Tight is Out: RIP Bodycon Dresses
Can you guys believe it? The death of bodycon is finally approaching. The skin tight, unbreathable dresses are waiting for their place in the fashion graveyard where they will take their place amongst overly baggy jeans and layered tank tops. Don’t worry, though, bodycon was never, and will never be that bad. It’ll most likely make a resurgence when we’re all middle-aged, telling our adolescent kids “tuh! You don’t know anything about that trend. We started it (I mean we didn’t, but who cares, we’re the ones telling the story)!” But as we know, all good things must come to an end, and for now, bodycon’s reign is ending, as all good reigns do. It’s slowly being replaced by flowy, loose outfits. I know. Talk about a 180. As our good friend, bodycon, waits on her deathbed, let’s reminisce on her reign as the Supreme.
The year is 1992. Mom jeans and overalls riddled the streets (like I said, these things come back). French designer, Hérve Peugnet, the man behind the label, Hervé Léger popularized the bondage, or body-conscious (what’d you think bodycon stood for?) dress. His dresses were made of thin fabric that hugged the body, well, just about everywhere. At the time, these dresses were considered seductive and sexy. Peugnet himself went on to say things like “My dresses are designed for women who are at ease with their bodies,” and “I’m in favor of seductive clothes…Seduction isn’t diabolical—it’s essential.” Now, before we continue down memory lane, we have to address Azzedine Alaia. Alaia, also known as the “King of Cling,” was dressing icons like Grace Jones and Stephanie Seymour in clinging clothes way back in the ‘80s. His flattering, body-hugging designs made him one of the hottest designers in his time.
This all changed during the 90s (pay attention, this is an important part of the bodycon story). After Alaia’s twin sister, Hafida, died from breast cancer in 1992, Alaia began to retreat from the fashion industry. While he still was referenced in pop culture—I know you know that scene from Clueless when Cher refuses to get on the ground during a mugging because her dress is an Alaia—he maintained a low profile with a small, high-end clientele. Enter Peugnet. Bodycon master. His label gets purchased by BCBG Max Azria and dresses once coveted by the celebrity elite are now made available to the general public.
Nine years later, in 2007, Hervé Léger is once again launched to the public, this time under Max Azria. The dress, made even more popular by the Kardashians and TV personalities like Snooki and J. Woww becomes associated with “girls gone wild.” The relaunch happened over a decade ago, and still, bodycon is coveted by the public. With companies like Fashion Nova, bodycon has become a universal style worn by everyone from Instagram models to 80s fanatics alike. Red carpets are still riddled with it. Now, I don’t hate bodycon—in fact, I think it makes my body look bomb! But, you’ve got to admit, it’s getting old. I mean, come on bodycon, let’s give some other trends some time to shine!
Recently however, things have started to change. The daring French actress, Marion Cotillard let it be known that she was ushering in a new style trend at the 2018 Cannes Festival. Wearing a monochromatic, loose-fitting dress, she easily stood out against her bodycon-clan peers. Other style icons, like actress, Lupita N’yongo, are continuing to cultivate this new, flowing trend with beauty and grace.
This trend is certainly making it’s mark and it’s only going to get more and more popular. So, now you’re ahead of the game. You know bodycon is dying and this new trend is in the preliminary stages of emerging. What do you do? I’ll tell you what you do. You march over to your favorite store and get some cute culottes (especially the high-waisted ones). And then you leave the pants section, and you get a banging wrap dress, which also comes perfectly in time for the summer season. Don’t forget to include some chiffon while you’re running around the story like a madman trying to stay ahead of the trend!
For decades, bodycon has ruled the fashion kingdom. Decades. It’s hard to believe the trend that has oversaturated the fashion world for so long is crumbling. But it is. If you’ve been waiting for the day bodycon falls from grace, now is your time to shine! Today is your day! This trend is yours! Now, go get those culottes and be a badass!