There's no denying that 2018 was blessed with many a brilliant dress, but this year is shaping up to be even better on the frock front, thanks in no small part to these contemporary dress brands.
Some of them you'll already have heard of. Ganni, Rixo, Self-Portrait and Réalisation Par are just some of the labels that have made dresses all the more covetable over recent years, and they'll continue to well into the future. In addition, though, there are so many untapped brands that produce equally beautiful designs—so we thought it was high time we archived them in one easy-to-shop place.
Lucy Williams wearing a Rixo dress.
Below you'll find a comprehensive guide to all the dress brands, old and new, that are deserving of your consideration. Whether you're looking for the dress that'll ensure you stand out at all those springtime weddings, or you just fancy treating yourself to something special, keep scrolling to discover the contemporary dress brands that'll make your wardrobe a more stylish place.
Eni wearing a Finery dress.
Keep scrolling to see the dress brands we all love…
Founded by Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, Rixo has become one of the most prolific fashion brands in the UK, boasting an esteemed fan base. Expect fierce prints, flattering pattern-cutting and high-quality fabrics.
Wear one of Three Graces London's dresses and you'll feel as if you've been transported to an exotic getaway. Made with luxurious but lightweight fabrics, these dresses will serve you just as well on the beach as they will summer in the city.
Using minimal silhouettes and structured fabrics, Solace London is the ultimate go-to for directional dresses. Solid colours are Solace's USP, as are angular cut-outs.
Beloved by the street style set, nearly all of Ganni's dresses reach cult-status. We're sure its spring/summer 2019 collection will be no exception.
With the brand's strongest collection to date, 2018 was certainly Ghost's year, and it became an Instagram regular. This year looks set to be just as stylish, too, as the brand has already released countless gorgeous midi dresses for the new season. We'll take one of each.
Sultry and feminine, Rat & Boa's dresses are ideal for after-dark soirées that call for something special. We can't argue with the prices either.
Launched in 2016 by designer Catherine Holstein, Khaite has become known for its array of clothing, particularly dresses, that are ethereal in concept but modern in execution. In short, they're the anti-boho girl's kind of floaty.
The bright hues, the kitsch prints: There's something undeniably '50s about Gül Hürgel's designs. We'll be living our best Marvellous Mrs. Maisel lives in this yellow beauty.
Statement-making prints are fast-becoming Kitri's main identifier, while the silhouettes are incredibly easy to wear.
Olivia Rubin is putting the fan back into occasion wear with her playful array of dresses, all of which come in bright colours. Just wearing one will put you in a good mood—that's a promise.
Hellbent on redefining what boho style means to the masses, By Timo's designs are graceful and sophisticated in equal measure.
If summer were a dress, it would be a LoveShackFancy dress. Made from fabrics like crochet, lace and cheesecloth, with detailing such as flounces, tiers and gathers, more beautiful frocks are hard to find.
A firm fixture on the wedding guest scene, no dress roundup would be complete without Needle & Thread. The brand is known for its breathtaking embroidery. Invest in one of its pieces and it'll spark a lifelong love-affair.
Aspirational and affordable, Finery has found its niche with its could-be-designer dresses in ornate digital-prints. This season, we can't get enough of Finery's colour-clashing creations.
Born in New York, Les Rêveries is the brainchild of two sisters who wanted to translate their love of poetry and literature into their designs. We don't know about you, but we could write sonnet after sonnet about this gorgeous mini.
If something bold is what you seek, look no further than Paper London. Be it casual or classy, its got a dress for that.
Batsheva crafted its aesthetic—ruffled-neck, long-sleeved and midi—early on and its paid off, for now its dresses are instantly recognisable whenever a high-profile influencer wears one. Which seems to be a daily occurrence.
Founded by friends Jana Sascha and Laura Castro, who grew up in Ibiza, De La Valli’s dresses sum up the glamorous yet effortless style of the island.
The brand that put tea dresses back on the map, you should certainly believe the hype surrounding Réalisation Par. Expect gorgeous silks, pretty prints and sexy silhouettes.
Created by two regulars on the street style circuit, Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Friis Madsen, Rotate combines bold uses of colour with striking silhouettes. Wear this dress with chunky trainers, just as its designers intended.
Last but certainly not least, we have Self-Portrait. The brand has enjoyed many a sellout frock, and its 2019 collection is already looking to be as in-demand as its predecessors. Invest now to avoid inevitable disappointment.
Assuming you've now fallen head over heels for one of these dresses, let our editors show you how to get maximum wear out of it.