The thing I love most about border print pieces of clothing is that the prints feel like artwork in a way most other fabric designs don’t. Whether the design features the architecture of a far away city’s famously beloved skyline or a scene of an anonymous corner cafe on a spring day, they tell a story as they wrap around your body. And never has that been more true than of Trashy Diva’s recently released Carnival border print collection.
The Trixie dress is one of, if not my very favourite, Trashy Diva dress style. That layered straight neckline is classic and flattering in such an interesting, authentically vintage way that very few necklines are even in repro fashion. Plus, Trixie dresses are blessed with shirred side panels, making them comfortable beyond belief and easier to size in the torso if your proportions cause you shopping headaches, so they have a lot to offer. This Trixie in particular, though, also clearly brings colour, fun and art to the table in this print.
Trashy Diva was founded in New Orleans and has continued to be based there for over 20 years, so this print feels to me like a love letter Trashy Diva are sending to their city. Masked Mardi Gras participants dance and parade through the streets of the French Quarter, the buildings themselves structures of blazing colour as a backdrop to the whirlwind of prancing colours of the party goers. It’s a scene rich with detail, frivolity and love, and I can’t wait to wear this dress around my nieces and nephews, who will be sure to pore over the skirt looking for every item and curiosity they can name.
Given the vibrance of all the colours of the skirt it would be easy to be scared off this design for fear of it seeming overwhelming in an outfit, but I wanted to show with this styling that you can pair this dress down with black pieces to let the border print shine without overwhelming your outfit as a whole. On the other hand, if you want to go wild with colour there’s dozens of hues you can pick out of the party scene to begin your pairings. It’s a versatile piece if you want it to be.
The shirred panels add stretch to this dress, as I mentioned, but the shoulder straps also add their own touch of size customisation to this style as they’re adjustable. There are 4 button holes on the back end of both straps and a clear button placed inside the back of the dress, allowing you to shorten the straps considerably to best fit you. The skirt is fully gathered, giving lots of volume even when worn without a petticoat, and becoming a floaty storyboard with one. Also, it has pockets, as if the design of this dress couldn’t be any more considerately perfect.
I own the chambray Trixie in a 14/L but last time I wore it I noticed my bust has really begun testing the shirring in the stretch panels so I decided sizing up into the XL/16 for this piece would best preserve the elasticity of those panels. The waist in this XL is 35 inches flat with give up to 37 inches, while the bust fits 42 to 46 inches thanks to the shirred panels, possibly with more stretch than that–it’s hard to flat measure the maximum stretch of shirred panels compared to measuring it more accurately on a body. Trashy Diva provide individual size charts for each of their pieces and this piece lines up with its chart perfectly, so between the chart and the dress’s construction this dress is one that isn’t going to give you a sizing headache even when buying online. Amen!
The Carnival Trixie dress comes in sizes XS-XXL (covering waists 26 to 40 inches) for $183. There are two other styles in the Carnival collection, the Annette dress ($183) and the Gathered Skirt ($99,) if you love the print. Trashy Diva ship internationally