They’re keeping abreast of the trends.
Designers at New York Fashion Week chose to celebrate the nearly freed nipple with a slew of arresting areola accoutrements, as show after show offered up outlandish outfits incorporating highly decorative pasties.
The stroll down mammary lane left some fashion followers feeling caught in the headlights.
“I feel like fashion keeps getting more and more risqué and the old-school rules just don’t apply anymore,” style expert George Kotsiopoulos told The Post. “We’ve gotten to the point that there’s only so much more that you can do, other than sending women down the runway naked.”
By turns glamorous, surreal and fetish-y, the twin toppers all but screamed for attention. At Area, creative director Piotrek Panszczyk unveiled a golden banana-peel-shaped corset with coordinating cha-cha covers. Puppets and Puppets designer Carly Mark served halters made from strings of black beads, strategically topped with resin-sculpted fried eggs or rosebuds. Kim Shui, meanwhile, turned her initial “K” into a pair of glittering bosom brooches held together by laces.
Nakai, the model who flaunted the barely-there flair, applauded the exposure.
“My boobs were out, so 10 out of 10 from me,” the size 2 stunner gushed to a reporter backstage. “That’s all I require!”
Created in the 1920s for burlesque performers to circumvent nudity laws, the pasty has cycled in and out of acceptance. Back in 1999, Lil’ Kim paired shell-shaped sequined sphere-silencers with a mono-shouldered jumpsuit for MTV’s VMAs. Diana Ross was so taken with the look that she jiggled the rapper’s bazooms on stage.
Fifteen years later, fashion editors swooned when Tom Ford showed an evening gown with glittery boob bling embedded in the transparent bodice. (Rihanna promptly rocked it.) In 2009, Lindsay Lohan was slammed for featuring heart-shaped double-header doilies in her disastrous debut collection for Ungaro. Offended critics called the collab “a hot mess” and “truly, deeply horrible.”
Fast forward to 2016 when Saint Laurent’s single crystal-studded pasty-and-leather-dress combo was hailed as a powerful ode to female sexuality. Around that time, young women, driven by ideals of body equality and body positivity, started parading novelty knocker-blockers at parties, clubs, music festivals and on Instagram.
And last year, Doja Cat won big at the Billboard Music Awards in gold nipple covers and a black Schiaparelli gown, while Camila Cabello wowed at this month’s Grammys in a peekaboo PatBO dress.
Kotsiopoulos, who co-owns Or Bar in West Hollywood, California, said he sees women in revealing gear all the time — and told The Post that if they’ve got the confidence, why not go for it?
“The younger generation has far less hangups,” he said. “There are fewer restrictions and rules about what is deemed appropriate attire and a lot of young women are empowered to show off their bodies.”
Indeed, Shui said that her fall collection speaks to “women’s agency, safety and freedom to express themselves. It’s not about saying if you show a lot of skin, you’re sexy. It’s about your right to choose what you want to wear.” The designer told The Post that her nipple jewelry can easily be styled over a tank or long-sleeved top for coverage.
Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, fashion bloggers and authors known as the Fug Girls, told The Post that the newfound freedom is a reaction to pandemic sweatpants and COVID-induced isolation.
“I suspect what we’re seeing is the end stages, I hope, of coming out of the dark,” said Cocks. “It definitely feels like we’re in an era where people want to redefine what you would call a ‘shirt.’”
Even so, sometimes you can’t let it all hang out.
“My tip for wearing stuff like this is, like everything, to know your audience,” added Morgan. “If you’re going into the IRS for your tax audit, maybe pass on the pasties. Off to the club? Have a good time! Bring a coat.”
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.