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Fashion Wants You To Wear A Bustier

But it’ll settle for a lace-trimmed camisole

By Annie Brown

Call it the Bridgerton effect, a post-Covid hedonism or yet another ’90s flashback, but lingerie-as-outerwear is certainly trending.

On the catwalks and social media, layers and inhibitions are being joyfully cast aside as influencers and their Gen Z acolytes turn to all things scanty, silky and lacy. Take Gigi Hadid, for example, who celebrated her 27th birthday in a three-piece, sheer white lace suit with boned corset by Dion Lee that was just as extra as it sounds.

Or Julia Fox, patron saint of the visible G-string revival, who just this week was photographed doing her grocery shopping quite literally in her underwear, with a denim blazer thrown over the top, and knee-high boots.

At PRIMER, we are in no way suggesting that anyone should be stopping by Woolworths in their Bonds briefs and bra. But there is a version of the trend for everyone. For inspiration, see Artistic Director Kim Jones’ ladylike filmy slip dresses, bustiers and delicate knickers for Fendi’s Fall 2022 collection; the corsets spotted everywhere from Versace to Dion Lee; bra tops and briefs at Miu Miu and slips at Gucci.

(All of which, it must be said, is continuing the Lord’s work done by Madonna in her Jean Paul Gaultier conical corset in 1990, and Vivienne Westwood, who as the Victoria & Albert museum notes, was the first 20th century designer to revive the corset in its original form – and subvert its oppressive legacy.)

Slip dresses, sensuous and flattering, are an easier way in. There are plenty of options too, from the 2021 LVMH Prize winner Nensi Dojaka, who has earned a cult following for her delicate slivers of slip dresses, to the lace-trimmed lemon versions from the likes of Australian brand Sir the Label.

Bella Hadid leads the lingerie-inspired runway at Fendi CREDIT: Getty

Rachel White, head buyer at David Jones, believes the lingerie trend is being driven by a post-pandemic headiness, as well as zeitgeist moments such as the Met Gala and the Gen Z cult series Euphoria (one of its stars, Zendaya, made headlines last year in a sheer Nensi Dojaka dress).

“Two major trends are bringing the bustier back into the spotlight – the post-pandemic desire to dress up, show some flesh and bring sexy back into the wardrobe, combined with Y2K and 90s nostalgia thanks to the Euphoria effect,” she says.

White lists Australian brands such as Camilla and Marc, Bec + Bridge and Dion Lee as go-tos for the aesthetic, and emphasises that it can be played as up or down as you fancy —and isn’t only for the supremely bold.

“Under a blazer or showing a midriff, the bustier is no longer an undergarment. I’ve also loved seeing corseting structure and panelling come through in occasionwear dresses from Aje and Rachel Gilbert,” she says.

“This trend doesn’t have to just be for the daring. The modern bustier is more empowering and confidence-enhancing, rather than organ-crushing! If you’re new to the trend, opt for a knitted version and wear with a low-slung pant for day or a tailored trouser and blazer for an edgy date-night look.”

And below, stylist Lucy Wood has selected her favourite lingerie-themed looks…


BY Annie Brown

Annie is a fashion journalist whose work has been published in Vogue, the Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald

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