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“Well let’s just say it, it’s the naked dress!” said Charlotte to Carrie on Sex and the City back in ‘96. And with that, fashion history was made. Was this the first time a naked dress was worn? Of course not. Marilyn Monroe wore her iconic Happy Birthday Mr. President dress long before Sarah Jessica Parker donned that tiny skin-coloured slip. But this was the first time the trend had a name.

Since then, the fashion hall of fame has been filled with moments where celebrities have made maximum impact in minimal clothing. Some key reference points for your books: Kate Moss’s silvery slip dress in 1993, Rose McGowan at the 1998 VMA’s, Jennifer Lopez’s green Versace dress at the 2000 Grammy’s, Rihanna’s fishnet Swarovski gown worn in 2014, Emily Ratajkowski’s 2018 Met Gala look, and anything Julia Fox has worn recently.

From the red-carpet to the runway, the fashion world can’t keep its clothes on. Whether it’s second skin designs by Mugler and LaQuan Smith, exposed underwear at Miu Miu, skin-flashing designs by Prada or next to nothing slip dresses at Saint Laurent, the message is clear: it’s time to get naked.

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In 2023, there’s a whole host of designers expertly crafting barely-there styles that empower the female form. LaQuan Smith is one. An architect of bold, sexy designs, Smith has been making serious waves in the industry. Having dressed all your favourite A-listers (think Rihanna, Beyoncé and Julia Fox) through his designs, Smith is calling for women to reclaim their bodies. Speaking to FLANNELS, he said: “Women need to feel proud in their skin” and that he wants women who wear his designs to feel “bold and fearless”. Over at Mugler, it’s a similar story. Creative director Casey Cadwallader is firm on his vison when it comes to the brand, and championing bodies of all shapes and sizes is a big part of his mission and, incidentally, the brand’s success. Talking about his designs, Cadwallader said they “make them [women] feel fierce, it makes them feel excited and it makes them know that their curves are beautiful”.

Meanwhile, Marco Capaldo of 16Arlington has been engineering his own take on the trend. Capaldo is part of a new wave of London based designers who are redefining partywear – suffice to say, his approach is flawless. His take on the trend comes in the form of the ethereal Solaria dress, a slightly less daring, but equally impactful version of the naked dress. Skin-tight with a key-hole cut out to the chest and sequins that give a wet-look affect, the dress has been spotted on the likes of Hailey Bieber, Alva Claire and Paloma Elsesser. Talking about the gown, Capaldo said “there’s an effortlessness to it that really speaks to the heart of what we do; glamour doesn’t need to be a hard-earned endeavour – it can be as simple as a well-cut dress that you can slip into on any occasion without having to think twice”. Now that’s something we can get behind.

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But if you thought that naked dressing was confined to the ultra-glamourous spheres of partywear, you thought wrong. Over the past few seasons, naked dressing has influenced streetwear too. Off-White’s SS23 collection featured teeny tiny bralettes, flesh-flashing cut-outs all over the body and waists dropped well below the hip. And on the, well, literal street, it’s a similar story. Bellybuttons, under boob and bare stomachs are becoming as ubiquitous as sneakers and sandals. Which is good news if you find the prospect of a sheer gown a little daunting. The naked dressing trend is equally wearable through a bra-top and low-rise cargos as it is through a sheer slip dress.

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Another architect of the naked dressing trend is – unsurprisingly – Miuccia Prada. When a viral fashion moment is making the rounds, it’s likely Mrs Prada has had something to do with it. According to Lyst, Prada is currently the biggest brand in the world. The runner up? Its sister brand, Miu Miu. So, it makes sense that the woman behind the two biggest brands in the world would have had a huge influence on the naked dressing trend.

For SS22, it was the Miu Miu micro mini that broke the internet (and spawned a million memes). For AW22 it was Prada’s sheer, crystal net skirts. For SS23, Miu Miu’s skin-flashing cargo co-ords, barely-there bras and thong boots. Then, at Miu Miu’s AW23 show, it was pants-as-pants. Season after season, Mrs Prada reinvents naked dressing and creates a new viral frenzy, flipping the fashion world on its head. Each season, Mrs Prada reaches the runway ready with a message: take, it, off.

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The verdict is in – and naked is the new frontier. But one of our favourite things about the trend? It’s surprisingly universal. The Y2K revival has spurred on skin-flashing low-rise styles and exposed underwear, while the night-luxe look has seen a rise in sheer, glittering gowns that cling to the skin. At the aforementioned LaQuan Smith and Mugler, we’re seeing form-fitting garments with strategic cut-outs, while brands like Khaite and Saint Laurent are showing chic but simple slip dresses that are giving the fashion crowd a big pair of bedroom eyes. The trend has even begun to infiltrate the accessories world, with naked shoes at Tom Ford and Christian Louboutin. Basically, there’s no limit to the ways you can take your clothes off.

Whether you like things raw and undone like Kate Moss; precise and polished like Kendall Jenner or overtly sexy like Emily Ratajkowski, there are so many ways that you can work the trend. In 2023, you can get naked however you like.

The naked dressing trend is a lot of things – sexy, shocking, and supremely chic. But behind the aesthetics, naked dressing is a sign of a shift within the industry. Sure, sex sells. But this is more than that. In stripping things down to the bare necessities, the naked dress is building a platform for women to empower themselves.

Emily Ratajkowski is one such woman. Currently in her self-proclaimed “b***h era”, Ratajkowski has been taking steps to take control of her narrative. And one of these moves has been donning a series of barely-there looks. From walking the Miu Miu runway in a skin-flashing co-ord to appearing at the Oscars after party in a sheer silver gown by Tory Burch, Ratajkowski has proved herself to be the queen of naked dressing. And the supermodel-turned-author’s close friend Ziwe has been making similar moves. The It girl we all deserved, the self-proclaimed “icon living” (Vogue) recently made her runway debut at Mugler’s AW23 show in a barely-there bralette, statement-making corset and black lace gloves.

Another celebrity whose naked dress made a clear statement? Florence Pugh. Pugh – who wore a stunning sheer Valentino gown in Pink PP tulle gown last summer, was (disappointingly but not surprisingly) addressed with trolling and body shaming from all corners of the internet. Speaking out on Instagram, she said: “Listen, I knew when I wore that incredible Valentino dress there was no way there wouldn’t be a commentary on it… What’s been interesting to watch and witness is just how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for everyone to see”. Pugh went on to leave the trolls with a clear message: “Grow up. Respect people. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans.”

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A recent admission (or perhaps, re-admission) into the naked dress hall of fame? Pamela Anderson. The ‘90s icon sat front row at the Jacquemus SS23 runway show donning a sheer, white silk dress, cut with clever wrap detailing, a high neck and OTT feather embellishment. The appearance came just as news hit that Pamela, A Love Story, an intimate documentary which saw Anderson tell her own story in her own words, for the first time, would be airing on Netflix. The documentary and memoir explored the intricacies of a woman’s life that has been lived in the spotlight and gave Anderson space to tell her truth. The fact that she chose to don a naked dress as she took her narrative into her own hands is a power move if we ever saw one. And it’s a meaningful one at that. A naked dress is so much more than just a dress. It’s a blank space, an open page, an opportunity for women to reclaim their bodies, and their truths.

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The naked dress has been around for decades. But in 2023, the shape and impact of the trend is changing, and naked dressing is becoming more inclusive to different body types, genders and identities. This is thanks, in no small part, to the faces pioneering the trend. Back in October of 2022, Emma Corrin, who identifies as non-binary, donned a sheer, electric blue naked dress to the premiere of the adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Elsewhere, models Alva Claire and Paloma Elesser have been prolific adopters of the naked dressing trend. Elesser’s Instagram is filled with pictures of the model in a whole host of barely-there looks, by the likes of Marni, Mugler and Miu Miu. It’s a similar story for Clare, who is a favourite of naked-dressing architects 16Arlington and is frequently spotted in their glitter-clad sheer gowns. Much more than simply a trend, naked dressing represents an embodiment of pleasure and power. This trend is being championed by models all shapes and all sizes, proving that the naked dress can – and will – be worn by any, and every, body type.

The naked dress is a celebration of women’s bodies in all their glory. After all, why wouldn’t we want to put every inch of ourselves on display? Fashion is at its best when women are wearing whatever they want. And if that happens to be next to nothing, so be it.





Sweat, sun and salt. Long, hot summer holidays are finally upon us. From Dolce and Gabbana to Magda Butrym, this is what we’re taking with us.