17/11/2016
We all know it. We all want it. But should we?

Words by

Bianca O'Neill

The Realisation Par ‘Alexandra’ dress. We all know it. We all want it. But should we?

For those who are uninitiated, the ‘Alexandra’ is basically a low cut dress with a bunch of ruffles on it. It will lovingly help you part with the larger chunk of your weekly salary. 

The ‘Alexandra’ is a must-have, because it’s made by a label founded by 4th and Bleeker blogger, Alexandra Spencer, and Melbourne-based it-designer, Teale Talbot. And also because it will make your bazingas pop, which boys like a lot, apparently.

We all know how I feel about Spencer and her white underpants, so it’s really no surprise the dress was recently embroiled in a sexism controversy.

But let’s ignore the questionable description on the site, which begins with: “Here’s what we know. Men love sundresses...” Let’s even ignore the gross use of “maybe you scratched your dad’s car” followed by “this is the dress that makes [men] forget why they were even mad at you in the first place.” 

(Srsly tho, ew).

Let’s instead focus on the endless stream of women who think that dressing in something a million other people have will make them feel safe. That it will make men like them. Like some boring, embracing cocoon of sartorial acceptance. And red boob ruffles.

I’ve spoken a lot about my boredom with the constant flow of identical Instagram feeds these days and even about the decline of ‘real’ street style to the point that it’s just one big, fat #sponsored gallery of ad-spo.

And now, an inanimate object has become a metaphor for the millennial obsession with being exactly the same as everyone else, while also insisting that you’re such an individual.

Even the Realisation Par brand identity perfectly balances the projection of individuality with the safety of sameness. As I scroll through the online shop in the search for ‘Alexandra’, I struggle to tell the difference between five different dresses.

“Each Realisation piece,” the website tells me, “is meant to be an individual addition to your own personal style.” It then, confusingly, ends with the cultish mantra of: “Together we are everything.”

How many times I’ve gone to a music festival, only to be confronted by a group of five girls wearing the same outfit. Like, literally. The. Exact. Same. Outfit. Is this safety in numbers? Or are we all, deep down, just deathly afraid of being different?

The ‘Alexandra’ dress isn’t some magical cloak of hotness that will transform you into a sex kitten. It won’t draw 15 guys out of the woodwork at your fave bar like an overpriced magnet of pseudo-silk. It’s a fucking dress. 

Do you know what will? You. 

You do you, girl. And you certainly don’t need a $200 dress to do that.

Follow Bianca’s journey of self-discovery in non-sexy clothing over @_thesecondrow