The Student News Site of Oregon State University



The Student News Site of Oregon State University


Bloody Chic

Sam Misa

In the mesmerizing realm of fashion and film, there are those rare moments when cinema transcends the silver screen to become a powerful muse for the world of style. 

“Carrie,” the 1976 horror classic based on Stephen King’s chilling novel, is one of those iconic tales. It’s not only a heart-pounding story of high school horrors and supernatural abilities but also a mesmerizing showcase of fashion, spotlighting the timeless elegance of the slip dress.

The slip dress can be traced back as far as the 1920s but it wasn’t until the ‘70s, ‘90s and then again today that it sparked popularity. The slip dress trend saw resurgence in the 1970s during the time of disco and self-expression. 

It was often worn without a bra and in vibrant, eye catching colors. One of the most iconic moments in slip dress history came in the 1990s when supermodel Kate Moss famously wore a simple, sheer, minimalistic slip dress to the Elite Model Management party in 1993. This event was a turning point in fashion as it combined the “heroin chic” aesthetic and grunge-inspired minimalism. The slip dress became a staple of the 90s fashion trends.

But will it stay relevant?

The slip dress started as a thin underlayer worn under other dresses. It was made from lightweight, silky materials like satin or silk and usually had thin straps or some sort of lace detail. 

This “undergarment” aimed to create a smooth, comfortable barrier between the body and the outer layer of an outfit. Early slip dresses were usually long and had a simple shape. Carrie White’s was just that, a long, pale pink simple slip that she made herself stunting a braless, simple curled hair, jewelry free moment for her senior prom; A pivotal and memorable scene in the movie.

This particular long pink slip dress worn by Carrie left a lasting impression on fashion by juxtaposing the innocence and elegance of the garment with the horror and tragedy that transpires in the movie – apart from the iconic bloody moment when that dress was instantly stained red. 

Sam Misa

The movie’s portrayal of Carrie in a slip dress contributed to sparked interest in this undergarment as outerwear.

The movie shows the slip dress as a symbol of femininity and vulnerability as well as symbolizing the overarching theme of Carrie White finally becoming a woman.

In more recent years, the slip dress has continued to be a versatile and enduring fashion staple, with designers and celebrities incorporating it into various styles and trends. 

Danielle Simpson, the general manager at Runway Fashion Exchange weighed in on the rise of popularity of slip dresses.

“We’re seeing them for daytime looks, nighttime looks, and a variety of different styles as well, whether that be going out, sleepwear, daytime, anything like that,” Simpson said. 

Describing the styles of slip dresses, Simpson is seeing in the store.  “Our most popular (slip dress) that we get in are black or pink ones because they sell the fastest,” Simpson said. “Victoria Secret always sells super fast for us but also I’ve been seeing a lot of longer slip dresses, like full length maxi ones which I think are really pretty and classy but those are mainly black.”

Alina Matsumoto, a fourth year Interior design major also had thoughts to share on the resurgence of the slip dress. 

“I really like it, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for different types of outfits or styles because it’s a big thing to layer,” Matsumoto said. 

Matsumoto says she likes the femininity of slip dresses. “(The dress is) almost like ‘free the nip’, the way slip dresses move with your body, it’s screaming confidence,” Matsumoto said.

When asked about the slip dress trend around Oregon State University’s campus, Matsumoto says she is seeing it almost as a closet staple. “People would throw a graphic tee over it and pair it with sneakers or even cowboy boots,” Matsumoto said. “People are practically taking this one piece of clothing and doing anything with it.”

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