Mirror Pale Maria dresses are in many ways nothing new. It’s a simple linen dress that hugs the body and has a fluttering sweetheart neckline at the end.But when the brand posts her TikTok of her $595 dress, it gets 1.4 million views and viral. spread in
It wasn’t just a dress, it became an ‘it girl’ dress.
“It’s not a dress. It’s a THEEE dress,” user @Charly commented on TikTok. “I don’t want this dress to make me feel like Catherine Zeta-Jones from Zorro,” @Kaira replied. “Pricing a minimum wage shift to about 12 hours would kill you so much,” @addieomaley wrote.
Each item sold by Mirror Palais is sustainably made to order in New York City’s Clothing District. Founder and designer Marcelo Gaia got the idea for Maria’s dress when he came across his woolen spool of vintage linen.
“[The fabric] reminds me of my mother This reminds me of my family in Brazil,” says Gaia. “Because it’s so hot in Brazil, these kinds of linen are very popular because they have cross-like motifs. It’s called Broderie Anglaise, and it got me thinking about Catholicism, which is very close to me.”
Countless hours were spent conceiving the dress, working with pattern makers, silhouette engineering, and fitting different bodies. Every stitch — every detail — has been thought through. For Gaia, the dress is a love affair, a tribute to his tradition and to his mother.
But then I was duped: a similar product sent to Gaia by a loyal Amazon follower.
“oh my god, [dupes] It just took my heart and soul that we put into something,” he says. “When [they’re] completely blaspheme it. “
The ‘it girl’ dress is not a new concept, but hyper-consumption is on the rise. Ririka Matosi’s strawberry midi dress and House of Sunny’s Hockney dress are prime examples of this phenomenon. Both dresses went viral on social media, and when the original high price tag deterred many shoppers, fast fashion retailers like SHEIN swooped in to meet high demand at low prices. The same thing happened to Gaia’s design as its price comes with a stipulation of unethical practices.
Shanna Battle, a fan of Gaia’s work, fashion blogger and TikTok creator, showed Christina DeRosa’s TikTok $17 Maria dress dupe for the 1.1 million viewers who watched the video. Disappointed to see linked items on the Amazon storefront.
In a video response to DeRosa’s TikTok, Battle said, “Our urge to find absolutely every cheater chokes us.” It’s not for them, sometimes it’s okay to just shop within our tax bracket.”
Battle attributes some of the hyper-consumption we’re seeing in the fashion industry to TikTok, but says over-consumption has been around for decades.Miranda in “The Devil Wears Prada” – Meryl Streep, who plays Priestley, provides a monologue explaining the trickle-down effect of the trend cycle that has continued since the commodification of ready-to-wear and the birth of department stores.
However, the increased cultural authority of social media and the ready availability of online purchases have set millennial and Gen Z consumers apart from their predecessors. Trends are always there, but modern fast fashion stores such as Zara and H&M are pushing 52 “micro seasons” each week of the year to generate demand at a more rapid pace.
“When you see something, you want it. Nobody is thinking about buying them. “And when the next one comes, throw away the previous one and go buy the next new one.”
At the start of Video Stitch, Gaia responded to Battle’s rebuttal to DeRosa’s deceptive video: Someone is enslaving a copy of my dress, probably very unfairly paid, and probably working on very bad terms. “
Natalie Duarte bought the same $17 dupe as DeRosa on Amazon. When Duarte bought it, she says she didn’t know the dress was a reproduction of someone’s design. I made a video. If you search for “Mirror Palais dupe” on the app, her videos will show up at the top.
“I was disgusted that my purchases were unethical and that people were saying I was complicit in child slavery,” says Duarte. “At the end of the day, it’s a purchase I’ve been really happy with and I know it’s unethical, but I grew up shopping at flea markets, so I don’t feel guilty about my purchase. .”
Duarte understands why people were upset. She also said she didn’t know the dress she bought was made in an unethical way, and like many Americans, individual consumers are wary of sweatshops and climate change. I’m wondering how much impact I can make.
It is estimated that less than 2% of the 75 million fashion factory workers, 85% of whom are women, earn a living wage. Only about 1.5 million.
A Princeton University study found that the fashion industry alone emits more carbon dioxide than international flights and shipping each year. Additionally, the fashion industry consumes one-tenth of the water used industrially and accounts for 20% of the world’s wastewater, disproportionately impacting communities of color.
As people start to take climate change more seriously, Battle says it’s important to remember that “sustainability has been kind of kidnapped by capitalism,” and ethical consumption as a product sales function. It refers to brands that promote and erase decades of sustainable practices. by the community of color.
Some fans of Gaia’s designs have found a more ethical approach by sewing their own version of the dress or paring down similar pieces. A video of Maria sewing her dress has been viewed more than 750,000 times.
Growing up in Hawaii, Shawmillon danced the hula and the dancers created their own costumes to demonstrate their understanding of technique and storytelling. Handcrafting her own clothes is both a way of life for her and a way to reduce her carbon footprint.
“I learned [how to sew] Through all the women in my family, they are all seamstresses,” says Chaumillon.[I] I didn’t have a dozen sewing machines in my house. “
For those interested in making their own clothes, she recommends finding patterns on several Instagram accounts and buying second-hand fabrics such as large bed sheets to reduce fabric waste. The most important thing, she says, is to be patient.
“When I first started sewing, I really wanted to do it. I saw something on Instagram and immediately wanted it,” says Chaumillon. “I wanted overnight prime shipping along with sewing. But I can’t do that. I need to take my time.”
When it comes to the prices of Mirror Palais clothing, Gaia recognizes that the average consumer cannot afford the high prices. I adore those who have frugally or sewn versions of .
His prices relentlessly reflect the true cost of ethically made clothing, including affordable wages for workers, safe working conditions, high-quality, non-toxic fabrics, and thoughtful engineering. All of this comes at a high price and can still be exploited by other companies in the industry. Despite all this, he remains optimistic about the future.
“I think it’s important for everyone to maintain a higher standard of transparency,” says Gaia. “I love what we do. I think people love our clothes and the clothes you love stay in your closet forever or you sell them for a good price. I hope that’s the future of cherishing what you love.”