Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s latest collection for Chloé presented prairie-inspired looks
In Paris, Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s fourth collection for Chloé’s Resort 2019 presented a mash-up of Western meets prairie that included fluttering flares and longer hems, carrying over the designer’s silhouette of choice from her debut show with the house last season.
Even less established designers embraced the trend: in Copenhagen — one of the most interesting new fashion cities to have emerged in recent years— Danish designer Cecilie Banhsen displayed a similar vibe with clothes that were voluminous, with ballon sleeves, full skirts and loosely tied bows.
That the ‘frumpy’ mood has become so ubiquitous is a sign that prairie clothes are not just a one-off, but, possibly the expression of a new sartorial direction for many designers.
What the look stands for, and why these fashion houses are embracing it (as well as brands like Zara, COS, Whistles and The Kooples), is a provocation of sorts. Despite the somewhat out-of-place feel it exudes in 2018 — or, better, exactly because of it — the prairie aesthetic wants to be a counterpoint to mainstream fashion, big logos and streetwear, which often make the wearer anonymous. By way of being gentle and modest, puffed shoulders and floor-length dresses do the exact opposite: they stand out. They are unapologetic but not brash, grown-up but still tongue-in-cheek because of their frilly prints and exaggerated details.