PARIS: Often associated with the ’80s – and more particularly with the timeless icon Grace Jones and the great couturier Azzedine Alaïa – the hooded dress also draws inspiration from the streetwear and sportswear fashions of the ’90s, in reference to the essential hoodie.
But it’s in its most glamorous guise that the hood is making a comeback, mainly on red carpets for the time being, sometimes topping a sheath dress, sometimes an ultra-chic suit, and sometimes even cocktail dresses.
It’s a detail that certainly makes an impact, bringing a sophisticated, vintage touch, but also a certain sense of movement to a look.
An inspiration born on the catwalk
It was at the Fashion Weeks for the Spring/Summer 2023 season that the hood made its first forays, paving the way for this stunning comeback.
First spotted as an independent accessory, at Max Mara or Off-White, the hood caused a sensation on the Saint Laurent catwalk, covering models’ heads as elegantly as nonchalantly, and topping flowing dresses draped or adorned with suggestive (but not too suggestive) cut-outs.
This gave rise to several hooded dresses that didn’t go unnoticed, somewhere between retro and modern in style. A few months later, a multitude of hooded dresses appeared on the red carpets of the most prestigious events, starting with the 2023 Met Gala.
Paying tribute to the late couturier Karl Lagerfeld, the traditional gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art featured a bevy of hoods, starting with the camellia-covered hood worn by the singer Rihanna.
This was part of a spectacular, pristine white gown, clearly reflecting the evening’s inspiration. The Barbadian artist and businesswoman was far from the only one to sport a hooded dress. Penelope Cruz and Doja Cat – transformed for the occasion into Choupette – also opted for hooded dresses, to great effect, as did Ava Max, whose pearl-beaded hood echoed the details of her tulle dress.
Bella Hadid, Anne Hathaway, Rita Ora
But the trend didn’t stop at the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, crossing many borders and embracing many styles.
The hooded dress has since seduced the likes of Bella Hadid, Rita Ora – a true fan of the trend – and Anne Hathaway, who caused a sensation in a gold-coloured model in Venice for the presentation of Bulgari’s new high jewellery collection. And that’s without counting Jenna Ortega, Margot Robbie and Kate Moss, who have also rocked the trend.
The Cannes Film Festival was no exception. Alessandra Ambrosio stood out at the opening ceremony in a sparkling pink Elie Saab gown, while French reality TV star Nabilla dazzled the red carpet in a beige hooded Elisabetta Franchi sheath dress.
Meanwhile, model Roz opted for a black hooded gown for the traditional amfAR Gala, held alongside the film festival.
While Adèle Exarchopoulos didn’t opt for a hooded dress, she stunned in a revisited suit, complete with tie, baggy pants and a top – you guessed it – with a hood.
Evidently, the accessory is now ubiquitous on the red carpet, and should very soon be taking to the street. The proof is on TikTok, where the hashtag #hoodeddress has already racked up over 500,000 views.
And the trend is reminiscent of the recent craze for ‘modest fashion’ aesthetics – a mix of modesty, elegance and minimalism – which are making a big splash on catwalks, social networks and on the street.