The Fashion Museum’s Dress of the Year for 2022 has been revealed as a Miu Miu micro miniskirt, chosen by Kenya Hunt from ELLE UK.
The Fashion Museum holds one of the world’s greatest museum collections of historical and contemporary dress.
Every year, the collection is expanded with the addition of the Dress of the Year – a standout outfit selected by an industry expert to capture the prevailing mood and trends in fashion.
The announcement comes as the museum prepares for the next chapter in its own history, with planning underway for a flagship new fashion museum in the centre of Bath.
The collection is currently being housed in heritage glove maker Dents’ headquarters in Warminster, with highlights from the vast collection, including the Dress of the Year, available to view online.
The 2022 Dress of the Year was chosen by Kenya Hunt, the Editor-in-Chief of ELLE UK, to represent the past year in fashion.
First seen on the Spring/Summer 2022 runway, designer Miuccia Prada’s low-waisted micro miniskirt created a viral fashion moment, becoming instantly iconic for its extreme proportions and reworking of the classic foundations of dress.
Imperfect pleats, raw hemlines and exposed pockets gave a fresh take on the formality of office wear and school uniform, and its “daring and provocative” style worked perfectly with the resurgence of Y2K fashion and nostalgia for the low-rise looks worn by Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in the early 2000s.
Kenya said: “It was inescapable in the year that was 2022, a brilliant example of the way that fashion and social media worked together and how fashion could go viral.
“It was also a defining look of that unique post-pandemic period. As the world was reopening, we were wrapping our heads around the prospect of socialising again and having occasions to dress up for.
“This incredibly memorable look from Miuccia Prada with its daringly high hemline, low waistband and uber cropped top was strong, dynamic and very sexy — all the things we wanted to be after two years of confinement.”
The full outfit features the miniskirt paired with a scissored blue cotton shirt and a cropped grey cable knit cashmere sweater.
A brown leather belt, cotton jersey branded underwear, grey ribbed silk socks and brown and white leather slingback shoes complete the outfit now famously known as the ‘Miu Miu skirt set’.
The skirt set achieved internet-breaking status, with variations worn by celebrities from Hailey Bieber and Zendaya to Chiara Ferragni and Nicole Kidman.
The set featured in every major fashion editorial and became a viral sensation, with DIY tutorials on TikTok and even its own Instagram account @miumiuset documenting its many public appearances, created by New York-based virtual stylist Ashley Langholtz.
The Dress of the Year 2022 will be added to the Fashion Museum’s world-class collection of more than 100,000 objects – and sit alongside previous selections from designers including Ossie Clark, Kenzo Takada, Missoni, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld (for Chloe and for Chanel), Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Raf Simons for Dior and Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton.
Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager, said: “Kenya has carefully looked at everything that has gone on in the world of fashion in 2022 and distilled all the looks and trends down to this one ensemble.
“A catwalk look that went truly viral, it’s important for all kinds of reasons, from design and making to publicity and marketing. Thank you, Kenya, for a fabulous choice as Dress of the Year 2022.
“As we embark on our ambitious plans for a bold new museum in the heart of Bath, this addition helps the Fashion Museum to continue to chart the key looks in contemporary fashion, as we have been doing for the past 59 years.”
The new flagship Fashion Museum is set to reopen in the Old Post Office in Bath city centre in coming years.
The museum will explore the past, present and future of fashion, extending the reach and reputation of the internationally respected fashion collection, which is exhibited worldwide.
Items from the collection are currently on display in exhibitions at Kensington Palace and The Queen’s Gallery in London, National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, V&A Dundee, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow.
Councillor Paul Roper, Cabinet Member for Economic & Cultural Sustainable Development, said: “The Fashion Museum’s collection was gifted to the city in the 1950s and, as the collection’s reputation has grown globally, alongside the team’s expertise in restoring and presenting fashion, we have received donations from fashion houses and designers all over the world.
“The Dress of the Year 2022 represents an important time in history as we were coming out of lockdown, and celebrates the positive role fashion can play in all our lives.”
The Dress of the Year 2022 can be viewed online at www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/dressoftheyear.