Dress for Atlantis

If you were unlucky enough to be affected by Hurricane Sandy this week, you learned how essential it is to dress for the weather. In Ohio we received heavy rain, wind and cold temperatures. While this is nothing compared to our friends on the east coast, it definitely brought about a change in wardrobe.

But the weather will improve; the clouds will part and the sky will lighten. Gray will turn to blue, and we can once again banish our rain boots and jackets to the back of our closest. But what if the weather didn’t let up? What if the rains kept coming, and all of those stories about the oceans rising came true? The coastal areas would  flood and people fled to the center of the country, huddling together hoping to survive the roaring tides. “It has to stop,” they would all think. “Eventually, it’ll stop.” No, it just keeps raining and raining and raining.

We’re all familiar with Atlantis, a city lost to the ocean’s depths. We’ve watched “The Little Mermaid,” noted the glistening palaces and pillars of the underwater utopia. It was shimmering and lovely, but it wasn’t real. It wouldn’t actually happen. Well, maybe it could?

Okay, so it’s not that probable. If the U.S. did disappear under the waves, there wouldn’t be golden statues and ancient ruins. So what if we had some warning? Would we prepare by constructing buildings underwater to house the population of the country about to be submerged? We wouldn’t be able to save everyone. Instead, there would be a select group of people to test the facility, to ensure that it is livable. It would be clean and efficient and beautiful–the New York City of the sea. It might even look like Rapture, the underwater metropolis from BioShock (yes, I realize my inner video game nerd is coming out).


“It wasn’t impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea. It was impossible to build it anywhere else.”

Imagine living in this bubble under the sea, completely separated from all other life. The people in the city are the only ones you can have contact with. These are your people; the only people in existence. They are gorgeous–everything in the city is gorgeous–but it’s empty, hollow, just a former shell of the population that once was. It’s always quiet. Rarely is any new life brought to this world. Who would want to bring a child into this underwater utopia? Not to mention the strict population control. The city is large, but it is beyond the days of expansion. So you’re stuck under the ocean, frozen in time, trapped in an unchanging place.

But there is some beauty to be found. The lights glimmer in the water, casting their hazy glow into the depths. Everyday you marvel at its wonder–how could something so majestic be built beneath the surface of the ocean? How had mankind managed to transport everything it knew to a place so foreign? The ocean was such a mystery, but there was no place else to go. So you sit, claustrophobic and restless in your retro-futuristic room with pictures on your nightstand of sunshine, snow, airplanes and deserts. You don’t mind your living arrangements–you’re grateful to have survived–but you also wonder how long it will take for this place to just become another lost city, too.


Underwater fashion is all about blues, green, teals and aquamarines. It has hints of golds and purples. It’s the baby pink of jellyfish and the harsh sleek black of manta rays. It’s about movement of flowing skirts accompanied by tight bodices. It is scales and knitted caps that mimic nets around your head. It’s about the grace and ease of floating in the ocean–effortless. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2012 sea creatures are majestic and capture such under-the-sea essence.

A model dons oceanic headgear in Sarah Burton’s 2012 collection.

More extravagant work by Burton.


Not Burton, but a beautiful aquatic-inspired dress, nonetheless.


Also not a part of Burton’s collection–just more beautiful underwater fashion.

Light pink wedding reception dress by Alexander McQueen

Hey, back to Burton! …Fierce, fierce Sarah Burton fashion. Swoon!

However, if those styles seem a little too extreme for the everyday landlubber, it’s not hard to incorporate some of the big blue sea in your ensembles. Here are some aquatically-inspired items to get you started!


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