It all started long before I posted this picture (top) on Instagram of Elle Ferguson wearing this gorgeous dress that she designed for Billabong. I have been a little obsessed with this style of Indian block printed dress for years and years. I just love everything about them, and they are my absolute favourite style of dress to wear in the summer, and on holiday. But they have to be the right kind. They need to be in more muted colours; a little faded; made from super-soft cotton; and preferably have long, balloon sleeves. I have a vintage one from Peekaboo (I bought it in their conecession in Topshop approximately a hundred years ago). It was green and blue with a fine god thread running through it (some of you may have seen me wearing it on Instragm – it was a big favourite of mine), and I LOVED it to death. I even used to wear it to work (with a heel) when I was at Glamour. And it did, literally die on me. I had it repaired so many times, but in the end the cotton was paper thin, so sheer, and just too worn to wear in public anymore (even with a slip underneath it was borderline indecent). I haven’t thrown it away (I simply can’t bear to – it’s in a box in the attic), but that’s the end of that dress. So I am always searching for replacements.
Now I was lucky enough to get my paws on one of Elle’s dresses (and I was happy to hear that a few you managed to get one too), and it really is a great dress. And don’t despair if you wren’t one of the lucky ones, Elle told me that some more are going to be made. So stay tuned. But in the meantime, I want to share a few great alternatives for this particular style of Indian block printed dress. The lovely Anna from Little Circle DM-ed me after my post to see whether I knew Little Gypsy? I didn’t, but I do now! Most of the dresses I have featured here are from there – gorgeous colours, good prices, and they have ‘mini me’ versions for little girls too. Yes please!
Etsy also have a few good (vintage) ones, which I have added below. Some are quite pricey for sure, but not all, so take a look.
And lastly, it’s not quite as ‘ethnic-y’as the ones I am talking about, but I have this Santorini Marlowe dress from Lily & Lionel, and it’s so pretty. I haven’t actually worn it yet (I’ve been saving it for the summer), even though I’ve had it for months now, but I will busting it out very soon I am sure. It’s so gorgeous on, and because it’s more fitted around the body than the more traditional styles, it also looks great with a grey sweatshirt/sweater over the top.