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Fluttering through time: The return of the butterfly motif

Fluttering through time: The return of the butterfly motif


The insect that would launch a timeless trend. The butterfly aesthetic in fashion has witnessed a resurgence in recent years.

A popular style in the nineties (90s) and noughties (00s), it has since flown its way back and now it seems to be everywhere! Given the ongoing Y2K craze, it was just a matter of time until the butterfly motif got its due.

From runways to red carpets and even in our closets, this theme has been seen in everything. But how did it change over the years? How did the butterfly motif achieve its metamorphosis in the realms of fashion and pop culture? Let’s see

Fluttering through time: The return of the butterfly motif


The concept behind the butterfly motif dates back to the 18th century, but it wasn’t until the start of the 1920s that it became a popular fashion trend.

Celebrated during the surrealist movement, well-known designers like Elsa Schiaparelli were influenced by the style. In her 1937 summer collection, she features an exquisite butterfly-printed evening gown.

Image Source: metmuseum.org

In the 90s, the butterfly bodice from Givenchy by Alexander McQueen was a refreshing take on the trend. However, the pattern that would subsequently influence the present iteration of the style emerged in the 2000s.

Remember Mariah Carey‘s butterfly top from Ungaro? Iconic!

Image Source: popsugar.com


The butterfly motif progressively gained traction after vanishing for a while, and by the end of the 2010s, it had since exploded.

During the Jean-Paul Gautier Fashion Show in 2014, burlesque performer Dita von Teese wore an electrifying blue butterfly corset. Just last year, Dua Lipa wore a Versace pink butterfly dress for the Grammys.

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Paying homage to the Ungaro top, fashion labels Area and Blumarine both released similar designs.

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Here in the Philippines, some celebrities have been seen rocking the butterfly motif. These include the likes of Sue Ramirez, Maris Racal, and Andrea Brillantes.

With no signs of slowing down, the butterfly motif begins to appear as fashion’s sought-after animal print. However, the butterfly is more than simply a fashion staple; it has a deep personal meaning as it symbolizes change.

The butterfly motif empowers transformation. So, if you’ve blossomed into a new version of yourself, show it off and don an outfit inspired by it.

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