Thursday 8 December 2016

Insider Guide: Underwear as outerwear

Sinead Van Kampen

Published 03/03/2010 | 10:53

Stunning full length black evening gown by Christian Dior at Paris Fashion Week.
Stunning full length black evening gown by Christian Dior at Paris Fashion Week.

Insider Guide is Independent Woman's fortnightly review of the latest trends on the fashion radar. Our insiders bring you their thoughts on what to wear, how to wear it and where to get it. This week we cast a discreet glance at underwear as outerwear. How to avoid the frillies for something properly measured!

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Corina Gaffey is a stylist and the current fashion editor of Steller and Kiss Magazine. When she's not styling the fashion pages she can be found on the decks at Dublin's Spy night club.



Initial thoughts?



Daring? Just a little ! This trend can conjure up images of Madonna in her cone-bra days, or Lady Gaga working those big knickers. But subtle works with this trend too so you if you can find some balance, it will work. It's really good for looking sultry rather than slutty and whilst it is easy to get wrong it's oh-so sexy if the look is done right.





Will this look suit everybody?



Going out in your smalls a lá Gaga might not be appropriate for all ages but working in elements of the trend in your wardrobe is possible. Hints of lace, sheer fabrics, silk camis and corset detailing on tops or dresses are perfect ways of easing yourself into the look.





How should it be worn?



This trend is multifunctional. At its best and with a little know-how it can be worn for work, rest or play! Get some sophisticated weekend glamour by wearing a silk cami with skinny jeans and a cosy cashmere cardi. Team a corset with some masculine tailoring like a blazer, wide legged trousers for an office-appropriate look. A bustier style dress is the perfect sexy, Saturday night look.





Who's working the trend?



Lady Gaga and Rihanna are the trendsetters here – influencing a rise in sales of corsets and underwear by up to 70% in certain stores.

Other pop princesses such as Lily Allen, Fergie, Britney and Beyonce are all rocking the trend too.





Which stores/designers are doing the trend well?



It’s everywhere. On the catwalks – Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior, YSL, Alexander Wang, Dolce and Gabanna. My favourite was Dior’s blush coloured corsets embellished with lace – gorgeous! On the highstreet – Oasis for the cute, Trompe d’oeil dresses, Topshop for sexy bandeau, bralets and bustiers, and Marks & Spencers for lace and bustier dresses.





Is it a quick fad or here to stay?



It’s a look that has being hotting up over the last few years and is definitely in the spotlight this spring. Although flashing your undies is a fad that has definitely waned, underwear as outwear is a bona fide trend that can no doubt make the transition and last for more than one season.



Darren Kennedy is a TV Presenter and stylist. Alongside regular contributions to RTE's Gerry Ryan Show, Daren also offers a personal styling service through his website helpmystyle.ie.



Initial thoughts?



I love it! It’s certainly not going to appeal to everyone’s taste but if you keep it subtle in terms of styling and colour (avoid red it’s too overtly sexy), this look is a major hit in my book. Who ever thought it would be one of this season’s hottest trends.



Will this look suit everybody?



The last time we saw a shift towards lingerie as outerwear was in the 80’s and not much has changed since then in that this look can be very unforgiving. The body beautiful will pull off cropped corset tops, suspenders, slip dresses and balconette bras but for most, layering and a bit of imagination should make it work.



How should it be worn?



Layer and contrast - think mixing girly, feminine lingerie with tougher fabrics such as leather or denim. Opt for lingerie in this season’s softer colour palette of neutral, pastel and honey tones and layer with a waistcoat or boyfriend blazer.



If your in any doubt about revealing too much flesh, layer a top underneath or cover with a sheer blouse. Socks and tights also offer added coverage if slip dresses are your thing. Of all the looks to emerge around underwear as outerwear, exposed stay-ups and suspenders are without question the most risqué and difficult to pull off - ask a candid friend before you try this in public !



Who's working the trend?



Lady Gaga has to be in someway responsible for the revival of this trend. Beyonce, Lily Allen, Christina Aguilera, Nathalie Portman, Sienna Miller and Mischa Barton have also been sporting it.



Which stores/designers are doing the trend well?



Galliano for Dior featured heavy use of lingerie as outerwear. Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander Wang, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs and Bottega Venetta all channeled the trend to a certain extent. On the highstreet, Topshop, New Look, Miss Selfridges and BT2’s are all paying homage.



Is it a quick fad or here to stay?



Like most trends these days, its moment will be short lived. However unlike many other fashion fads, the beauty of buying nice lingerie is that ultimately it will never go out of fashion. The trend for wearing it on full display might wane but it will always remain fit for it’s original purpose – underwear!



Roxanne Parker has styled fashion and beauty editorials for Prudence, Irish Tatler, U Magazine, Image, Confetti, The Irish Independent. She is also a regular guest stylist on RTE's The Afternoon Show.



Initial thoughts?



Beautiful, feminine lacy pieces - a touch of boudoir glamour to a modern wardrobe.



Will this look suit everybody?



It is adaptable. If your a bit older you can wear a Chanel style suit with a silk camisole top. If you need a racier look you can pair a corset style top under a tux or a silk blouse with a figure hugging pencil skirt. Curvier women can accentuate with sculpted corset style slip dresses.



How should it be worn?



This is not about going all lady Ga Ga and hitting the streets in your knickers. Keep the colours soft, nudes, oysters, black, pink and avoid gaudy colours at all costs. The look is sensual. Mix one lingerie inspired piece with tailoring or jeans. For a casual take on the lingerie look take inspiration from Stella McCarthy and use a lace blouse with a nude blazer and jeans. For after hours use a sheer blouse with a camisole and lace skirt.



Who's working the trend?



Chloe Sevigny in Mui Mui's nude bra, Rihanna in a sharp tuxedo suit and lace corset top, Taylor Momsen in a grunge mix of a plaid shirt, white t-shirt leather jacket and sexy suspenders and stockings. Less successfully, Amy Winehouse lets it all hang out and Lilly Allen and Lindsay Lohan left a little too little to the imagination in those bodysuits!



Which stores/designers are doing the trend well?



Preen have done some amazing structured corset style dresses which are available from Brown Thomas while Stella McCartney have a beautiful nude net and silk dress which has real boudoir feel. Fran & Jane also have some yummy lingerie inspired dresses and skirts in nude, peach and cream tones with feminine lace, ruffles and beaded detailing.



Is it a quick fad or here to stay?



I think this is a look that comes up again and again with labels like Preen, Dolce & Gabbana and Stella McCarthy returning to this trend season after season, if it's done well it has a timeless, vintage quality.

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