Entertainment Style Racy and raunchy: Lingerie as outerwear

Racy and raunchy: Lingerie as outerwear

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· Trend report: New season lingerie

Even as temperatures dip and summer’s warmth fades, it will still be fashionable to peel back the layers.

For autumn and winter this year, skin is in.

Cool weather dressing will be sensuous, with peeps of flesh on parade and slinky fabrics that while sexy, are not so forgiving.

Cut-outs, lace and mesh, form-fitting leather pants and dresses and boudoir-style silk slips and camisoles will lend a racy edge to autumn/winter style — think Elizabeth Taylor in her nightie in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof — and this means crafting a well-supported, womanly silhouette, starting with the right underwear.

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof made a silk camisole as outerwear a must-have wardrobe accessory. Photo: Supplied

Cleavage is a traditional erogenous zone but this year, it’s as much your back, décolletage, midriff and shoulders, so prepare to bare.

Beautiful bras, knickers, shapewear and corsetry will create a comfortable and flattering foundation for 2014’s trends. If your unmentionables are to be seen, ensure they make as much of a stunning statement as your outer attire.

Australian lingerie entrepreneur and designer Kay Cohen, the founder of international label Pleasure State and now designer of luxe brand Silent Assembly, said it’s acceptable to expose a hint of lingerie, like a lacy strap, the apex (where the strap joins the cup), or the centre gore.

Nude colours shouldn’t be the default — instead, think of lingerie as an accessory, Ms Cohen said.

“The current fashion offering is sleeveless, or cut-away shoulders, low backs, plunging necklines and transparent fabrics, and many would be impossible to wear with underwear that isn’t supposed to be seen. It’s impractical,” she said.

“This season we bring a refinement to lingerie, moving away from the heavy satin and bling trends that have gone on for the last decade.

“Fabrics are sheer and light.”

Ms Cohen has developed 3D polymer cup support structure, which, after its launch in Paris last year, Forbes magazine said could spell the end of underwire.

Ms Cohen shares her tips on what underwear to pair with the coming season’s sexy trends…

Cut-away tops and dresses, as seen from Michael Lo Sordo to Prabal Gurung:

“If the bra is going to be visible because of the dress or top design, then make a feature of it.  It is on trend to have a coloured bra showing, as did Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex And The City. It is better than trying to do the boring skin match.”

Photo: Supplied
Michael Lo Sordo cutaway dress. Photo: Supplied

Slip dresses and camisoles, as seen from Louis Vuitton to Witchery:

“You should plan on smooth.  We don’t like to see lumpy underwear showing through lovely, slinky fabrics.”

Louis Vuitton slip dress. Photo: Supplied.

Tops and dresses with transparent lace or mesh, as seen at Thakoon to Zimmermann:

“It’s best to make a feature of the bra. Try choosing something extreme, like you would an exciting pair of shoes.  Bras should be thought of like accessories.”

Thakoon transparent lace dress. Source: Supplied.

Leather dresses and pants, as seen from Donna Karan to Chanel:

“I would recommend smooth basics under leather — you don’t want to see any bumps. Also, leather is heavier and basics tend to be more durable.”

Donna Karan. Source: Supplied.

Emily Power is an Australian fashion journalist who also edited Fashion & Flemington and Fashionista’s Guide to Shopping in Melbourne.