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  • Writer's pictureginaelisebradbury

Let's Escape with Mermaidcore

Let's dive into #mermaidcore: what are its key features, what is it inspired by, who has worn it best on the red carpet and what are the best mermaidcore buys available now



Mermaidcore, a contraction of "mermaid" and "normcore" (lofficielusa.com, 2021), has been making huge waves in the fashion industry. Firstly, let's look into the trend's key visual features. According to She Knows, "the mermaidcore trend is exactly how it sounds: you dress and style your look to that of what a mermaid would wear." (Delilah Gray, sheknows.com, March 2023) This can include a wide variety of imaginative features, including floor length gowns, pastel colours, #metallic materials, ruffles, fringe, halternecks, cut-outs, shell details and of course sequins. It is a particularly colourful, fun, creative and glamourous style of dressing that can lift spirits.


A pale pink sequin mermaidcore cut-out dress at the Nensi Dojaka S/S '23 show.
A pale pink sequin mermaidcore cut-out dress at the Nensi Dojaka S/S '23 show. (10magazine.com.au)

Since filming of the new 'Little Mermaid' movie began in January 2021 (timeout.com, 2022), it has been a strong source of inspiration for designers. In her March 2021 article, 'Mermaidcore is More Than a Fashion Trend', Daphne Dorgelo reported that "ocean-inspired fashion is on the rise this season". She ascribed it to a need for escapism during challenging times and the rising interest in nature and sustainability:


"In times of uncertainty due to the coronavirus, fashion's hankering for a different world is undeniable. Without much clarity about the future, it's easier to disappear into the deep waters, where there is lively flora and fauna, but also tranquility and strength. There's also greater interest in nature and sustainability which helps fuel this aquatic-inspired trend." (Daphne Dorgelo, lofficielusa.com, March 2021)


Model Irina Shayk wearing a pale blue ocean inspired dress on the Versace S/S '21 runway.
Model Irina Shayk wearing a pale blue ocean inspired dress on the Versace S/S '21 runway. (lofficielusa.com)

With "dopamine dressing" continuing to be popular (marieclaire.com, March 2023), it isn't surprising that this trend is set to continue in strength throughout S/S '23. It will also be heightened by the release of the new 'Little Mermaid' movie, starring Halle Bailey, which premieres in theatres on 26th May 2023. (vulture.com, 2023) Below is the trailer for the movie:



There will also be another notable mermaid in cinemas this summer as singer Dua Lipa will play a blue-haired mermaid Barbie in the upcoming 'Barbie' movie. 'Barbie' will premiere in theatres on 21st July 2023.

Dua Lipa dresses as a mermaid in an advertisement for 'Barbie'.
Dua Lipa dresses as a mermaid in an advertisement for 'Barbie'. (www.elle.com)

Dua Lipa has a daring, creative fashion sense and has been photographed in mermaidesque outfits outside of her 'Barbie' role. One example of this is a denim fishtail dress, from the Bluemarine S/S 23 collection, which she wore in November 2022. (wmagazine.com 2022) Byrdie have labelled this particular look as fitting into the "Dark Mermaid" category, a style that they describe as being focused on the seductive qualities of mermaidcore, in reference to the mermaids of ancient Greek mythology:


"Mermaids have captured imaginations for thousands of years—in Greek mythology, sirens seduce sailors to a watery death with just their voices." (Maria Santa Poggi, byrdie.com, December 2022)


Dua Lipa in a denim mermaidcore dress from the Bluemarine S/S '23 collection.
Dua Lipa in a denim mermaidcore dress from the Bluemarine S/S '23 collection. (byrdie.com)

A plethora of celebrities have been wearing glamourous mermaidcore dresses on the red carpet. Here are my favourite mermaidcore red carpet looks so far:


Jessica Chastain in bronze and lilac Gucci at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Actress Jessica Chastain in bronze and lilac Gucci at the 2022 Academy Awards. (ca.style.yahoo.com)

Ana de Armas in a mermaidcore Louis Vuitton gown with rhinestones, ruffles and a train at the 2023 Oscars.  The 'Blonde' star's dress can also be seen as a nod to Marilyn Monroe. In Style reported that this dress took 1,000 hours to create.
Actress Ana de Armas in a mermaidcore Louis Vuitton gown with rhinestones, ruffles and a train at the 2023 Oscars. The 'Blonde' star's dress can also be seen as a nod to Marilyn Monroe. In Style reported that this dress took 1,000 hours to create. (instyle.com)

Actress Danielle Deadwyler wearing a pink and white scalloped Louis Vuitton gown at the 2023 SAG Awards.
Actress Danielle Deadwyler wearing a pink and white scalloped Louis Vuitton gown at the 2023 SAG Awards. (sheknows.com)

Amanda Seyfried wearing a lilac sequin Armani Privé dress at the 2022 Emmys.
Actress Amanda Seyfried wearing a lilac sequin Armani Privé dress at the 2022 Emmys. (sheknows.com)

Writer Quinta Brunson wearing a monochrome, seashell themed fringe Jean-Louis Sabaji gown at the 2023 SAG Awards.
Writer Quinta Brunson wearing a monochrome, seashell themed fringe Jean-Louis Sabaji gown at the 2023 SAG Awards (sheknows.com)

Actress Simone Ashley combined mermaidcore with the hooded dress trend at the The Fashion Awards 2022 in London. The dress is from 1 6Arlington's S/S '23 collection and she teamed it with lucite heels and a Chopard collar. I love this outfit and also shared it in my post 'The Origin & Glamour of the Hooded Dress'.
Actress Simone Ashley combined mermaidcore with the hooded dress trend at the The Fashion Awards 2022 in London. The dress is from 16Arlington's S/S '23 collection and she teamed it with lucite heels and a Chopard collar. I love this outfit and also shared it in my post 'The Origin & Glamour of the Hooded Dress'. (glamour.co.uk)

French model Camille Rowe wearing a shimmering Celine dress at the Oscars '22 Vanity Fair Party.
French model Camille Rowe wearing a shimmering Celine dress at the Oscars '22 Vanity Fair Party. (vogue.com.au)

Jessica Chastain wearing a green metallic Gucci gown to the Vanity Fair Oscars '22 party.
Jessica Chastain wearing a green metallic Gucci gown to the Vanity Fair Oscars '22 party. (vogue.com.au)

Next, let's look at some of my favourite mermaidcore clothing and jewellery available to buy now:















I've also chosen hair accessories and beauty products that fit the mermaidcore aesthetic. Mermaidcore hair and beauty trends include iridescent 'mother of pearl' nails (glamourmagazine.co.uk, March 2023), wet-look hair, wavy hair, blue, green and metallic eye makeup and bronzed and glowing skin. (vogue.com, October 2022) All of the recommended beauty products listed below are from cruelty free brands that I have tried and loved.












Please let me know what you think of mermaidcore in the comments below. Also, which of the red carpet looks/products do you like the most? Thank you for reading, Gina.



Writing Sources

By Alejandra Gularte. Vulture. March 2023.

By Fiona Embleton. Glamour Magazine. March 2023. https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/mother-of-pearl-nails

By Halie Lesavage. Harpers Bazaar. August 2022.

By Maria Santa Poggi. Byrdie. December 2022. https://www.byrdie.com/dark-mermaidcore-trend-6833224


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