hide them under that huge skirt and wait for the authorities to pass. You might even get a compliment or two from the coppers. Ha ha, po-po! Giant Dress has foiled you again.

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Giant Dress works for all genders. Harry Styles, Kurt Cobain and Kid Cudi can’t be wrong, and if they are, well I don’t want to be right. Dresses for men, although still relatively rare, might catch on and become the contemporary equivalent of the codpieces of old: the bigger, the better.

Don’t listen to those folks predicting the return of low-rise jeans. They’re nuts. Once you’ve tasted the fruits of comfort, you will never (willingly) return to the pain and pinching of tight, uncomfortable clothes. It’s like trying to go back to wearing heels after running shoes, or even better, barefoot. Why did I ever want to do this to myself, one wonders? Damn good question.

As the Guardian asserts, dresses that lend themselves to movement, to freedom, are what people are looking for. Retaining the ease and comfort of dressing at home, but in something that you can actually leave the house in.

Clothing of the future has long been predicted to be skin-tight jumpsuits — think Star Trek, Logan’s Run, etc. I believe it’s more likely, as fashion embraces the idea of using older stuff, that clothing pieced together out of older things, like musty quilts and 1970s knitted afghan throws, will be the new gold rush. Look to the perpetually sold-out quilted jackets of Toronto’s Honeybea if you need further convincing. This makes sense: why make new things when you can fix up the old? Giant Dress is endlessly accommodating in this fashion.

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So just keep going, Giant Dress wearers, expanding ever outwards. After all, it’s not just a dress: it’s a kingdom, a fiefdom, new fashion territory — literally. Float down the street, like a one-person parade. The world will fall at your feet, so pull them along on your trailing hem. Like the true queen you are.  [Tyee]

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