An influencer posted a TikTok featuring a Fashion Nova dress that appeared to shrink her waist.
The dress has gone viral and briefly sold out as users tried to figure out the optical illusion.
A similar TikTok of the dress was posted on a separate account last December.
A maxi-dress from fashion brand Fashion Nova has gone viral after a TikTok video showed it appearing to create an optical illusion that minimizes the appearance of the waist.
Since being uploaded on October 9, the clip, which was posted by a fashion influencer who goes by the name of “Jem,” has amassed 2.7 million views and the dress briefly sold out earlier this week.
The viral TikTok, posted under the handle @xojemian, shows Jem pulling the belt of the dress until her waist seems to dramatically shrink. One top commenter on the TikTok said that it looked like Jem had been “cut in half” as a result of the illusion.
An Instagram account referenced in the bio of Jem’s TikTok account has over 400,000 followers. Jem can be seen modeling clothes from brands including Pretty Little Thing, Missy Empire, and Fashion Nova in various Instagram posts, some of which are marked as ads, or state she is a “partner” of the brand.
In her TikTok video, which is not labeled as sponsored, Jem refers to the dress as “viral.” However, it appears the dress exploded in popularity after she posted about it.
In the comments of the viral TikTok, several viewers said they were “confused” by the video – unable to work out how Jem’s midriff drastically reduced as she tied the dress. However, other viewers thought they’d discovered the key to the illusion.
One theory floated by several commenters suggests the exaggerated hourglass illusion was the result of Jem standing in front of her dark doorway. They theorized that with a dark background, the darker-colored patterns on the waist area of the dress were able to blend into it, which in turn helped to give the illusion of a cinched waist. Responding to one commenter who said this, Jem wrote, “Don’t give away the illusion!”
Several users also stitched and duetted the video – two features that allow users to include clips from someone else’s TikTok video in their own posts – to try out the dress and see the potential illusion for themselves.
One stitched TikTok of plus-size fashion influencer Nana Castro trying on the dress has amassed a million views since it was posted Friday.
In December last year, an account under the handle @jemianxo posted a very similar TikTok to the one currently going viral. At the time of writing, the account holder has appeared to make the video private.
Insider has been unable to verify who the owner of this TikTok account is. The account has 100,000 followers while @xojemian, which appears to have only started posting in October, has 4,215 followers.
Although the TikTok posted in December on @jemianxo amassed 3.8 million views before going private, it appears to have attracted minimal attention compared to the version of the video by @xojemian.
The dress in question is called “Mind of My Own” and is listed on Fashion Nova’s website at a reduced retail price of $23.99. Yesterday, as claimed by several commenters on Jem’s TikTok, Insider found that the item on the site was sold out. However, at the time of writing, it appears to be back in stock.
Jem and Fashion Nova did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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