NEW YORK, March 19 ― Get ready, because fashion is poised to turn up the heat this spring. After finally shaking off sweatpants, designers are ramping up sensuality to the max, playing with themes of seduction and self-assertion. This return to normal on planet fashion largely translates into transparency and sheers, mini lengths and endlessly suggestive cuts.
The designers who showed their spring-summer 2022 collections last September and October could not for a second have imagined what the global context would be like when their collections would actually be appearing in stores. But most of them were banking on a similar theme, in response to two years of global pandemic, marked by long periods of social distancing. As a result, they were quick to unleash unbridled collections, sprinkled with glitter and shining with vibrant colours, synonymous with fun times and freedom. But the strongest trend remains this confidently sensual attitude, between strength and softness, ramped up to the max and revealing ― or hinting at ― the bodies (all bodies) underneath. As such, summer will be all about seduction and self-assertion.
Modesty will not be on the agenda this summer, unless you opt to play a clever game of hints and glimpses. Many of the major fashion houses have embraced transparency, whether through very light, sheer materials such as silk or silk chiffon, or through thicker but equally suggestive knits like crochet. Dsquared2, for example, offers an overt and confident take on transparency, revealing underwear or swimwear under dresses, and sometimes plays with layering to leave but a suggestive hint of a bra.
Transparency will be everywhere from spring onwards and all through winter, as shown here by Fendi. ― AFP pic To a lesser extent, Acne Studios has also taken to transparency, with suggestive tops, dresses and pantsuits. A trend also spotted on the catwalk ― or in the virtual presentations ― of fashion houses GCDS, Valentino, in a particularly refined style, as well as Olivier Theyskens and Chanel. And it’s clear that the trend is only in its infancy, with designers having doubled down on these kinds of pieces for the fall-winter 2022 season.
Beyond transparency, underwear will clearly have a prime place in our closets as the warmer weather arrives. If their initial function remains unchanged, these garments are no longer being discreetly worn under tops, shirts and sweaters. That said, it’s only really the bra that’s busting out, taking the place of the top, the T-shirt, the tank top or the blouse, and worn matched with a skirt or pants, topped ― most of the time ― with a leather, denim or blazer-type jacket. The look is sexy, but still highly chic.
From Fendi to Coach to Miu Miu, there’s no end to the fashion houses that have made the bra, or bra-style crop top, the new must-have top for the spring-summer 2022 season. The house of Hermes has definitely embraced the aesthetic, but also offers two-in-one tops where underwear seems to be integrated into the design. A trend that other labels, such as Dior, have also adopted, but with much more restraint, and only on a few looks.
The art of the cut-out
Never has the cut-out been pushed to such an extreme as for this season. Flashes of flesh are revealed through cut-outs each more suggestive than the next. Here, the cut-out becomes a manifestation of this confident, even assertive take on seduction and sensuality, where femininity becomes a powerful, at times dominating force. One downside, however, is that this trend has virtually only been showcased on slender and toned bodies, proving, without doubt, that it may not be the most inclusive trend of the season.
The cut-out stood out on the catwalks, especially at Balmain. A specialist in the field, Olivier Rousteing brought cut-outs to tops styled almost like oversized jewellery, and through bandage-like strap effects and asymmetrical dresses, even bringing cut-outs to the tops of pants. But Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli and Christian Cowan are some of the houses that also proposed pieces with many peekaboo features.
In the same spirit, the micro mini-skirt came to many catwalks for spring. The biggest must-have has got to be the style shown at Miu Miu, subtly pleated but, above all, low cut ― and very, very short. Since it broke cover, this style has been all the rage on social networks. It is, once again, a trend that will last through the winter, a season that looks set to raise the micro-skirt to the rank of star piece of the womenswear wardrobe. ― ETX Studio