The phrase “lingerie-inspired” got quite a workout during New York Fashion Week, as fashion writers and bloggers looked for ways to explain the sudden prominence of underwear styling in new womenswear collections.
New York’s catwalks were clogged with funky bra tops and dresses that looked like negligées from next spring’s fashion collections. In fact, there was so much for lingerie aficionados to enjoy last week, it was hard to make sense of what it all meant.
Was this a trend, a fad, a gimmick … or perhaps something more substantial?
Whatever you call it, what emerged at NYFW is a lot different than the lingerie-as-outerwear trend that has become a familiar wardrobe strategy, but which usually involves little more than a peek-a-boo bra poking out from under a sheer blouse.
Instead, designers found new ways to bring classic lingerie shapes and silhouettes forward, incorporating them into daily apparel in both dresses and separates.
Lingerie-inspired fashion can mean many different things. It can be as simple as the buttoned bustiers offered by Diesel’s Black Gold label in its NYFW show, or as elaborate as the lace latticework that made up some of Marchesa‘s exquisite gowns. It can mean new twists on classic looks like the asymettrical slip dresses from Victoria Beckham, or radically new hybrids like the sci-fi knitwear visions of Danish designer Stine Ladefoged.
Three presentations during NYFW really stood out as examples of designers stretching the innerwear-outerwear paradigm to find new signature looks: the boundary-pushing Rodarte (top photo), with its grunge-glam mix-and-match ensembles; the popular NY fashion label Milly, which offered a sporty and colorful new take on layering; and wunderkind Mathieu Mirano, who earned all his hype with a dazzling series of structured combos that looked like foundation garments of the future (that’s his feather-and-roses dress above).
Let’s break it all down. Below, we’ve listed seven ways designers brought lingerie out of the perfumed boudoir and into the fashion spotlight.
1. SHEER VISIONS
Using opaque fabrics, lace embroidery and other innovations, several designers offered daring looks that revealed more than they concealed. Jason Wu, Marchesa and Rebecca Minkoff were standouts whose daring styles had audiences gasping.
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