Nearly everywhere in fashion, I see body-ody-ody, or so I think.
They aren't naked bodies, per se, but prints that give off the impression of a wearer baring it all with their look.
The fashion technique I am talking about has a name, and it's called "trompe l'oeil," which means "to deceive the eye" or "trick the eye" in French.
Trompe l'oeil is an art technique, defined as an object that is realistically presented in 3D and turns out to be an optical illusion to the eye. In other words, the artist makes us believe a person or thing is there when in reality, it's not.
Fashion is no stranger to the trompe l'oeil. The artistic design method's relationship with fashion dates back to the late 1920s with a Miss Elsa Schiaparelli, credited with popularizing the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't sorcery.
Trompe l'oeil is most evident in her sweaters with bows stitched into the garment, possessing no element of functionality, just visual appeal. In short, no bows, just vibes.
Maison Martin Margiela and Jean Paul Gaultier are other labels who are not new but true to trompe l'oeil.
Comme des Garçons, Gucci, Fendi, and Moschino also jested past collections with trompe l'oeil tricks, taking a more playful route with t-shirts made to look like tuxedos, faux draped dresses, and toes humorously gracing dress shoes.
When we think of body prints, your mind often first goes to JPG, which arguably set the tone for the present-day body craze in fashion and style.
While anything goes for trompe l'oeil, bodies seem to be the illusion of choice nowadays. From topless to full-on nude first impressions, designers give us the duped realities of boobs on dresses and abs on t-shits, creating a sense of quick-shock and fun in ready-to-wear collections.
Former Balmain designer and Central Saint Martins graduate Constanca Entrudo and her eponymous label carry the ultimate trippy dress, which initially started as an amusing gag. Now, the Trompe L'oeil Dress has perked up to be the label's most beloved item, receiving the stamp of approval from celeb crushes like Chloe Bailey and SZA.
Inspired by London raves and life-of-the-party friends, Sinead Gorey's self-named label is made for the baddies who turn heads as soon as they step in a function. Art meets fashion with her body-hugging and body-baring garments, combining impressions of digitalization, the female physique, and thermal imaging for an IG-worthy fit.
Other designers who have seemingly perfected and captivated onlookers with the physique-toting art form include Pierre-Louis Auvray of Forbidden Kn0wledge and Sergio Castaño Peña of Syndical Chamber.
Known for pushing the boundaries of style with eccentric takes, Y/Project and LOEWE are naturally the latest brands to join the craze.
Y/Project, under creative director Glenn Martens, oozed Jean Paul Gaultier's timeless trompe l'oeil prints at its FW22 menswear show, ahead of the collaborative JPG x Glenn Martens Haute Couture SS22 show. Vibrant visually-busty tanks coupled the runway with full body-alluding suits, leaving the runway exposed and bursting with clever kinks.
LOEWE'S FW22 collection honed in the element of figure-focused surprises with details such as flipped t-shirts that formed face-printed masks and golden bums gilded on traditional longline outerwear.
I thoroughly enjoy seeing trompe l'oeil in fashion. It's fun, quirky, and unexpected. It unlocks a sense of innovation and unconventionality in design, keeping fashion enthusiasts (like myself) who wish to be taken away in fashion fantasy.