Bras, corsets, tap pants, and briefs were exposed all over the Spring runways, with unexpected designers like Akris‘ Albert Kriemler joining lingerie lovers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano at the panty party. No doubt about it, innerwear as outerwear is one of the season’s top trends. But does the look work off the catwalk? Can you really show up to a meeting dressed as Madonna in her Like a Virgin phrase? We asked the experts.
“Naturally, I’m not hoping to see a lot of inappropriate bare skin and literal lingerie showing in the workplace,” says Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo. “I’m foreseeing a spike in lace-edge slips emerging from hemlines and sheer, pretty hosiery again.” However, if you are thinking literal, “the best way to wear lingerie is to take it out of context,” explains Fabiola Beracasa, who’s been known to rock a black corset over a white tee. “And make sure it’s delicate and expensive-looking, not trashy,” says stylist Kate Young. Her Spring pick? Stella McCartney‘s plunge-front nude lace halter. A couple of hard and fast rules: Exposed elastic bra straps are a no-no, only silk will do (Jean Yu); and if you do experiment with transparency, don’t leave home without a jacket (Kelly Cutrone). And, finally, this from a master of the seductive arts, Domenico Dolce: “Don’t be too audacious. Save something for the imagination.”
Click for a slideshow, then share your thoughts on the etiquette of exposed lingerie below.
Whatever would Christian Dior make of Spring’s festive attire? The couturier’s advice on cocktail dresses, recorded in his The Little Dictionary of Fashion in 1954, was to “choose a dark color, preferably black if it suits you.” While there was no dearth of little black dresses this season, the most mouthwatering additions to the drinks menu were party frocks in shades of red, purple, yellow, and blue. “I have always been inspired by color, probably because of my background as a painter and because I come from a country where a sense of life and color are very important,” explained Oscar de la Renta. We’ll toast to that.
Care to join us? Click for a slideshow and let us know below.
Come spring, the jumpsuit will be facing some tough competition from overalls. The utilitarian standbys got a makeover on the catwalks, with Ralph Lauren leading the way. The designer showed both beat-up denim versions and a glam satin style for after-dark, and he wasn’t the only one to sex up the look from its pedestrian origins. Altuzarra‘s suede shortalls, for example, are definitely not meant for working on the railroad.
So what’s the appeal? “I’ve always loved overalls because they are a uniform,” Jean Paul Gaultier explains. “And being true to myself, I love making something different out of them—cutting them in Levi’s denim but with a conical bra. I love to subvert a classic.”
Click for a slideshow, then tell us if you’re ready to work the trend.
Back in the mid-eighties, Donna Karan launched her simple dressing system, Seven Easy Pieces, and made black stretch-jersey bodysuits (along with leggings and strong-shouldered jackets) part of the modern woman’s uniform. That’s Paulina Porizkova and assorted other runway lovelies modeling the look for Spring 1986. Lately, the one-piece has been revived by Dov Charney’s American Apparel, partly, it seems, for the opportunity it gives him to produce leggy advertising campaigns. Now, the look seems to be crossing back over from low to high.
There’s no doubt that a leotard sans pants is sexy; see Alexander Wang‘s designs. But the bodysuit’s real appeal lies in its streamlined simplicity. Wear it solo for sleek lines, or layer on a blazer or a pencil skirt, as Francesco Scognamiglio and Hussein Chalayan did, respectively, on their Spring catwalks. Celine‘s Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney, both champions of practical chic, showed one-pieces this season. And Karan herself put Sasha Pivovarova in a sleeveless version with a breezy skirt.
Click here for a slideshow, then tell us how you rate the bodysuit’s high-fashion makeover. Will you wear one?
Call it optimism or call it escapism, but Spring 2010 is the season of the ruffled party dress: usually short, often chiffon, and almost always nude (we refer to both the color and the prevalence of sheer fabrics). Marc Jacobs—who else?—kicked the trend into high gear with his parade of ballet nymphs in New York. The frill lasted all through London, Milan, and Paris, taking in along the way Christopher Kane, Fendi, and Jacobs’ former protégé Peter Copping at Nina Ricci. But toward the end of Paris, a counterinsurgency. At Celine, Phoebe Philo cleared the collective palate with a collection that she herself described as “a kind of contemporary minimalism.” Hannah MacGibbon was of a similar mind-set at Philo’s former stomping ground Chloé, and, thinking about it, the groundswell of “utility chic” could be traced back via Junya Watanabe‘s pantsuits to MaxMara‘s back-to-what-we-do-best styles to…well, didn’t Marc put those plain little raincoats over his ruffles? (And was it just coincidence that the patron saint of contemporary minimalism, Jil Sander, chose this moment to re-emerge with her +J line for Uniqlo?) So, suddenly, two camps: one that flirts with frivolousness but that also has the potential to create romance and desire, the other practical but possibly in danger of coming across as too plain. Click for a slideshow, then tell us, which side are you on, and perhaps more pertinently, which approach will make you open your wallet?