Look around: We are living in the Golden Age of Television, an era where binge watching is socially acceptable and the quality of shows available is stunningly high. With so much of our culture shaped by what is streaming across our screens, it's only natural to see remnants of our favorite series splattered across our everyday lives.
So when UNIQLO added a crop of dark red dresses to its website, The Debrief was quick to peg the gown as a relic from the totalitarian regime of Gilead. Its headline begged: “Can someone pls explain: why is UNIQLO selling a Handmaid’s Tale Dress?” The post lambasted the Japanese retailer, arguing that it's "not the time to start glamorizing the sack-like oxblood dresses that stalk this drama's totalitarian regime."
However, I can't help be reminded of another popular TV show that frames long, draped red gowns as the opposite, a symbol of female power: Game of Thrones. This piece is straight out of Melisandre's wardrobe; she's known as the Red Priestess for a reason, after all. And, while she's definitely no hero, her many red dresses are a potent visual reminder of her fiery power — a true statement piece.
In reality, this dress hasn't been pilfered from either show's costume closet. Rather, it's part of a Uniqlo collaboration with renowned Muslim designer Hana Tajima. While the collection does provide modest dressers with an abundance clothing options, Tajima's collection is designed for a diverse group of shoppers — and a shorter wrap dress version is also available on the site.
“The clothing is always for everybody,” Tajima told Vogue. “For me, personally, I like this idea that someone from a completely different background or a completely different style could see a piece in the collection and think, ‘I could really work that into what I want to wear.'"
True to this sentiment, this red maxi dress is perfect for a more formal date or riding into battle. And if looking for a cheaper version of a Handmaid's dress to wear on your next protest, it will probably work for that too.