Gen Z dresses like mermaids to escape reality – ‘It makes me feel alive’

Halle Bailey isn’t the only one making a splash.

The 23-year-old star of “The Little Mermaid”, out Friday. In Disney’s live-action flick, she dons the iridescent flippers you’ve come to expect, and in various film premieres she’s played the part in shimmering pastel dresses with flared skirts and intricate detailing.

Other young trendsetters outside the entertainment industry are also opting for wet and wild looks.

On TikTok, the #MermaidCore hashtag is trending, with over 200 million views.

A recent report via fashion site Nasty Gal also revealed that Google searches for “mermaid style” have increased 736% globally over the past year. On Pinterest, “mermaid core” searches skyrocketed 614% ahead of the film.

The aesthetic blends coastal leisurewear, Y2K sequins and bohemian beach vibes. Shimmering blues, soft seafoam greens and metallic silvers are the main color palette.

“Mermaidcore is a really fun and fresh trend inspired by ocean colors and things like seashells, pearls and crystals,” Jenny Rojinski, 32, a fashion designer and content creator from Los Angeles, told The Post . “It makes me feel alive.”

Hailey Bailey donned a Valdrin Sahiti dress that looked like water splashes at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Little Mermaid.’

Jenny Rojinski in her handmade bead and shell outfit.
Rojinski tells The Post that mermaidcore offers a fashionable escape from the monotony of everyday life.

Halle Berry in Disney "The little Mermaid" (left) and Chazlyn Yvonne in mermaid mode (right).
Halle Bailey (left) as ‘The Little Mermaid’ inspired TikTok content creator Chazlyn Yvonne (right) to take part in the viral fashion trend #MermaidCore.
Composite NYPost

As a DIY design project, Rojinski spent nearly 100 hours creating her own mermaid look, handcrafting a bralette and sarong belt from beads, seashells and fishing line purchased on Amazon.

She also sewed a sand-white skirt and removable sleeves in knit, crochet, eyelets and silk brocade.

On TikTok, his creations have accumulated nearly 700,000 views.

“People love mermaidcore because it’s escapist, it’s dreamy, and it makes you feel like you’re in a different world,” Rojinski said.

The association of deep-sea flamboyance and wearable artistry dates back to the 1930s, when couturier Jean Patou’s “aquatic-inspired dress” debuted in Vogue. In recent years, luxury brands such as Versace, Burberry and Blumarine have revitalized the fashionable look of mythical mermaids.

Manhattan fashion consultant Amanda Sanders agrees with Rojinski that the look is rooted in escapism.

“It’s a break from reality,” she said, comparing the siren movement to recent “Cottagecore” and “Barbiecore” waves.

Heidi Klum in a Jasmine Erbas dress at the Disney premiere in Los Angeles "The little Mermaid."
Heidi Klum dazzled in a shimmering blush mini dress designed by Jasmine Erbas and shaped like an abstract butterfly.

Melissa McCarthy at the Disney premiere in Los Angeles "The little Mermaid."
Melissa McCarthy wowed in a blue Taller Marmo dress that featured a keyhole neckline and fringed hem.
Getty Images for Disney

“‘The Little Mermaid’ was originally released [in 1989] as a cartoon, so it’s nostalgic for Millennials and Gen Z,” Sanders added. “It’s a fun and fantastic fashion trend that lets people express childish play through their wardrobe.”

Chazlyn Yvonne, 21, a self-described “whimsical content creator” on social media, told the Post that immersing herself in mermaid mania has unlocked her inner child.

“It’s liberating,” the tastemaker said.

She wore a $160 seafoam green “Siena” dress from Wild Rose & Sparrow — along with pearl earrings and seashell hair accessories — for a special screening of “The Little Mermaid” at Los Angeles on Wednesday.

“I wasn’t even a fan of mermaids when I was a little girl,” said Yvonne, a 2023 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. “But this aesthetic – and see [Berry]someone who looks like me, playing Ariel, which I didn’t see as a kid, is really inspiring.

And haters who disagree with the trend can swim away, she said.

“Gen Z loves micro fashion trends like this,” Yvonne said.

“We will continue to make ourselves.”

Chazlyn Yvonne posing on a beach in mermaid fashion.
On TikTok, Yvonne’s mermaidcore looks have earned her over 471,000 views.
Danielle McBrayer/@dphotopro

Chazlyn Yvonne posing on a beach in mermaid fashion.
Yvonne wore a $160 seafoam green dress, pearl earrings and seashell accessories in honor of the mermaidcore movement.
Danielle McBrayer/@dphotopro

Jenny Rojinski in her handmade bead and shell outfit.
Rojinski said she thinks the mermaidcore trend will be one of the most popular fashion splurges of the summer.

A close up of Jenny Rojinski's handmade mermaidcore bralette and sarong.
Rojinski spent nearly 100 hours creating her mermaidcore crop top and sarong, for which she used artisanal beads, shells and crystals.


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