The wrap dress

It started with a divorced princess coming to America with a suitcase full of jersey dresses.

If you’re somewhat familiar with the history of this item, the first thing that should come to mind when thinking of it is the 1970s and the Belgian-born designer Diane Von Fürstenberg. Because it was then – and thanks to her – that it spiked in popularity and became an iconic style in womenswear. 

But we don’t only have Von Fürstenberg to thank for its existence. When she arrived in the United States with a suitcase full of dresses, the wrap dress silhouette had been around for at least four decades, originally introduced by Elsa Schiaparelli and Claire McCardell. Their models were called ‘popover dresses’ and can be considered the basis for the modern wrap-around dresses that Von Fürstenberg made popular. What set her design apart from theirs was its V-neck cut, long sleeves, knee length, and its modern composition; synthetic, elastic, body-hugging fabrics.

When Von Fürstenberg’s wrap-dress was introduced, it was a sensation for the female wardrobe. The 70s was a decade when large amounts of women established their place in previously male-dominated workplaces and the wrap dress was a good option to wear to work because it was both proper and sensual. This was the dress’ primetime, coming in bold prints and bright colours. But the dress has stuck around and become an essential item. With 70s influences in current fashion, the wrap-dress has yet again become significant.

The pictured wrap dress is from this autumn’s H&M Studio collection and, unlike the most popular 70s models, is a full length version, instead of ending around the knee. Scroll or swipe to the bottom of the page to shop the look!

The wrap dress is modelled by Danish beauty Camilla Christensen (Le Management). Lok Lau (CLM) did her hair, and Nina Belkhir (Mikas Looks) worked her makeup magic.

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