Thursday, April 30, 2009
With warmer weather comes barer skin. And this spring, such collections as Narciso Rodriguez, Givenchy and Herve Leger explored exposure beyond deeply plunging necklines and ever-rising hemlines -- revealing slivers of flesh through cutout panels, crisscrossing straps and woven-cage shoes.
"I wanted to contrast a more feminine silhouette with an edgier embellishment," says Nomia designer Yara Flinn, who incorporated back and side panels into her latest collection. "I've always been kind of interested in a more subversive kind of sexiness."
The most important thing? Balance. The designer recommends pairing racier pieces -- like her line's Side Straps silk top -- with more traditional, grounded items such as jeans. For modest types, try layering a cutout top or dress over a bandeau, bodysuit or camisole in a contrasting color, or experimenting with cutouts through accessories, such as Elizabeth and James's bronze cuff or Jeffrey Campbell's fuchsia latticelike heels. If you're feeling a bit braver, try Larsen Gray's aptly named Shark Bite miniskirt, Loeffler Randall's turquoise linen tank or Charlotte Ronson's denim dress.
As the saying goes, sometimes less is more.
-- Michelle Thomas