Naked ambition: the invisible dress was the way to be seen in 2022

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The champion mode to get noticed successful 2022 was to deterioration an invisible dress. From Kim Kardashian successful a skin-tone sheath antecedently worn by Marilyn Monroe to Florence Pugh successful one-ply-tissue-weight Valentino pink, “naked glamour” was the look that defined 2022.

After a decennary of demure trends, erstwhile precocious necklines and puffed sleeves ruled the catwalk and escaped midi dresses replaced pencil skirts arsenic powerfulness dressing successful the office, this twelvemonth enactment the assemblage backmost successful the spotlight.

Near-naked dressing is back, but the caller look is – successful the vernacular of Instagram – heavy filtered. Long but ultra-sheer gowns that showcase the assemblage portion preserving an aerial of enigma person replaced abbreviated skirts and plunging necklines.

The patron saint of bare glamour is Marilyn Monroe. In 1960, successful an interrogation with Marie Claire, Monroe recalled however erstwhile a erstwhile newsman had asked her what she wore successful bed, “I said, ‘Chanel No 5’, due to the fact that it’s the information … and yet, I don’t privation to accidental ‘nude’.” From that infinitesimal on, nudity – oregon the proposition of it – was cardinal to her brand. In May this year, Kim Kardashian made headlines astatine the Met Gala by wearing the formal Monroe wore to sing Happy Birthday to the the US president, John F Kennedy, 60 years earlier. In 1962, the daze worth of the formal laic successful its transparency, and due to the fact that Monroe’s wardrobe prime was interpreted arsenic suggestive of an intimate narration with the president. In 2022, the daze worth laic successful Kardashian revealing she had mislaid 16lbs to acceptable into the dress, by not eating coagulated nutrient for 3 weeks.

Kim Kardashian made headlines by revealing she had mislaid  16lbs to acceptable  into Marilyn Monroe’s dress.
Kim Kardashian made headlines by revealing she had mislaid 16lbs to acceptable into Marilyn Monroe’s dress. Photograph: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The astir talked astir reddish carpet dresses of the year, the astir in-vogue wedding formal of the twelvemonth and the catwalk infinitesimal that went viral from Paris manner week each progressive bare dresses. Valentino’s haute couture amusement successful July commandeered Rome’s Spanish Steps arsenic a catwalk, but it was the front-row look worn by Pugh, braless successful a sheer fuchsia halterneck gown, that made headlines. The actor’s Don’t Worry Darling director, Olivia Wilde, picked up the “free the nipple” baton astatine the Academy Museum gala 3 months later, successful a metallic Alexandre Vauthier sheath truthful good that what laic beneath – conscionable a brace of enarthrosis pads – was intelligibly visible.

The viral infinitesimal of the astir caller catwalk play came astatine Coperni’s Paris manner week show, erstwhile exemplary Bella Hadid stood successful her knickers portion a formal was sprayed connected to her skin. Fabrican is simply a liquid blend of earthy and synthetic fibres applied by aerosol, which connected interaction with the aboveground of the assemblage becomes a non-woven fabric. After 10 minutes, Hadid was wearing a formal coagulated capable that a technician could adhd a slit successful the hem and fold down the neckline to drape astir her shoulders, but it remained truthful X-ray sheer that, similar Monroe’s rhinestone-studded crystals, it work arsenic naked. The clip has been viewed implicit a cardinal times connected TikTok.

Bella Hadid is dressed by spraying Fabrican connected  to her body
Bella Hadid is dressed by spraying Fabrican connected to her body. Photograph: Julien de Rosa/AFP/Getty Images

There is much to the operation of a palmy bare formal than meets the eye. The formal worn by Monroe and Kardashian is said to beryllium embellished with 6,000 tiny rhinestones, each stitched by hand. Monroe paid $1,440 – a important terms tag successful 1962 – for the dress, which was designed by Bob Mackie, past a young apprentice for the French decorator Jean Louis. The gown acceptable a grounds for a formal astatine auction, raising $1.2m successful 1999. Seven years aboriginal it was sold again for $4.8m. “Nowadays everyone wears sheer dresses, but backmost past that was not the case,” said Kardashian. “In a sense, it’s the archetypal bare dress. That’s wherefore it was truthful shocking.” Mackie became the maestro of the bare dress, creating the transparent formal with strategically placed metallic sequins and achromatic feathers that Cher wore to the Met Gala successful 1974.

But for each the method virtuosity of its construction, it is the powerfulness to spotlight the assemblage beneath that lends the bare formal its visceral power. It has go a taste totem astatine a infinitesimal erstwhile women’s bodies person go a governmental battleground. This year, the US ultimate tribunal overturned the law close to abortion, and the decease successful custody of Mahsa Amini, arrested by Iran’s morality constabulary aft being accused of wearing her hijab incorrectly, sparked wide protests.

Olivia Wilde astatine  the Academy Museum gala.
Olivia Wilde astatine the Academy Museum gala. Photograph: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock

In 2022, pistillate nudity is not specified titillation, it is simply a hotbed of taste controversy. The bare formal inclination besides reflects a continued obsession with a narrowly defined “perfect” assemblage shape. Kardashian’s value nonaccomplishment was arsenic compelling a storyline arsenic the practice of her dress. Much of the online disapproval against Pugh’s sheer Valentino gown was directed not against her nudity, but against her temerity successful being “comfortable with my tiny breasts … it aggravated [people] that I was comfortable,” the histrion told Harper’s Bazaar. “It was conscionable alarming, however perturbed they were. They were truthful aggravated that I was confident,” she added.

The manner blogger Camille Charriere faced a backlash aft posting photos of a see-through wedding dress, made from upcycled achromatic lace by the British manner decorator Harris Reed and worn implicit a disposable achromatic thong, to her 1.3 cardinal followers earlier this year. “I could ne'er representation myself arsenic a accepted bride … and had nary tendency to deterioration a traditional, virginal gown … I profoundly resent the mode our wardrobes are inactive being policed by society. We, collectively, should consciousness furious that women inactive person to endure this patriarchal nonsense,” she aboriginal wrote.