Two Of A Kind: Handling Transparency

Dior Vs KorLeft, Christian Dior Autumn/Winter 2014 and right, Michael Kors Spring/Summer 2015

In a post bursting with delight, HerWorldPlus was over the moon, declaring that “Michael Kors approves of our favourite 5 looks from his SS15 show”. One of the looks is, according to the website, “how Kors wants you to wear transparent pieces—the embellished see through skirt was ideally conservative with a tucked-in dress shirt so long that it covers all your lady parts.” And the thigh and knee are no lady parts? But that’s beside the point.

A season earlier, or on 28 February in Paris, the house of Christian Dior, led by Raf Simons, showed some evening wear that were sheer embroidered tank-dresses over sleeveless T-shirts—also embellished. The beautifully fitted tees were fashioned to be long, with the hemline going way past the hip so that by themselves, the T-shirts were really dresses too. What was exceptional here wasn’t so much the design of the two separates (although the graphic interplay of the deep scooped neckline of the dress against the adorned oblong of the tee is no less design!), but the proposal of pairing a sheer dress over an opaque inner that had the right length to guard a woman’s modesty.

Mr Simons’s Dior would never be considered “ideally conservative”, yet it embraces traditional dressmaking in the sense that the finished designs are never improper, no matter how Mr Simons juxtaposes or layers fabrics of different textures and densities. This evening ensemble for the current AW 2014 season isn’t classic red-carpet dressing, but its take on sportswear shapes is acknowledging how younger women like to dress on a glamourous night out: with no fuss, and with the ease of slipping on a tank top for a weekend trip to the suburban mall.

Mr Kors’s long shirt (not a “dress shirt” since a dress shirt would not have sleeves that are too long) worn under the diaphanous skirt may appeal to those unable to reconcile fashion and the potential exposure of “lady parts”, but in essence, the idea comes six months too late. Putting the two outfits side by side, one looks decidedly present, the other, belonging somewhat to the past.


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