The Strawberry dress: dressed to impress


photo by Bethany Barker

The Strawberry dress, created by Lirkia Matoshi has become the dress of the season.

The “perfect dress” has long been an unattainable goal. With so many different tastes, it seemed impossible to agree on a single garb, but scrolling through Instagram you finally saw it, the gown that would be beloved by all. A magical dress to transform any peasant into a fairy princess.

The Strawberry Midi Dress designed by Lirikia Matoshi is a vibrant pink tulle dress covered in sparkly-strawberry embellishments. This dress has become “the dress” of the season. Every year has “the dress” or the article of clothing that everyone and their mother wants, and this year strawberries are in the spotlight.

The popularity of the dress is due to both its presence on social media and Matoshi’s Instagram. Matoshi first featured the dress in July 2019 to her 865,000 followers, but once the dress started gaining popularity on TikTok early August 2020, every other dress became insignificant in comparison to the beautiful, cottage-core allure of the Strawberry dress.

Although the dress is what made Matoshi popular, she offers various articles of clothing including men’s button-ups, masks, and other dresses made from the same strawberry-coated material. There is no doubt that the strawberry dress deserves its fame, but another designer deserves more. Lirikia Matoshi was initially inspired by her older sister Teuta Matoshi to begin clothing design in the first place. 

Teuta started her journey in 2007 making elaborate coats, which were an instant success. She is now a dress designer specializing in tulle, lace, and embellished gowns ranging from $1000-$2000 each. Although Teuta’s dresses are double the cost of the Strawberry dress, they exceed both in design and quantity of her sisters. Teuta’s dresses are more elegant and mature than that of Lirikia. Lirikia focuses more on making fun and colorful designs like the Strawberry dress and her recent collaboration with Disney on a collection that features three pink and one light-blue gown. On the opposite spectrum, Teuta focuses on providing maturity elegance in her designs. Ranging from wedding dresses, ball gowns, and sun-dresses, anyone can find a dress that suits their interests.  

However, Teuta’s gowns are far from being affordable to the average teen. Lirikia’s brand, on the other hand, offers more affordable designer items such as: socks, masks, and sweaters.

With a price tag of $490, the renowned Strawberry dress has inspired the creation of knockoffs available on sites like Wish and Etsy. After looking through a few listings, the knock-offs seem close enough to the original for those willing to compromise on the origins of the dress. The quality of the dresses reflects the lower price-point but they are still cute overall as their own individual dress. While trying to pass a knock-off as the real thing might cause people to give you a sideways glance, the real Strawberry dress has controversies of its own. 

After the Strawberry dress caught the eye of Tess Holiday, a plus-size model, blogger and makeup artist, she wore it to the Grammy’s in January. For weeks after the event her inbox was flooded with hate over her look, claiming the dress was hideous, that it did not suit her, and that she was one of the worst-dressed at the award ceremony. So when the dress became popular months later, Holiday and the plus-size fashion community was reminded of the fat-shaming that comes with fashion. Despite the backlash, Holiday still received support from thousands on Twitter who recognized how gorgeous she looked in the dress.

Although wearing any of these gowns is not very practical unless you are walking New York fashion week, they are truly something to admire. Owning one should be at the top of every fashion lover’s bucket list. 

The Matoshi’s designs are the current top-dogs in the dress-making community. The popularity of the Strawberry dress and Teuta’s gowns will not lose momentum anytime soon.

Scan this QR code to see a Pinterest board of the Matoshi sister’s designs.