The nap dress started trending in the early stages of the COVID pandemic, mostly due to its feminine touch and — of course — the ability to nap in it. The iconic release of the original Hill House Home Nap Dress in 2019 was actually inspired by a “Victorian ghost” aesthetic, says Hill House Home’s CEO Nell Diamond.
Diamond told The New Yorker she drew inspiration from three paintings, including John William Waterhouse’s “The Lady of Shalott,” based on a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The woman in the poem and subsequent painting was cursed to live a lonely life in a castle tower, but in an 1832 moment of power, she burst out of the castle to look for the man she longed for.
Another painting Diamond was inspired by is Sir John Everett Millais' “Ophelia,” based on the death of Ophelia in “Hamlet.” The model who posed for the painting, Elizabeth Siddal, had to float in a tub of water for months, and though we advise against floating in water with the nap dress for this long, it’s suggested to get a water-colored dress like MERSEA’s Esmeralda Maxi dress.
Lastly, Diamond drew inspiration from Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s masterpiece, “Lady Lilith,” which depicts a woman swathed in a flowy frock and combing her beguiling hair. Her age-of-innocence meets femme fatale vibe is iconic, and can be best represented with the Natalie Embroidered Maxi Dress from Boden.