Manner critic Le notes that the universal enchantment of the Puff Costume arrives in component from the way it was intended to glance excellent on all physique kinds. The gown is loose on every single component of a woman’s body the place outfits is generally tight—stomach, upper arms, and butt. But contrary to a caftan or sweatsuit, it has an intensely female condition.
“Because of the way the dress fits, it form of appears excellent on everyone,” claims Lee.
This was Gordon’s intention. Selkie, named immediately after the magical folklore creatures, has its own fantastical backstory. Gordon experienced been a successful youthful designer—her model Wildfox was well-liked with famous people like Taylor Swift. But when she missing the firm to her male business spouse, she dropped almost everything. She had small dollars and no strategies. “At the time I didn’t even have a résumé,” she says. She created finishes satisfy by getting freelance pictures work—she ended up receiving compact contracts shooting Wildfox outfits that she had developed but had never gotten to see realized.
“It totally crushed my spirit,” she claims. She felt voiceless—she started painting pictures of the Very little Mermaid becoming strangled. And then she assumed of the legend her mom had told her escalating up, of the selkie—a sea-dwelling girl, held prisoner on land by a man. The selkie receives her flexibility back by regaining her seal pores and skin, a impressive mantle of security. Gordon was swept away by her reminiscences of the tale. She felt all set to get started a new company, earning attire that would make their wearers feel highly effective.
Gordon took the minimal money she had remaining around from Wildfox and set it into Selkie. Every single trader she in the beginning approached, she says, turned her down. She began to offer some dresses, but she rapidly ran by way of her cash. “I remember emotion so a lot shame,” she claims of the concern that she could eliminate a second company. At the very last moment she connected with an investor, a woman acquaintance, on LinkedIn.
They secured funding. Gordon developed the Puff Costume. Before long it commenced to provide out.
I really don’t know when my point with Selkie started out. At some issue I bought into this habit—every number of times I go on the Selkie web-site, and kind of…pay my respects. I scroll via the web page, which is backlit in the shade of a clean peony. The names of the dresses have an impact on my mind that feels related to ingesting a clean french fry: the Toddler Banana Puff, the Romance Novel, the Stepmom Princess Dress, the Poptart Ritz Robe. More than with any other digital trend model, scrolling on Selkie feels as satisfying as thumbing via materials on a rack.
A Selkie dress is not a thing you want. It is anything you extensive for. There is something almost dreadful about them—they are the actual physical realization of a buried desire, 1 that felt personal but turns out to be the collective want of a sprawling community. Each a single of the brand’s values—ethical production, minimal-waste procedures, expansive sizing—resonates with me. Still, I be reluctant to purchase 1.
I’ve invested years hoping to recognize why I am compelled to current myself in a way that so powerfully caters to a straight, white, male fantasy. Are Selkies the direct realization of a male fantasy? Or a lot more of a commentary on getting a female in a man’s earth? Females shell out our lives remaining addressed like objects, like little girls. “Fine,” says the Selkie, audaciously. “I’m an object. Great, I’m a tiny child female. You want a little one donning a cupcake? I’m a fucking infant wearing a cupcake.”
But conversing to Selkie enthusiasts, it’s evident: They are not striving to subvert male wish. They are not pondering about males at all. “I couldn’t care fewer about the male gaze,” states Teabout. Her Selkies attract very little male interest, she suggests, but she receives loads of compliments from old females. On Instagram, Selkie wearers generally search blissed out, surrounded by natural beauty, perched over compliments, remaining primarily by other women, that unfurl in the responses like the train on a wedding robe.