Fashionable Milan says: 'Show your knickers'
Wednesday 09 October 1996
Knickers, all types, have been cropping up on the Milanese catwalks with the insistence of a schoolboy joke. Show us your pants! And they did.
At Dolce e Gabbana, little stringy girls all innocence and romance wearing roses and curls in their hair were wild from the waist down as big leopard- skin knickers peeped through flower-print chiffon tea dresses, a style that has been fluttering down virtually every Milan catwalk.
Adding a kink to Dolce e Gabbana's idea of flowering femininity, the wild pants were worn over the palest grey tights, just like the ones cautious mother demanded on a chilly winter schoolday mornings, and cause of deep humiliation in PE changing rooms.
The entire collection shown by Anna Molinari was a game of peeping pants. They flashed through rose-print blooms, under waterfall ruffles, which coursed down chiffon dresses and through thigh slits on slinky wrap skirts. Pants verged on the hysterical at Missoni when a pair came out fringed like a rag rug; they were showgirl show-off in the sequinned knickers that sparkled through Lawrence Steele's Seventies-style kaftans; and they took a leaf out of Playboy in the thong-fastened with big "G" metal logo over an oiled and tanned perfectly pert bum at Gucci.
The knicker fetish reached obsessive proportions in Milan, but it's not only a quirk of the Italians. In London, Clements Ribeiro sent out camel and cocoa brown cashmere big pants which must be the last word in kinky luxury. Antonio Berardi scattered sequins over pairs of skimpy frilled knickers. In Seraph, a new line from Ghost, there were rumours of integral knickers under unitard all-in-ones.
You don't need to re-read Lolita to understand the allure of a grown-up woman wearing a pair of schoolgirl pants under a see-through gown. What stretches the imagination is how designers intend to sell their pants to a nation of women bonded at birth to M&S.
At Prada big pants are proving a success - against all odds. Buying pants at Prada is like commissioning Richard Rogers for a patio extension. At the Milan flagship store they lie in cellophane envelopes displayed under a glass case like a jeweller's charms. Available in white, flesh, navy and black, they are seam free, gusset free and trimmed with a tiny band of mesh. And they cost about pounds 80. Probably the most expensive pants in the world.
After a week of shows, pants suddenly seemed vital. Shopping hormones coursed through my body, so I bought a pair. Then I realised I needed a see-through dress to show off the pants, so I bought that too. I just hope Prada pants don't expect to be dry cleaned.
Arts & Ents blogs
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
The opening titles squeal ‘Never Can Say Goodbye…’. Oh Lord how I wish I could heave this series off...
Coronation Street triumphs over EastEnders at British Soap Awards 2013
The Hangover III star Heather Graham: I'll miss playing a sexy stripper because my real life is pretty boring
Hollywood practices random acts of red-carpet kindness
Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
Cannes Film Festival 2013: And why exactly are vous here?
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.