Why Cottagecore and Prairie Dressing Are Fashion’s Biggest Trends in 2020

Likewise, for spring 2020, designers such as Puppets and Puppets, Markarian, Tory Burch, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Jonathan Simkhai, and Kate Spade New York were particularly experimental with crafts elements associated with the movement, such as crochet, knits, and handmade prints. Gingham, too, a classic print associated with farm life and picnicking was seen at Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Christopher John Rogers, Ulla Johnson, and Sandy Liang.

Some labels are taking cottagecore to an even more extreme level, like the indie jewelry brand Beepy Bella. Designer Isabella Lalonde stringes fantasy inspired necklaces together which often consist of handcrafted frogs, fairies, mushrooms, butterflies, and fairies. She also recently created a cottagecore-esque fairytale book featuring work from her friends and fans.

And still, there’s no denying celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid also love the trend. Think cowboy boots, cow prints, and loose, long dresses. The spring runways were also full of prairie dressing moments and the cottagecore aesthetic. Some of these elements are part of the yeehaw agenda, which was popularized by Lil Nas in the summer of 2019. In some ways, cottagecore is developing as a less racially diverse version of that movement.

However, the cottagecore aesthetic has long had a place in fashion, according to historiansr. “A desire to escape to a simpler, more bucolic life is nothing new. 18th-century fashion icon Marie Antoinette had an entire rustic village (the Hameau de la Reine) built for her and her friends to play at, as an idyllic version of peasant life,” explains Allison Pfingst, fashion historian and advisor at the Fashion Studies program at Fordham University. There, the French queen often wore summery, simplified clothing, such as sun hats, draped muslin dresses, and peasant-inspired dresses. “Her peasant-inspired dress, sometimes called the chemise à la reine, caused quite a stir — especially when she had artist Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun painted her in such attire in 1783. The image was heavily criticized, with many believing she looked like she was wearing nothing but undergarments — but nonetheless the look caught on.”

pThe school that I attended from kindergarten through 8th grade is built on 77 acres of land so nature walks were...

“The school that I attended from kindergarten through 8th grade is built on 77 acres of land, so nature walks were plentiful — even one of my classmates. This is all to say that elements of cottagecore were more or less ingrained in my upbringing and quarantine has given me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with them.”

Pfingst also links the trend back to some of the aesthetic movements occuring during the mid-19th century, including the Dress Reform (“Often middle-class women active in first-wave feminism and other social causes, wanted clothing that was more practical, comfortable, and modest,” she says), the Arts and Crafts (“simple, rustic, handmade, and based on the flora and fauna of the British countryside”), Artistic Dress (“A byproduct of the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of artists who were interested in emulating the work of the Old Masters.… They dressed their models in robes and gowns that were inspired by the Middle Ages”), and Aesthetic Dress movements. The Aesthetic Dress movement of the 1880s and 1890s “was a continuation of the styles of the above movements — without the social agendas or moral ideals. Aestheticism was about beauty for the sake of beauty,” adds Pfingst.

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