What It Means to Be Body Conscious in 2021
Let your body do the talking.
Other couture designers also invoked sartorial allusions to the human form. Buzzy brand Area designers Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk created crystal-embellished rib cages and toyed with tantalizing cutouts. In Alber Elbaz’s return to the fashion spotlight with AZ Factory, the designer took a less literal approach and instead catered ergonomically to the body in all its shapes and sizes in what he called an “anatomical knit.” Between the two labels, both refreshingly paid homage to different body types, aside from the stereotypical slender model.
After years of a Phoebe Philo–induced less-is-more approach to sexuality in fashion followed by a loungewear-clad pandemic, the fashion pendulum has swung towards sex appeal by embracing a newfound focus on the body. This spring we will likely see that same energy reflected in consumer purchase decisions. In Moda Operandi’s spring ’21 Runway Report, they found that the Naked Dress, defined as “essentially anything that enhances the female form through soft and sensual fabrication,” was a major hit among pre-order clients. Designers from Jacquemus to Altuzarra to Cult Gaia all created their own forms of the Sex and the City–coined term. “It can be slinky, slightly sheer, backless, or body-con,” the report states.
After nearly a year of sartorial dormancy— of boxy sweaters, oversize track pants, and voluminous hoodies—it’s exciting to think about showing off your body again. “When we’re talking about optimism, we’re seeing it on the trend side, too—that hit of color, a return to being quite sexy. We talked about the naked dress in the runway report. There’s a lot of cutouts and a ton of bare skin. I’m really excited for that,” Moda Operandi’s fashion and buying director, Lisa Aiken, tells Coveteur.
This same sentiment is reflected on our Instagram feeds, where you’ve likely seen Gabe Gordon’s barely-hanging-on, body-conscious designs clinging to the frames of celebrities and influencers alike—they’ve received the Kardashian/Jenner seal of approval. Or perhaps you’ve seen Emma Corrin, among other fans, clad in Nensi Dojaka string-like contraptions?
No surprise to any of you, fashion is a constantly swinging pendulum—the more you pull it one way, the farther it will travel in the opposite direction in retaliation. It seems the pandemic has steeped us in so many layers of loungewear, any scientist would tell you this shift was inevitable.
Shop the Trend Below:
Come spring, it is our belief that one can never have too many crop tops. This Zara iteration would work with jeans, wide-leg pants, or a miniskirt—take your pick.
After Christopher Esber dressed Zendaya in the slinky black number for the red carpet, we were completely hooked. His uber popular skirt will require a crop top to perfectly display the midriff flossing trend.
We love a good sheer moment, so we obviously couldn’t resist this asymmetrically cut mesh blouse. If you’re not up for baring all, opt for a black tank underneath; otherwise go for it with a pretty black bra.
To wear under those newly purchased sheer items...
Another example of midriff flossing, Jacquemus’s cutout mini dress is the perfect summer statement. All you need is a pair of low heels and a mini bag!
We are very into this “business in the front, party in the back” situation from The Frankie Shop. That said, we can’t wait for the temps to warm up so we can go backless again.
If you’re in need of a little LBD refresh—because one can never have too many—we suggest this form-fitting rendition from Urban Outfitters. We love the subtle pattern, and the price can’t be beat!
We can’t wait to get our hands on a piece from Alber Elbaz’s latest collection—a perk of the see-now, buy-now concept. This red bodysuit will be perfect styled under a pair of jeans come spring.
Want more stories like this?
A Heavy Dose of Escapism at Paris’s Haute Couture Fashion Week
In 2020, It’s OK for Fashion to Take Up Space
An Ode to Marc Jacobs’ Quarantine Style