There’s a new It-dress in town: the popcorn dress. Designed by cult New York-based Mara Hoffman, its universally flattering shape means it suits all body shapes. Available in a range of different colours and styles, the popcorn dress has been spotted on some of the world’s most stylish women, from Beyoncé and Katy Perry to Janelle Monae. So why has it become to go-to dress of choice for the fashion elite?
The magic seems to lie in the combination of its uniquely flattering style and its sustainable fashion credentials. Mara Hoffman, who launched her eponymous label in 2000 after her vibrant prints caught the eye of legendary Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field, strives to make the brand as sustainable as possible, crafting each collection in socially responsible conditions using ethically sourced and recycled fabrics.
Ramona Popcorn dress
The popcorn dress is no exception, having been knit from Tencel modal, which is derived from Beechwood trees in a process that recycles 95% of the materials used. As well as being one of the more eco-friendly options on the market, the fabric is also particularly durable, meaning the dress is knit to last from season to season, rather than being a flash-in-the-pan trend.
Laura popcorn dress
With its form-fitting style and signature scrunched, popcorn-like texture, the stretchiness of the dress means it’s accessible to a wider range of body types, and comes in a range of sizes from XXS to 3X. First released in spring 2020, the range has become so popular that it even has its own dedicated tab on the Mara Hoffman website – The Popcorn Shop – where you can choose from one of the eight dress styles as well as a series of top-skirt sets.
One of the most popular styles is the ‘Amy’, a body-hugging, long-sleeved midi dress in an abstract two-tone design, but the shorter Laura style flew off the shelves after Beyoncé posted a picture of herself wearing a vibrant colour-blocked version of the mini, while the chic strappy Sloan is a wedding guest staple.
Kassia Popcorn dress
Then there’s the fact that it’s so easy to wear. Though it might be a form-fitting design, its textured fabric cleverly skims over any lumps and bumps, ensuring it’s still a firm favourite with those who would usually steer clear of typical bodycon dresses. Graphic and bold, it’s sexy while also being conservative and has even been embraced by pregnant women, after Katy Perry wore the Freya popcorn dress to debut her baby bump for the very first time.
Of course, popcorn dresses are nothing new. The style first rose to prominence in the 90s and 00s, when the textured fabric took over tops and made fashion’s first foray into the world of 3D design. Now they’re all over the runways, with Marine Serre’s S/S 2022 show filled with popcorn dresses in colour clashing floral styles and Fashion East designer Chet Lo taking the effect to a whole new level with his spike-covered pastel popcorn pieces. But the reigning queen of the trend remains Mara Hoffman, who releases new variations and colour combinations every season. Get them while you still can.