The myth of mermaids – aquatic creatures with the body of a woman from the waist up, and a fish tale below – is ancient, traced back to 1000 B.C. Assyria, when the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into one as penance, after accidentally killing her human lover, a shepherd.
Mythology evolved into folklore, with stories alternating between good (elucidating humans on disease cures) and bad. The “siren song” originally referred to mermaids whose beautiful singing lure lonely sailors to their deaths. While exploring the Caribbean, Christopher Columbus claims to have seen them. Throughout the world, various legends continue, but thanks to Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney Studios, “The Little Mermaid’s” tale there is a universal story.
The Fashion “Tail” – Mermaid-Style Sensibilities
What mermaids have brought to the world of fashion is a super sexy dress style, popular with celebrities. A mermaid-style dress has a fitted bodice, sleeved or strapless, but also a fitted torso and throughout the hips, ending, between the top of the knees to above the ankles, wherein the dress fans out into a “tail” (called a “trumpet” by some designers and shops). You, too, can get the look, and the 2016 Sherri Hill Prom Dresses collection offers you many choices, for many body types.
Mermaid-Style Dresses: A Red-Carpet Regular
The mermaid-style dress has been worn to many red-carpet events and formal parties and campaigns. Here’s just a glimpse at who has worn them:
- Drew Barrymore (for Neiman Marcus “Art of Fashion” campaign by Norman Jean Roy)
- Kendall Jenner (the 2014 Met Gala)
- Hilary Duff (Vera Wang for her 14 August 2010 wedding to Mike Comrie, held in Santa Barbara, Calif)
- Maria Menounos (Zac Posen for the 2013 Emmy Awards)
- Anne Hathaway (Giorgio Armani Prive at the Oscars)
- Jessica Alba (peach Oscar de la Renta for the 2013 Golden Globe Awards)
- Julie Bowen (Halston Heritage for the 2013 Emmy Awards)
- Lea Michelle (Zac Posen for the Tony Awards)
- Bernadette Peters (green strapless for the 2015 Tony Awards
- Geneva Carr (red strapless for the 2015 Tony Awards)
- Irina Shayk (amfAR gala, 2015 in Cannes)
- Keri Hilson (nude colored, strapless for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards)
- Heidi Klum (asymmetrical shouldered red gown, 2015 Golden Globes)
- Jennifer Lawrence (orange strapless, 2014 Oscars)
- Nina Dobrev (red ruffled strapless, Emmys)
- Kim Kardashian(black lace cap sleeved, Golden Globes)
Do you have what it takes?
Traditionally, the definition for a mermaid-style dress is a slim-fitted gown that hugs curves and tapers out, following the lines of the hips and thighs until it flares out. It is especially flattering on brides with an hourglass figure. Despite what might be true about more hip-hugging styles, the mermaid-style prom dress can actually be very flattering for plus-sized women.
Look at Sherri Hill prom dresses and see if there’s one to suit you. Bear in mind that a mermaid-style dress is constricting. Don’t worry, you can still dance, but you’re not likely going to be able to flail around like…well, like a fish.
Mimic a Mermaid
Celebrities love the style so much so, that there are actually actresses who have not just worn a mermaid-style gown, but actually dressed like mermaids, including
- Reese Witherspoon (SNL skit with Will Farrell)
- Courtney Stodden (commercial for freecreditscore.com)
- Rihanna (Vogue cover and Vita Coco Coconut Water ads)
- Vanessa Hudgens (the 2013 conservation initiative projectmermaid.com)
- Paris Hilton (to promote her “Siren” cologne)
- Katy Perry (GHD hairdryer campaign)
- Anna Kendrick (dressed as “Little Mermaid” Ariel in an SNL spoof)
- Azealia Banks (event attendee)
- Sara Paxton (the popular 2006 movie “Aquamarine”)
You don’t have to go in costume to achieve the sexy and stylish look of the mermaid-style fashion gown. One of the many advantages to the style is that it is available as strapless, strapped, and sleeved, from capped to flared to long-fitted. Today’s mermaid dresses are an updated version of the dresses which were so popular in the 1980s, as wedding and bridesmaids gowns. Today’s styles are designed to flatter and a great choice for your 2016 prom.