Some of these creations will be sold complete with toning silk slips to wear underneath; but even if not, don't panic, says Elizabeth Walker, executive fashion editor at Marie Claire magazine. Manufacturers and retailers are rising to the challenge; though you may have to shop a little far afield, at least initially. "Hidden in the depths of Prada in Milan they sell little natural-coloured underwear-slip things - they make another sheer layer, but they stop the dresses from being revealing, except in outline," she says. "And some of the big American stores are already hiring in seamstresses to sew linings in to the sheerest garments."
Closer to home, this month's Vogue reassuringly explains that Selfridges has sent all its buyers on a training course on dealing with transparent garments. Vogue recommends seeking out a knee-length slip with built-in bra, to avoid an unsightly multiplication of shoulder-straps. John Lewis suggests Warners Nearly Nude Bodyliner, pounds 20, which comes in "toffee and beige shades"; and Marks & Spencer has a full range of flesh-coloured slips, bras and big knickers, including the essential slip/bra hybrid.
But the trouble with all these disguising undies is that they are the colour of Elastoplast and about as alluring. "This slightly Fifties look is very much designed not to be seen," says Marie Claire's Elizabeth Walker. "But there are also bright colours that have layering potential. I was longing for a lime-green satin shift from La Perla, which sounds very over-the-top but would look wonderful under a sheer green-and-floral dress. The look is less easy to achieve than one that's minimal, it's a fashion minefield, but that's part of the fun."Reuse content