We all know some things are better left to the imagination, but for many celebrities, those “things” are being concealed by increasingly scant clothing. Interestingly, a resurgence in transparent “illusion” clothing, which saw an earlier heyday at the beginning of the millennium with “floating” necklaces constructed of fishing wire and gowns like Halle Berry’s iconic 2002 Oscar Boudreaux colored Elie Saab, has resulted in increased demand for more and more daring get ups.
While transparent clothing is definitely avant garde, this look can go quickly from trendy to tawdry. For example, check out Leighton Meester’s interpretation of illusion clothing. While the Gossip Girl actress has an undeniably awesome body, who on earth told her that a dress featuring a glorified thong and sheer butt panels was in any way appropriate to wear to the MTV Movie Awards, an event that targets pre teens and, therefore, pretty much everyone that is too young to wear anything so sultry? While Meester garnered plenty of media attention, it’s definitely concerning that this meretricious outfit better suited for the bedroom is being labeled as “fashion forward.” This also seems the case with WAG Cheryl Cole, who decided to celebrate her birthday in a very odd, completely NSFW fringed miniskirted sleeveless number that would have been more appropriate for a figure skating event that might be called “Tarts on Ice” or some Vegas show.
There are some ways to work in this transparent look and not appear tasteless, however. Transformers vixen Megan Fox showed up to the David Letterman show in a classic knee length black dress that featured just a touch of illusion netting at the neckline, keeping her look age appropriate for this 23-year-old. Demure heels and a retro glam hairstyle also tone down this very sexy look.
While illusion clothing is very popular for formal events, some celebrities have taken this look in another direction, like Fergie’s edgy rocker ensemble, which uses gauzy, nude colored panes and incorporates them into an otherwise almost prim blouse. Paired with a tasteful miniskirt and some medieval bracelets with serious hardware, the overall effect is fashionable, but doesn’t veer into tacky.
So while diaphanous clothing is a hot trend right now, it’s a very, very thin line between au courant and offensive. This is definitely a look to try out, but just remember to keep sheer pieces as an embellishment, not as the basis of your outfit. You’re going for an illusion, not an exhibiton.