Instagram: @batshevadress

Instagram: @batshevadress

In the year of the dress, it was the paramour of the seasoned Insta-pro, the prairie style frock, that reigned supreme. 

Opinions are divided, though.

The beauty of the Pre-Raphaelite era, the musical that is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, or the hella-hick wardrobe of Goldie Hawn in the 1987 rendition of Overboard are all references which spring to mind. 

There is another rising trend that could give explanation to the popularity of this style of dress – which is perhaps one of the biggest fashion movements of 2018 - modesty. According to global fashion search platform, Lyst, there was a 406 per cent rise in searches for 'modest' as well as the terms 'high neck' and 'puff sleeve' in what the platform is calling the Pre-Raphaelite Prairie trend. 

One of the main perpetrators of this demure explosion is New York designer Batsheva Hay (find her at @batshevadress on Insta). Hay's take on floral Laura Ashley frump (hello from the 1980s) has skyrocketed, due to its ability to tap into the influencer market. 

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This coven of influencers

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SJP last night 

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(The fact that mega-fans include the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Mandy Moore and Lena Dunham doesn't hurt either.) Hay's dresses tap hit upon that so-wrong-it's-right niche that labels such as Off White exploited in season's past, it doesn't hurt either that it emulates a certain Lady Di in her prime, at a time when royal family fascination has reached fever pitch. 

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I love this  @matchesfashion @leandramcohen

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Another such brand popularising the style is The Vampire's Wife, the brainchild of Nick Cave's other half, Susie, which has been gaining momentum since 2017, when the likes of Kylie Minogue and Alexa Chung started to support the brand's gothic-meets-rock-and-roll-vibe.

In fact, so popular was TVW in 2018 that it had not one, but three, cameos at this year's royal wedding. What better way to seal your status as dressing-up cat-nip?

A simple shape – a nipped in waist, long and frilled sleeve, high ruffle neck and a sweeping floor length – but one that looks good both in the flesh, and in Insta Stories, we can see why this trend has been such a winner.

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