In case you've been living under a rock, the Strawberry Dress has reached infamous status, clamored by the cottage-core community, with its price of $490 debated superfluously on Twitter. The dress is designed by New York designer Lirika Matoshi. For a designer brand, the dress isn't too expensive, especially when factoring in fair pay. Though we should never shame people for buying fast fashion because of their financial situations, it's always best practice to ethically consume fashion. You can find the strawberry dress, along with Lirika Matoshi's ethereal, twirl-inducing designs here.
Aside from fast fashion and ethical consumption, the strawberry dress also sparked dialogue on fashion and fatphobia.
Plus-sized model Tess Holliday put it succinctly in her Instagram post, writing "....this dress had me on worst dressed lists when I wore it in January to the Grammys, but now bc a bunch of skinny ppl wore it on TikTok everyone cares... To sum it up: our society hates fat people, especially when we are winning."
In her post, Holliday brings up several good points. Though she was one of the first high-profile people to wear this dress, Holliday was derided for it. The dress only reached a level of popularity after thin influencers on TikTok began wearing it, pairing the dress with Mitski's song, "Strawberry Blonde." Though the praise is well-deserved, the dress only rose to popularity after people closer to unattainable beauty standards began modeling it. Holliday was not the trendsetter, but rather bashed for her fashion choice at the time. The only difference? Her size. Essentially, the slimmer TikTok-ers were trendsetters, and Holliday was forgotten until her Instagram post.
It's no secret that fashion is not accessible to fat people, with sizes generally going up to XL (equivalent to a size 12 or 14), despite the average size of the American women being between sizes 16 to 18 (an XXL). When these larger sizes are available, sometimes prices raise between standard sizes (up to size 14) and plus-sizes (14 and up). When stores themselves don't stock sizes — even online — plus-sized and fat women must look towards thrifting, but even that is being co-opted as the baggy, oversized look becomes popular. Who else has watched a thrift haul on youtube with a slim influencer showcasing the 'oversized' clothing they bought, which would have fit perfectly on the plus-size body it was designed for? Finding affordable, ethically produced plus-sized fashion is near impossible. While the strawberry dress might not be affordable to all, Lirkia Matoshi's focus on fair pay, wide-ranging sizes and ethical production is admirable.
It's no surprise that the dress has become bigger than itself. Take a look at the Strawberry Dress hashtag, and you'll see scores of artwork featuring people of all sizes, shapes and genders wearing the dress. Effervescent and playful, the dress is for everyone. Though the Strawberry Dress' rise in popularity may have stemmed from slimmer models, its roots are in the work of an all-women company started by an immigrant, with a plus-sized woman as a proponent of the brand. Fatphobia squirms its way into many facets of our life, and it's important to recognize its existence and push against it. So here's to the Strawberry Dress — a one of a kind work of art that anyone, and everyone, can look beautiful in.