It appears that the similarities between high fashion and the commercial world of Victoria's Secret doesn't end with the models. One of the most reoccurring, dare I say-trends- to show up in the Spring/Summer 2010 collections was that of underwear dressing. Homage was paid to the overt femininity UK's Harper's Bazaar cites Stella McCartney as being responsible for, through the subtle and not-so-subtle use of lace, sheers, ruffles and pretty detailing. More obvious forms of the trend were displayed in what seemed like two piece pantsuits- often without the namesake item. In an effort to move away from (but by no means escape!) the power-loving structure of seasons past, the resurgence of underwear as outerwear is obvious.
Lace and soft suiting make a winning pair at Stella McCartney
Spearheading the revival (regardless of who started it) during the fall couture season was John Galliano for Christian Dior, who carried it through to spring with his old world screen siren inspired collection of silky trenches, lace-paneled under-layers and cinched waists. Want a more literal interpretation of lingerie dressing? Look no further than the boys of Dolce & Gabbana. Their 40s-inspired, latina-esque prints, lace and corsetry screamed lingerie but at the same time oozed glamour and sex appeal. And when talking about literal interpretations of underwear, we can't (as much as we'd like to) ignore the disaster that was the 'artistic advising' of Lindsay Lohan at Emanuel Ungaro. Love heart nipple covers? Really??
Ladylike glamour at Christian Dior
Natasha Poly leading the lingerie-clad pack at the Dolce & Gabbana finale
To fully embrace underwear as outerwear, subtlety is key. Some of this season's looks, especially in Paris, looked downright unfinished- almost like the models ran out onto the runway in only half a pantsuit. I'm all for injecting a bit of femininity into daily dressing, but some of these looks were more 'diaper' than 'doable.' Although many of these pieces are sure to pop up in the next year's most creative editorials (just as the designers intended), rest assured there are wearable waters to navigate. Collections from Dior, Stella McCartney, Vanessa Bruno and Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi embracing all things pretty yet doing so without the shudders the word "pretty" is usually associated with. However the collections aren't just about wearability - where would we all be without a bit of theatrics? - as we saw at the finale of Dolce & Gabbana, and of course the hedge-trimmed tulle of Viktor & Rolf. Whether it's a ruffled shoulder a la Lanvin or a lace-trimmed Dior slip, one thing is certain, and for once the focus is not so sharp (literally.)
Kat Doll (or Katarzyna Dolinska as she was known in ANTM) for Vanessa Bruno