Full Transparency

Vivetta / Burberry / Emilia Wickstead 

The sheer trend, known perhaps less politely as the “naked trend”, as not terribly new, but is continuing to stick around. Using semi-transparent fabrics, designers have created stunning pieces with embroidery, delicate weaves, and intricate beading. Everything from skirts to tops to bags have gone through the treatment, and has been seen from your most high end brands (We see you, Dior), to the fast-fashion giants (Lookin’ at you Forever21).

Focusing on the high fashion brands, viewers received a masterclass in how to wear the tricky tend.

One brand that has been at the forefront of this style is Dior. The entire show was studded with sheer skirts, tops, and dresses, each in flowy fabrics that gave it an ethereal feel. The thing with sheer pieces are, you can obviously see what is underneath, and the designers at Dior made sure that what was under was just as beautiful as what was over. Many looks featured bodysuits or boy-short type underwear in similar shades to bring the whole outfits together. This same idea is fairly easy to replicate – it can be as easy as finding a slip in the perfect color that works off your sheer dress. And if you aren’t feeling the whole dress thing, go for a skirt or shirt. Prevalent in many fast fashion joints like Forever21 and Urban Outfitters, stylish and show-stopping bralettes are layered under mesh or sheer tops to add a little risqué to a look. At Dior, a grey and polka dot pleated shirt was pulled over a white ensemble, and added a ton of interest to a neutral-colored look. Since most people wouldn’t think of putting a sheer skirt over just a bodysuit, it is easy to substitute it for a slip, or pull on solid colored spandex over a bodysuit to give an athletic feel.

Gucci has, frankly, not been shy about pushing the fashion boundaries these past few seasons (check out the latest show – complete with severed heads and baby dragons!). A couple sheer dresses took to the runway, with a slightly different vibe than at Dior. In each look, there was a great deal of texture, from the woven orange and green midi-dress, to the beaded purple bodysuit under a ruffled sheer dress. Each piece was treated with care and given the ability to shine, even if the fabric was lightweight or not the statement piece of the outfit. Creative Director Alessandro Michele understood how to layer, and combine pieces. The long sleeve bodysuit covered in cool-colored crystals was a stark contrast to the lace dress of whites and nudes. Unlike at Dior, what goes underneath a sheer piece can be the most striking – case in point this purple bodysuit under a black dress. You can easily take a stunning piece and layer it with something sheer, because it allows the unique qualities to still show through while being dressed up.

Last, Lanvin took a more conservative route on the trend, and it turned out wonderfully. While it wasn’t very prevalent throughout the show, there were some lovely minimalist pieces to check out. They really tackled shirts, and make sheer shirting very chic. An all-black ensemble featured an exaggerated keyhole on a long-sleeve sheer top, with a simplistic black bra underneath. While it may not be a workplace outfit, the idea of doing a monochrome set of undergarment and blouse is a great look to bring to parties and outings. The leather detailing of the placket and collar make the shirt more interesting, so look for something similar. If the bra is too much for you, a thin camisole does the trick perfectly, too. On the other hand, there was also a light pink shirt paired with a bright red wrap skirt. This top isn’t totally sheer, but still captures the light and flowy nature that the other pieces have. It’s a great example of mixing fabrics and textures, as the weightier skirt is balances by the airy shirt. Pair an outfit like this with a pair of chunky heels and you’re set to go.

The sheer trend by no means should be reserved for thin models, and can be manipulated and played with to fit any style and shape. Pieces with more coverage can be used, and ones with little additions of mesh are often just as stunning as fully sheer pieces. There are takes on this trend at every price level, so there are lots of options out there. So, keep looking for that piece that is sheer perfection.