Peek-a-boo chic or sheer folly?

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theron and stewart AP This week, it became apparent that the look had reached critical mass when both Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart, stars of the new film Snow White And The Huntsman, wore sheer to its London premiere.

With each new fashion trend I often ponder the provenance. What were the designers thinking when they came up with sheer — first glimpsed on the catwalk in 2008, in transparent, gossamer gowns designed by John Galliano for Dior couture — and is now ubiquitous? Do they find it funny we are all now going out and about showing our big pants?

In theory, sheer should be wearable: it should be sexy, but still give that all-important coverage. It should give a little air to a long gown, and mould and sculpt the body. Too often, though, sheer is given all the thought and skill applied to a pair of net curtains.

The best sheer is provided by lace, pioneered on the catwalk so memorably in the autumn/winter 2008 collection from Miuccia Prada, who sent an entirely lace collection down the runway. Even then, all the women in the front row were thinking: ‘It will be fine once it’s been lined.’

But as with all these trends it has been bastardised and sent out on yet another celebrity keen to show off her gym-honed limbs.

This week, it became apparent that the look had reached critical mass when both Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart, stars of the new film Snow White And The Huntsman, wore sheer to its London premiere.

But to see how it should be done, look at the way Dannii Minogue wears her Jasper Conran dress: just a hint of what lies beneath. - Daily Mail

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