Sometimes, there comes a trend so powerful, it dominates the landscape. It creeps across Instagram feeds and infiltrates public transportation until one day, you turn around at office happy hour and your vision is obscured by a sea of blue ruffles and bare shoulders.
You know this dress. I know this dress. And so does Lulu Krause, comedian and the brains behind genius Tumblr account The Blue Off-The-Shoulder Dress From Zara, a blog dedicated to documenting sightings of the dress. Krause, of course, takes things one step further, adding in witty captions — Should I balayage? Do you have this in rose gold? Iced matcha frapp soy unsweetened. Iced matcha frapp soy unsweetened. Iced matcha frapp soy unsweetened — that bring the viewer into the mind of those who wear The Dress.
Currently, the website contains over 40 dress sightings, but Krause has a backlog of over 80 photos waiting to join their blue brethren online. But, what drives someone to start this type of catalogue? And what insight can be gleaned from seeing so many photos of the same damn dress? Below, Krause answers our questions (and more).
What inspired you to start documenting all of the Zara off-the-shoulder blue dresses?
"At the beginning of last summer (2016) I started noticing the trend all over New York. I wasn't actively searching for a project like this — the dress was popping up so frequently that it's almost like...it chose me.
"Anyway, when it got colder out, the dress went away, and I thought that I wouldn't see it again. But this June, on a stroll through my neighbourhood (Carroll Gardens), I saw the dress! It had been resurrected. At that point, I decided to share all of the photos I'd taken the previous summer."
How many of the photos do you take yourself?
"I had never planned on sharing my snaps from last summer (it was just an inside joke with myself), so those were all taken by me. When I shared the photos on Facebook this June, my friends started sending their own sightings my way. Since then, I've heard from people I haven't spoken to in years, which has been a true delight. It's become a bizarre real-life "Where's Waldo" game.
"At this point, I probably get an average of eight or nine photos from friends every week. These include sightings in Vancouver, Greece, Spain, a lot from Italy, and across the United States."
Where are the best places to spot the dress?
"Chelsea on the weekends, Financial District during the week. Hands down."
And what is so compelling about this dress?
"The reason I am so fascinated by this dress in particular is that it's remarkably constricting. A friend actually lent me the dress, and I took it for a test drive, which was as enlightening as it was entertaining. I'd say you lose around 80% of your mobility in it — your arms can't go above 45 degrees without compromising the intended shape of the garment. It's impossible to hail a cab or wave violently (my two favourite past-times)."
Why do you think so many people are attracted to this piece? Do you think it'll ever be dethroned by another trend?
"I think it's a relatively flattering shape and it's easy to wear. That being said, I think yes, the trend will soon fade away (I can't imagine it making a third comeback next summer). I've started noticing a new trend though — men wearing white T-shirts tucked into white pants. If I see enough of that outfit in the next couple of weeks, I may start recording my sightings."