The latest brand shaking up the fashion industry, and more specifically, the online direct-to-consumer arena, is the woman-led ready-to-wear line, Dôen. The founders, (there are many), refer to themselves as a collective, and while pretentious sounding, I think the women are genuinely trying to share credit across it’s eight partners. The imagery from the brand is picturesque; dreamy-looking women, standing oceanfront in fields of wild grass, gazing just beyond the camera. It’s alluring, and allure it did me, right to their website. Upon first glance, I wanted everything! The brand describes the vintage-inspired clothes as “elevated, yet wearable pieces” with “easy silhouettes in luxe fabrics at approachable prices.” And while at any given time it seems half their website is sold out, I did find three dresses I wanted to try. I ordered a size a small for each and hoped when I slipped the first one on I would be transformed into one of their effortlessly beautiful flower child women.
The first dress to arrive was the Didion. It’s the most perfect fall dress in color and style. When I discovered the dress came with a slip I was less than enthused. To me, a dress that requires a slip does not feel easy or effortless. Without the slip, the dress is way too see through to wear outside of the beach. But this is not a throw-over-your-suit kinda dress either. A dress with a slip is a special dress, something a bit fussier than I would wear on a daily basis, maybe on date night or at Thanksgiving for portion control because the size small, while fits, is snug. I kept the dress but haven’t worn it.
The second dress I tried was the Dandelion dress in Black Winter Daisy. (Even their “colors” are nods to their outstanding branding.) When I pulled the dress out of its own Dôen-emblazoned dustbag I was shocked at its light weight. From the description the fabrication said soft cotton viscose, and when I held it up you could see straight through it. Same when I put it on. This was a dress that could really benefit from a slip! It was also quite snug and in order to look really good in it, it would have required shapewear, which, one, you could have seen through the dress, and two, also not effortless. I returned it.
I was 1/2 and starting to form my opinion of this supposed bohemian brand. When the Begonia dress arrived I was worried…thankfully the weightier cotton voile wasn’t see through. I loved the color and the gathering down the front bodice. And while, for me, the bias cut means shapewear, it was flattering, but also, not effortless.
In my opinion what the clothing lacks in authenticity the brand more than makes up for in innovation, ethos, and stellar charitable partnerships. I would gladly pay an extra $100 for more substantial fabric. I think I’m hung up on the brand’s focus on marketing the bohemian lifestyle – I do not think this is something one can buy. This is an attitude inherent only in certain women. I’m not suggesting the founders don’t embody this, but it’s a tough quality to put a price tag on.