When we talk about prairie dresses, it would be easy to assume we’re referring to the likes of little Laura Ingalls, who lived in a Little House. Or worse yet, that nasty Nellie Olson. We wouldn’t blame you if prairie dresses make you think of compounds in Utah and Sister Wives with braids and big white bonnets. Certainly, chic isn’t a word we commonly associate with prairie dresses. However, as we keep saying, romance, femininity and frills are the fashion buzz words this season. You may not find the idea of sharing a husband with three other wives particularly romantic, but the new prairie dresses are romantic, feminine and totally modern. Though Boho is totally in as well, there is a distinction between Boho Chic and Prairie Chic. 2016’s prairie look is country, minus the bumpkin, and hip without being straight-up hippie. Romantic Prairie uses lace, organza, ruffles, frills and embroideries to drive home a vision of Victorian elegance, juxtaposed with traditional western and militaristic elements. The appeal of the prairie dress — is in its ease, elegance, and floaty movement. Loose smock shapes come complete with flared sleeves, ribbon chokers draw attention to the decolletage and the shoulders have a huge moment with flashy peasant blouses. Touches of sheer fabric and cut-out detailing provide the pieces with a modern edge, along with a lightness despite the myriad of frills adorning them. They’re sexy without being overtly so, and body-conscious without showing too much skin. Styling is once again key. Wear a yoke print blouse with a pair of boyfriend jeans or a prairie dress with a pair of chunky biker boots or lace-up jack boots. Throw a leather jacket or a parka over the top of more traditional styles, or wear one of this season's pretty ruffle skirts with a boyish sweater. Since lingerie looks are in, for evening try pairing a vintage camisole with a prairie skirt, a light jacket, killer heels and a glitzy handbag. Of course modern makeup and hair styles are crucial for keeping you from looking like you’re going to a costume party. Ditto when it comes to choosing your accessories and jewelry.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.” ~ Emily DickinsonPhotography by: Elodie Durand