Beauty & Fashion

The poser dress: why the ‘it’ look of party season is one you can’t move in

It’s full length, fitted and not suited to sitting or walking. But the poser’s impractical form arguably makes a political statement as well as a fashion one

According to Ernest Hemingway, the experience of writing is easy. “All you do is sit down at a typewriter, and bleed.” Of course, Hemingway could also have been talking about the experience of writing while wearing a particular style of dress. It’s a dress that is doing the rounds on the red carpet. It’s on the pages of Vogue and at the ritziest parties. We’re calling it the poser dress. You might not literally bleed when you wear it, but it is so fitted, it renders the simplest of tasks – walking, kneeling, waving, praying, swallowing, laughing and, yes, sitting – almost impossible. What a time to be alive.

Full length, long sleeved and fitted – often “like a sheath”, wrote one critic without euphemism – the poser dress has been on our radar since late August, when the autumn collections crept on to our feeds. An umbrella term for the sort of floral printed dresses made by Balenciaga, then Zara and Topshop, the summer versions were accessible. And fun. They often came with a slit (good for stairs), were worn with a nice white boot and enjoyed an Arcadian existence on Instagram and the frow. Then the clocks went back and the poser dress was reborn as something dark, moody and gothic.

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