There was once a saying about never leaving the house without nice knickers and cotton socks, but now that idea is about as vintage as the word knickers itself, and therefore in a very hard-to-reach part of our memory, between other little tidbits of golden grandma advice. They had a point though didn't they? Just one glance at a photograph from their youth is enough evidence to convince us of the power of a waist-cinching dress. We lived through the early 2000s, survived the Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan sans-lingerie trend and we all popped out on the other side with far more sense and sensibility, with an edge of courtesan of course!
Yesterday, today, tomorrow
Designer hosiery, much like lingerie, can thank the images that first brought them to very public attention. The early scenes, Sophia Loren and her sizzling strip tease, black satin tights and pointy brassieres (if you haven't seen Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, it’s informing, to say the least) to the iconic Wolford ads of the eighties by Helmut Newton. What's underneath, in fashion, has often reflected what's worn on top, but more often than not, it has mirrored what's happening socially. With this theory in mind, one can only think that we must be going through a decidedly fabulous moment. Even for control shorts. In fact we'd be hard pressed to find a celebrity who hasn't admitted to the wonder of these supportive friends. The progress made in forming wear would shock our lovely grandmas. A forming body is a luxe essential for wearing a gown, bridal wear included, creating sleek silhouettes that feel comfortable, flattering and nowhere near as rib-removing as their predecessors. Bras can be replaced by any number of items now. A tulle or forming top solves plunging necklines and reduces bra lines in delicate jersey dresses or cashmere layers. A tulle body is a wonderful gateway to lingerie between hot-to-trot sexy and downright practical.
Pull your socks up!
Or let them slouch down, both are equally as in at the moment. Luxe hosiery is hardly a new concept, but it’s certainly having another 'moment'. Satin tights, like that of said Helmut Newton Wolford ads, are having their day in the sun, quite literally, again. With the boom of body-hugging – Balmain, and anything by Vaccarello, an obvious choice could be tights that give you both support and an endless tan, or a shimmering black silhouette to match that of your 9-inch stilettos. Ankles are decorated or exposed, or both. Stilettos and the most fabulous pair of lace-trimmed socks are a sure fire way to makes friends on the Front Row. VETEMENTS, turned over-the-knee socks into shoes which, in turn, brought back, – wait for it – over-the-knee socks. And the delightful beauty of satin socks and a nice pair of brogues, well that’s just fashion home comforts!
What have we learned?
A lot. The advancement in textiles has developed the world of stretch, support and seamlessness to sci-fi levels of fantasy. Visible panty lines are even more unacceptable now that we all have the tools of prevention. Backless dresses, sandals and socks, belly-button plunging necklines, no mountain is too high in 2016. What was once a fashion roadblock is now just another area to shine. We’re taking our grandmas good advice to heart, but we rejoice in the modern freedom we now have to run, jump, fly, work, dance and then fall in a heap, all very comfortably in our lingerie and designer hosiery. If we wear a corset, it'll be on the outside, a lace-up bodysuit under fitted trousers. If we wear socks and sandals, it'll be ironic, and if we mix blue and green, it'll only make us more seen. Because as every fashion rule is made, another is broken, and this applies from the top of your head, to the very tip of your toes!