I’ll be the first person to admit that I know next to nothing about fashion. All I wear are variations of crop tops and high waisted bottoms (quarantine looks notwithstanding), and I basically never sign onto a trend until I’ve seen it at every music festival (RIP) and I can no longer pretend it’s too impractical to be worn. So maybe I’m not the right person to be writing this article, or maybe I’m the exact perfect person to write it. In any case, I’m here to comment on an extremely puzzling choice by Lululemon, so that’s that. While I may not be on the cutting edge of the latest fashion trends, I’m not the only person who was straight-up bewildered by this Lululemon dress, that looks sort of like something you might find in the halls of Hogwarts or on a Handmaid, because it’s getting absolutely clowned in the reviews.
The Face Forward dress, a collar between Lululemon and London-based designer Roksanda, features black and navy color blocking, secured zipper pockets (pockets!), an interior card pocket (sure, why not), mesh ventilation, and a whole slew of other features, including a weird cord tie situation in the front. I’ve never looked at my mom’s 30-year-old bungee cords and thought to myself that they would look great plastered on my hips, but I guess that’s why I’m not a fashion designer. I never thought I would hate on a dress with pockets, but then I never thought that I would be confronted with… whatever this is:
My first thought was that this looks less like a dress and more like a graduation robe. All it needs is one of those puffy funny-shaped hats the professors wear, a sash, and we’d be set. I guess I could see why you’d purchase this, if you were supposed to walk with the Class of 2020 and had your commencement ceremony reduced to a Zoom call? With the maroon-and-gold sweatshirt draped over the model’s shoulders (why? the dress already has long sleeves), I was getting serious Hogwarts vibes.
And according to the online reviews, I was not the only person who found the vibe of this dress oddly familiar, though a few people thought it would be more fitting for a certain Hun-fighting Disney character than a member of the Ravenclaw house.
Others just picked up on the general warrior aesthetic.
One reviewer pointed out how truly versatile this dress is for the fashion-forward time traveler. Talk about an investment!
Finally, another theme that emerged amongst the reviews was how perfectly the Face Forward Dress would fit in with an authoritarian regime. (So maybe we should all stock up now?)
Yet, despite its perplexing aesthetic and hefty price tag (at $248, I wouldn’t pay that, even for the most realistic Hunger Games costume in the world), the dress is sold out in four sizes. So it seems that people are really buying this! One earnest reviewer wrote the following glowing praise:
If it really is snug in the shoulders, it may not be so useful on a battlefield after all. Buyer beware!
Okay, after Googling “Celine Dion wig”, I’m inclined to think this was a joke. Moving on.
There was only one negative review, which, if you can believe it, is even more perplexing than the fake positive ones.
Why would you leave a review for something your friend bought? Why would you buy a dress, only to turn around and try to sell it to a friend? And most of all, why would you defame the good monkey name? Those creatures had nothing to do with this.
The Lululemon x Roksanda Face Forward dress also comes in a shade called “Caliente/Rustic Coral”, that is really just red, if you want to dive all the way into the Handmaid vibes. And, even better, it’s on sale, for an affordable $179!
Much like watching any given episode of Project Runway, examining this dress has made me realize that I know absolutely nothing about fashion—but at least I’m not alone. I know that some of us have money to blow after receiving our stimulus checks, but there are way better things to spend it on than a bougie athleisure company’s answer to Hogwarts/Mulan/medieval cosplay.