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Visible bra-straps to naked dresses: When fashion faux pas become trends


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Visible bra-straps to naked dresses: When fashion faux pas become trends

There are some red-carpet events where experimental fashion is almost non-existent. Take Cannes for example – the film festival’s red carpet has a distinct style, but it’s almost never too bold or unconventional. Most celebrities grace the prestigious film festival in illustrious evening gowns and the men are in black tuxedos.

At the 76th Cannes, however, some celebrities seem hellbent on breaking the festival’s unspoken dress code with risque looks. Sweeney showed up on the carpet in a milk-hued Miu Miu negligée which revealed at least ¾ of a pale-blue bra beneath while Scarlett Johansson wore a pale pink Prada gown with a visible, spaghetti-strapped brassiere. Cindy Bruna wore a polka-dot Vivienne Westwood dress with two semi-circles of a corset poking forth. Model Irina Shayk turned heads 2 days ago when she wore lingerie to the international festival. The bra-strap revealing look — which British Vogue calls the ‘peekaboo bra trend’ — and wearing lingerie on the red carpet, although not that popular among the masses is certainly a statement when it comes to the prestigious film festival.

Showing your bra strap in a red carpet look or showing up near-naked would have been a ‘faux pas’ just a few years ago – styling ‘mistakes’ or sartorial missteps, in most cases would be scandalous. But celebrities are embracing these looks now, even if they’re not that popular among the masses yet. Especially the sheer, nude looks that we have seen everywhere this awards season and at the Met Gala would have been scandalous a decade ago.

Some of these fashion faux pas have also made their way out of red carpets and into casual, streetwear fashion. Low-rise trousers with visible g-strings/underwear straps are now a staple for off-duty models and even on runways. The jury’s still out on this one, but we have also seen the “fanny pack” morph into the more streetwear-savvy crossbody or “bum” bags. 

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The iconic Coco Chanel herself once said: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”. But with the ’90s and Y2K fashion trends making a big comeback in recent years, over-accessorising became the new normal. There’s of course also a counter-movement happening right now, with recession core on the horizon – subtle, logo-less prints and neutral colour combinations (like the dreaded black and brown) are also on the rise. Regardless, there was a time when both styles were a ‘fashion crime’, and it is nice to see that the world of fashion today seems to have room for everyone.

Once a highly talked about fashion faux pas, double denim has a much easier rep today. Instead of just pairing the same coloured denim, many are choosing to style different colours together for a more toned-down look. A double denim outfit doesn’t look as obvious and bold for example when you pair black skinny jeans with a light blue denim jacket. Wearing ill-fitting clothes was a long-held faux pas – but oversized clothing is now a regular airport fit for celebs and masses alike. 

For the longest time, the ‘socks-with-sandals’ combo was strictly ‘barbeque dad’ fashion – but it has now also seeped into celebrity casual wear. From Virgil Abloh‘s Louis Vuitton from 2017 to Birkenstocks, Crocs and heeled strappy numbers, runways are also adopting this once-disastrous combination.

Thanks to social media, fashion, in general, is especially at its peak – it isn’t a niche genre limited to industry insiders and fashion students, but even the general public is joining in on dissecting and analysing fashion. Gen Z is re-discovering a lot of fashion trends from the 80s and 90s that we deemed as fashion faux pas in the noughties. And since fashion is versatile and ever-evolving, it’s highly likely that trends we consider a crime in the name of fashion today might end up on the ‘best-dressed’ lists of tomorrow. 

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