The pretty but slightly perplexing dress is a hit with celebrities and royalty alike. Here’s why it is so popular
As our esteemed readers know, we at the Guardian fashion desk do not make a habit of blanket coverage every time a duchess wears a dress to a thing. There are issues that demand rolling coverage in the news right now, and common sense suggests that Kate’s decision to wear, say, a tweed suit versus a wool coatdress on a given day’s charity visit probably isn’t one of those issues. But when she wore a sparkling green Vampire’s Wife dress, with that label’s distinctively dramatic emo-mermaid silhouette and frilled bracelet-length sleeves, it was a genuine moment. Every fashion-based WhatsApp group started blinking in unison; the dress was headline news on Vogue soon after.
Accessorised with a pint of Guinness during the first stop on the Cambridges’ tour of Ireland, this was a coronation. Not for Kate – for the dress. It was the moment that the Vampire’s Wife dress became an official It dress. Not since Cameron Diaz and Scarlett Johansson simultaneously swooped on Roland Mouret’s Galaxy dress in 2005 has one dress been so ubiquitous. After a lengthy under-the-radar campaign of red-carpet appearances, the Falconetti, which costs £1,595, has branched out from its indie heartland to become a bona fide mainstream hit. Back in 2018, Rachel Weisz wore a floor-length, deepest aubergine version to the Baftas, Margot Robbie wore the same in crimson to a wedding in Australia and Jennifer Aniston chose an identical frock for a Jimmy Kimmel appearance. Last year, Kate Moss appeared in a Vampire’s Wife campaign modelling a shorter version, the Mayhem, while Princess Beatrice wore the Falconetti to Ellie Goulding’s wedding. This dress has crossed every divide: from London to LA, from music to fashion, and from alternative to establishment.