Thursday, July 22, 2010


 The Prairie gown is also known as the maxi or hippie dress. I call them hostess gowns because their latest revival comes from the laid-back home entertaining crowd here on the West Coast embracing this casual but chic look. Prairie gowns initially were introduced in the late 60s early 70s era and sported a totally different look than the contemporary gown today.  Designer Jessica McClintock took elements from prairie looks such as pinafores, eyelet cottons, high collars and made the name Gunne Sax synonymous with a laid-back country look.  Fast forward thirty some years and these gowns are still long, to-the-floor and in cotton eyelet but are sleeveless and have lower necklines.  Lately gowns like the ones above have showed up around resorts and resort climates, eventually moving out onto the streets and into bridal wear.  For the more casual or backyard wedding they're popular in eco-chic fibers like linen and cotton. I’m even finding some in vintage stores online offered up as hippie or boho gowns.


Here's a look at some Prairie gowns from the initial 1970s revival. 
Early Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax about 1974. 
And guess who sported the Prairie look on her wedding day October 11, 1975 . . . .?  Not a very clear picture of Hillary and Bill I know but she looks very chic for her time . . .

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