Transparency started to make its way into a trend this Fall (see Fall 2010 Top Ten Trends), but it has made a real impact for Spring 2011. Transparency was seen all over the runways translated in several different variations.
FLOWY CHIFFON TRANSPARENCY was biggest interpretation of this trend seen on the runways. Designers played up the feminine aesthetic with completely sheer designs- some worn with undergarments and others not. Sheer dresses worn over satin bras and panties was a big trend seen from such leaders as Lanvin, Givenchy and Chloe. Dresses and skirts are flowy and airy while tops have a bit of structure to them. We saw jackets and capes made with transparent chiffon allowing both classic and modern designers to use this fabrication in their own way. The dress and the mid-calf skirt will be the leaders in this trend at retail with the transparent blouse coming in at a close second. Expect to see tulle used within this classification for Junior markets as it is cheaper and can easily be translated for the younger trendsetters.
KNIT TRANSPARENCY was seen by some of the more modern designers interpreting the trend into everyday wear. Alexander Wang showed open weave knit sweaters while Victoria Bartlett and others manipulated knits to produce a “torn and tattered” feel. The idea with transparent knits is to manipulate the weave to produce an opening on the skin. This trend will be very big within the Contemporary and Junior markets as it is more versatile than chiffon transparency. Knit transparency is easy to layer and the styling sensibility is more inline with what the customer is looking for. This technique can be translated into all different types of knit fabrics allowing diversity in design.
The last type of transparency seen on the runways was CUT-OUT TRANSPARENCY. This version of the trend cites designs that have cut-out portions within the garment allowing for skin to be seen through varying shapes. Fabrications used within this trend are mostly structured fabrics which allow shapes to hold their form. Pedro Lourenco designed an entire collection based on this technique using leather and transparent cut-outs to create his sexy line of modern dresses. Versace channeled Courrèges and Rudi Genrich while Herve Leger used this technique within leather to create a artistic pattern on the garment. Some interpretations were feminine in feel incorporating lace and embroidery to tell the see-thru story.