Versace was probably one of the first brands that saw mermaidcore coming two years ago. For the label's Spring Summer '21 outing, Donatella Versace sent out an array of mermaid-like dresses that were inspired by aquatic treasures and also faintly evoked the “Trésor de la Mer” prints from Gianni Versace's Spring Summer 1992 catwalk. Printed with seashells and appliqued with starfish motifs the collection signalled pure mermaidcore energy.
Cut to the present and mermaidcore is a viral hashtag on TikTok. The release of The Little Mermaid (whose trailer initially went viral) has only fuelled this trend. A quick glance at the Spring '23 collections of Blumarine, Erdem, Victoria Beckham among others is evidence enough that the mermaid frenzy has caught on with other brands in the business. It was French couturier Marcel Rochas who first created the feminine and sensual mermaid silhouette in the 1930s. The look was later reimagined by Jean Patou in a marine-inspired creation that appeared in a 1933 issue of Vogue.
Feminine and sparkly with a dash of chill
Designer Shruti Sancheti finds the trend feminine and sparkly with a refreshing dash of chill. "It encompasses the oceanic vibe of the season and embodies every girl's fantasy," she says. To rock this trend, Sancheti advises incorporating jewel tones and colours of the aquamarine family besides adding details like ruffles, crochet, pleats, fishtail hems, fringes etc. Another key component of the look, according to Sancheti, is surface ornamentation of pearls, shells and sequins on iridescent fabrics like satin, tulle, organza, chiffon and crepe de chine.
Opt for ocean shades and breezy, flowy fabrics
Designer Aniket Satam suggests choosing ocean shades and textiles which mimic the gleaming sea or the roaring waves. "Choose from a wide spectrum of cool shades such as laguna green, sea foam or deep aqua. Go for diaphanous textiles that capture the fluidity of the sea – think layered organza or frothy ruffles created out of tulle. In terms of embellishments, opt for holographic, metallic foil or iridescent accents to recreate the dappled summer sea. Natural pearl or mother of pearl details along with sheer or translucent glass beads also work well," Satam says. A good hack to nail the look is to keep the bustier interesting and layering it with mermaid-fit bottoms. "Let the top be skimpy and heavily adorned and the bottom fitted till the knees and dramatically flaring downwards," he adds.
Mary Tranova, founder & designer for MVRI observes that fashion has always drawn from mythologies and mermaidcore always on the list of maritime resort trends. "Embrace flowy and breezy silhouettes crafted in sheer, lightweight fabrics like silk chiffon. One can never go wrong with tiered and ruffle dresses, flared bottoms, ruched and pleated textures, embellished garments, and triangle bikinis along with swimwear with cut-out details. Style it with wavy hair or loose beach curls and you’re good to go," Tranova says.
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