A shortcut to the new sexy.
Everyone has their own definition of sexy. In the ‘50s it was epitomized by curvy starlets like Marilyn Monroe, Sofia Loren and Brigitte Bardot. In the ‘90s it evoked skinny supermodels like Kate Moss and Shalom Harlow. All of these women, in one way or another, were undeniably sexy. Fast forward to today and there is far more to being sexy than what meets the male gaze. Women are approaching sexiness in a much clever manner, one that signals the feminine power of today while alluding to our oppressed past.
Fall ‘16 is the season for allowing your waist to play a starring role in your sex appeal. Whether or not designers were making a political or feminist statement, they made their case by transforming an old, restricting undergarment into a new, statement-making accent. Today’s corset is more fashion than function, transforming the brutal body-constricting underpinnings of the past into an in-your-face symbol of femininity, seen on everyone from Rihanna to Gigi Hadid. They ruled the runways in a variety of styles, shapes and lengths that ranged from loose and laced-up at Prada to sculptural and modern at Alexander McQueen.
Blame Catherine de Medici for popularizing the rib-crunching corset in the 1500’s. Primarily hidden under clothing and used to create man-made curves, the corset has re-emerged time and time again, often, of course, to please men. But the corset has come a long way. It’s a highly charged garment that’s finally seen untied and out in the open. It’s a celebration of the strength and sexual allure of modern women who make their own rules and dress for themselves.
Before you banish this idea as bullshit, consider the many real-world options that go beyond the corset. For starters, a simple cinched-in waist will do, made easy by all of the ultra-wide belts seen this season. Or look to Loewe’s runway show where leather bustiers took center stage as a casual layer to your favorite T-shirt.
Whatever the case, look to your waist.