The arrival of the sheer trend several years ago forcefully raised questions about femininity, modesty, sexuality, and shame: why are women expected to cover up, and should they be? Is the female body inherently sexual? Is the female body shameful? What is the connection between body, sexuality, and femininity? Should a garment conceal, or enhance? What does it mean to conceal, or to reveal? While the more puritanically-minded may have bristled, the translucent material and these questions it raises gave designers ample room to explore, build, and destroy. Move forward a few years to the present, and we find that younger generations embrace and see power in sheer femininity.
As women continue to embrace and define female empowerment, they aren’t looking to hide their feminine side or downplay it. Valentino and Dior continue to make sheer look beautiful, elegant, and dramatic. Fendi gives the sheer factor a minimal chic. Rick Owens experiments with various structures of sheer to imagine a powered-up fashion of the future. Miu Miu, Acne Studios, and Burberry give sheer a youthful, playful vibe. Loewe and Kenzo explore its possible to create dual silhouettes. Ellie Saab uses sheer to beautifully identify connections between femininity and the natural world, balancing the hidden and the revealed, the elegant and the chaotic.