Last month, we did a deep dive into the dress trends that we expect to hit the big time in 2022, with a mix of archival labels and up-and-comers making our shortlist. After that story got an amazing response, we wanted to create an additional article dedicated to the products themselves, celebrating the beautiful design and innovation displayed by some of our favourite dress designers. After all, with summer just around the corner, there's no better time to brush up on your brand knowledge.
We've included a few brands that were in our original dress report alongside a handful of newbies that have recently caught our eye. We've got all the bases covered, from Dôen's cottagecore-dress styling and Matteau's minimalistic appeal to Nensi Dojaka's red carpet glamour and Aje's wedding-ready colour-pop pieces. Every brand brings something different to the table, and in a market dominated by big names, these brands are well and truly holding their own with their original and joyful approach to dress design.
If there's one dress brand that's absolutely dominating summer 2022, it's Aje. The Australian label has been on our radar for a few seasons, but its playful dresses, complete with volume, cut-outs and gorgeous colours, are exactly what we want to wear right now. And we're not the only ones—influencers can't stop wearing them either.
2. Taller Marmo
Fantastical dressing is very much on the agenda for 2022, and Taller Marmo has certainly understood that assignment. Based in Milan, the brand draws inspiration from the likes of Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor to create its louche eveningwear, which often comes adorned with fabulous feathers and fringing.
Hanifa's incredible designs are made to "illuminate natural curves” through bright colours, interesting textures and fits so sublime they're like a second skin. Its knitted cardigan and shorts set was a major hit amongst show-goers at London Fashion Week in February, but for summer, we're predicting that Hanifa dresses will be everywhere and worn by everyone who truly loves fashion.
4. O Pioneers
If you're in the market for a throwback summer dress, O Pioneers is the brand for you. The brand was set up in 2019 but has already garnered a cult following with its prairie-style dresses that come in a range of vibrant fabrics. It's a new brand for Net-a-Porter, and rest assured the only way is up for O Pioneers.
Making dresses in London using upcycled fabrics, Franks sticks to small-collection runs and made-to-measure pieces to ensure its production process is as sustainable as possible. With bright colours and feel-good prints, the brand's latest drop is perfect for any summer weddings you have coming up.
With its asymmetrical, bandaged aesthetic and spaghetti-thin straps, Nensi Dojaka is the up-and-coming brand bringing a female-directed sensuality to the world of event dressing. The brand's dresses have already been spotted on a number of A-listers, including The Crown's Emma Corrin, and we expect it to become a regular fixture on the red carpet.
It's likely that you'll have seen a number of Tove dresses on your Instagram feed over the last 12 months, particularly the Ceres style, which has become a cult favourite amongst the fashion crowd. "Tove was born out of a desire to create a timeless wardrobe of sustainable pieces that are beautifully made," says Camille Perry, the brand's co-founder.
When you think of the cottagecore aesthetic, Dôen dresses can't be too far behind. Made from incredibly soft cotton textures, its dresses are known for being comfortable to wear. And with techniques including shirring and gathering, they also evoke feelings of romanticism and nostalgia.
Kemi Telford is the designer whose name was thrust into the spotlight after it was announced that she was going to be joining forces with John Lewis last year. Born out of a fashion blog back in 2017, the brand creates versatile, standout dresses that include clever references to the founder's Nigerian roots via bright-coloured prints inspired by traditional wax fabrics.
Frustrated with the amount of waste in the fashion industry, Cro-Che founder Tacita Brown began researching ways to create garments in the most sustainable way, and she found that crochet was one of the most positive fabrics to use for garments, as it produces is very little waste. The brand's designs hark back to the '60s with their A-line, thigh-grazing silhouettes and vintage-inspired colourways.
Founded in 2012, CeliaB is a Spanish brand that designs "fun, passionate and timeless clothing" with the goal of making its customers "shine." A knowledge, understanding and unbridled appreciation for textiles and traditional craftspersonship are what sets this brand apart from the rest. I'll go as far as to say it's impossible not to feel good when you're wearing one of these dresses. They're joy on a hanger.
Matteau started out as a swimwear brand, but after branching out to chic resortwear, its dresses are arguably its most covetable item. They're particularly popular this summer, as influencers are wearing them on rotation both at home and on getaways.
Our editors are in agreement: Khanum's is about to go stellar. Exquisite embellishments and luxury fabrics define the Khanum’s aesthetic—think couture-style clothing without the couture-garment price. Make no mistake—these are dresses to wow in.