Why Zimmermann, Erdem, and Batsheva's prairie dress fashion madness is still going strong

Why Zimmermann, Erdem, and Batsheva's prairie dress fashion madness is still going strong

Antique chic

Text: Ryan Sng

Image: Instagram

Prairie dressing — i.e. old-fashioned, rustic, and covered-up clothes that blend influences from a variety of historical periods — are sort of a big deal in 2019. One may not see them on public transport, say, with the regularity of a typical trend, but there's something in the zeitgeist which is making anachronistic frocks uber-enticing to the fashion cognoscenti. From industry stalwarts like Marc Jacobs and Erdem to relative newcomers like Batsheva and Horror Vacui, we've rounded up the designers who'll best transport you to the sepia-toned past with little more than a ditsy floral print or pintucked bodice. Hold on to your bonnets, peeps, it's going to be a bumpy wagon ride.


Former lawyer Batsheva Hay's OTT prairie numbers have been spotted on the likes of cool girls Beanie Feldstein and Courtney Love; the latter even sat front row at the designer's fall/winter 2019 runway show, and was serenaded by models singing her own songs back to her.


Stacey Nishimoto

Makeup artist and cult vintage dealer of The Corner Store fame, Stacey Nishimoto recently launched her line of reproduction dresses with a single style — the Nina dress — made in small batches with deadstock Italian linen; artist Andy Dixon was recently spotted at Milan Men's Fashion Week wearing a coral-printed example. The Ninas have sold out for now, but keep your eyes peeled for Nishimoto's next drop on Instagram.


Horror Vacui

This German label's name — which refers to an overload of visual detail, for fear of empty space — is an apt description for its variously printed, scallop-trimed, ruffled frocks.


The Marc Jacobs

Given his let's-play-dress-up, magpie aesthetic tendencies, it's not surprising that Marc Jacobs has had several prior brushes with prairie fashion. His new diffusion line, The Marc Jacobs — which issues definitive, ultimate versions of fashion staples — predictably included a handful of prairie styles in its debut range.



This Australian brand's love for all things beachwear is tempered by some surprisingly covered-up, intricately detailed pieces.



Quite possibly the most high-profile and consistent of the prairie dress pushers, Erdem's historically-inspired designs have repeatedly seduced the likes of Keira Knightley and Claire Foy, themselves no strangers to a little period drama.