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Campbell’s Couture: Why sheer fashion does more with less

“In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous.” – Elsa Schiaparelli

You may have heard the phrase “less is more.” Well in the fashion world, sometimes more is better.

Most fashion trends are going to be controversial, and sheer fashion is no exception. Some people like the powerful and bold look it presents, while others argue it’s too scandalous or inappropriate for most events.

Actress Florence Pugh received major backlash after she wore a sheer, hot pink tulle dress to Valentino’s haute couture fashion show in Italy this past summer. 

Not only did the fashion house specifically make the dress, but she looked fabulous on the red carpet. Luckily, Pugh had the perfect response. 

“We were raised to find power in the creases of our body. To be loud about being comfortable,” Pugh said in an Instagram post. “It has always been my mission in this industry to say ‘f--- it and f--- that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive.”

Sheer fashion has been around for decades, and has not gotten less controversial since its initial introduction. The most notable first example would be Marilyn Monroe’s sheer rhinestone dress by designer Jean Louis. She famously sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and the dress was later worn by Kim Kardashian

Many trends rise and fall, however, sheer fashion continued from then and into the 21st century. From high couture to the department store, everyone loves to show a little skin. Notable examples come from celebrities such as Cher, Kate Moss and Rihanna. All of these women looked chic, but still received negative responses from critics. 

The idea that women cannot show off part or even all of their bodies while still being covered in fabric is simply sexist. In today’s age, men can walk around without their shirts and it’s still appropriate. 

For centuries, women have been taught to cover up while in public, especially if their bodies are anything less than “perfect.” Sheer clothing breaks the rule of coverage and allows a little peek-a-boo without completely going bare. If it gives people confidence and makes them feel sexy, who are we to stop them? 

One celebrity who is continuing the legacy of the “naked look” is model and author Emily Ratajowski. Whether it’s rocking a Tory Burch sheer bra on the runway or wearing a black halter-neck dress from Aya Muse on the red carpet, Ratajkowski is not afraid to show off her body. 

Some may also say sheer fashion is “too much” or “too avant-garde” for normal style. These people must also forget fashion is not supposed to be simple or normal. So the “outrageousness” or “scandal” of sheer clothing is simply on trend for couture. 

The next time you’re looking to spice up your going out outfit, try a sheer top with a garment underneath or even a sheer dress for a fancy night out. No matter what you will feel bold, powerful and confident enough to be bare. 

Hannah Campbell is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Hannah by tweeting her at @hannahcmpbell.

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