TREND: BARE MIDRIFF-ING

by

Balenciaga-Spring-2013-photo-via-summerflounce.com_

Vanessa Rosales

I recently read a sentence that captures my ways of experiencing fashion. “I love the word. I love to think about fashion in words.”

Fashion, to me, is a matter of concepts and interior developments. Trends play an important role in this understanding. Some trends are mere fads, quickly spreading like viruses, in an age where information lacks any concrete or sensorial reality. Other trends, however, have the compelling ability to act as mirrors of something else. Something going on in our culture, something disquieting being stirred in the bottom of our beings, something that appeals to the ways women understand themselves today. And some trends can even strike my heart with possibilities and shapes than enlighten my own sense of self, the contours of my taste, the very medulla of my femininity.

Bare midriffs, my favorite current trend, is quite the summery essential. Its apparitions oscillate. It comes in streamlined, modernly sophisticated versions. It can look amusingly edgy, sculpted in the New York hyp, urban way. It can be demure and ultra feminine, reaching the high ends of the couture realm. It can also be grungy or genuinely sleek, amidst a gorgeous confection of sculptural whips.

Two seasons ago, New York runway fashion redirected its gaze into the American mid-century. Critics said it might have been the evident turns of a society undergoing crisis, trying to cling onto eras reigned by tradition. There is something about bare midriffs that pushes me into the domains of an old-school form of sensuality. A sprinkle of the 1950s here, a dash of Hollywood glamour over there. One that was no less artificial, but that I personally hold dear to a time where seduction came in the shapes of Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth.

The tiny strip of flesh allowing itself to be seen is an ode to a form of seduction that was powerful without being brutally obvious or explicit. This is the seduction I truly celebrate in the complex crafts of womanhood: one that extends an invitation to be contemplated as a creature of utter elegance.

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