Amid the rise of statement sneakers, demure midi skirts and the ubiquitous turtleneck, we were beginning to think sexy was over. We traded in our 5-inch stilettos for sensible mid-height block heels and our skinny jeans for ‘70s wide-leg trousers. Realizing we’d never make the #fashionnipple work in real life, we were all but ready to pack away our plunging necklines in favor of Victorian collars, but back in February, something interesting happened.
Rather than piling on layers of oversize knits and heavy outerwear, some of our favorite designers showed up to fall fashion month armed with high-octane sex appeal. Alongside dad sweatshirtsand menswear-inspired pinstripe suits we saw mini skirts, corsets, body conscious silhouettes, and bare midriffs that had us wondering — is sexy back for fall? Decide for yourself with our roundup of fall’s sexiest ensembles.
Nicolas Ghesquière’s fall collection for Louis Vuitton resembled less the ‘60s and ‘70s-inspired looks he’s showed in recent seasons, instead harkening back to the styles he designed to transform Balenciaga. Futuristic, architectural and body conscious, Vuitton’s fall collection was a return to Ghesquière’s experimental roots, amped up with a dose of sensuality. The slip dress, which made its triumphant return in last year’s fall shows, was tougher this go-around paired with a black leather harness and lace-front combat boots. Jacquard bodysuits and curve-hugging dresses showed off every contour while outerwear was carefully unzipped to expose bare midriffs. And if all that wasn’t enough to convince you of the return of sexy, Ghesquière added plenty of patent leather for good measure.
If you didn’t already know who Olivier Rousteing’s muse is, after the debut of Balmain’s fall 2016 collection, there should be no question. From the models’ middle-parted hair to their molded-hip, padded skirts, the runway was a parade of Kim Kardashian lookalikes, led by the most convincing carbon copy of them all, the reality star’s younger sister, Kendall Jenner. Rousteing took spring’s boudoir dressing trend to the next level for fall with see-through lace bodysuits, curve-accentuating corsets and satiny floor-length robes. Extreme over-the-knee boots paired with sculptural mini skirts revealed little bare skin, but the effect was just as provocative — even in soft pastel pink and blue. As Rousteing told Vogue, “the women of today are really curvy, and they’re an inspiration.” We know at least one member of the #balmainarmy will be pleased.
For most of his career, Jason Wu has been known for smart tailoring and crafting ladylike red carpet gowns for A-listers like Diane Kruger and First Lady Michelle Obama. This season showed Wu’s spicier side with plunging necklines, open backs and lots of lace. While less in-your-face than some of the other designers, Wu’s combination of demure sportswear with sexy accents felt balanced and wearable. From slinky lace slip dresses to windowpane prints sexed up with plunging necklines and flirty mini skirts, the young designer’s latest collection was just as feminine and well-tailored as any of his previous seasons, with a refreshing coquettish spin.
In this latest collection, Haider Ackermann relied on his tailoring expertise to deliver low-slung, second-skin pants and razor-sharp suits (styled shirtless), creating military-influenced looks infused with his own brand of avant garde sex appeal. The real scene-stealers of the collection were a trio of velvet gowns with extreme slits revealing entire left legs; a look sure to show up on the red carpet this year (Angelina Jolie, we’re looking at you). Ackermann’s version of sexy is edgier and more intimidating than some of the other collections, but is totally befitting of a designer touted as a young Rick Owens, known for experimental techniques and an androgynous aesthetic.