By Rachel LeWinter
The Spring/Summer runways were filled with optimism, joy and collections that will inspire you to experiment with your clothes again. “The past few years have felt pretty serious and dim, and I think fashion has done a great job of making things feel exciting and bright and magical during this time,” says celebrity stylist Brit Elkin. One major trend that swept the collections—creative cut-outs—is the perfect way to usher in warmer temps, and brighter days. Kara Elkin, Brit’s sister and styling partner, adds: “Revealing a little skin feels metaphorically like we are coming out of our shells, life is coming back, and we are breaking out.” If you’re hesitant about baring your bod, don’t fret. For Spring 2022, designers presented new iterations that skew more sophisticated and less scandalous.
Celebrity styling team Zadrian Smith and Sarah Edmiston explain that these suggestive silhouettes work for every body type and it’s easy to highlight your favorite features. “Start small and think about what’s age appropriate,” suggests Edmiston. “Perhaps a mother opts for cut-out shoulders, while the daughter has a dress with cut-outs on the midsection.” She recommends pieces with slim slits on the collarbone and neckline, as those tend to be the most universally flattering. “A cut-out instantly breaks up a block of color or fabric with a unique detail,” says Smith. “It can keep a look from falling flat, without having to add embellishments.”
At Chloé’s size-inclusive show, Gabriela Hearst introduced Chloé Craft; the boho-vibe pieces included fringe-flecked linen frocks with waist cut-outs, bell-sleeve maxis with keyhole detailing and revealing rainbow-hued recycled crochet dresses. Designers didn’t stray from their trademarks, but instead seamlessly integrated the trend in unique ways.
Pierpaolo Piccioli remained true to Valentino’s glamorous roots while incorporating exposed waists and keyhole necklines into his sequin gowns and mod minis. With the help of some famous faces, Versace showed silhouettes with unexpected slits, while still respecting the brand’s authentic identity. Singer Dua Lipa opened the show in a midriff-baring blazer and matching midi skirt with subtle side exposure. Lourdes Leon (Madonna’s daughter) wore a silver sequin halter gown with side cut-outs, and Naomi Campbell stunned in a hot pink suit with a glowing orange top slightly sculpted to display her décolletage.
Unexpected pairings and surprising styling elements were standouts at Zimmermann, like a flirty bow-adorned frock with belly-baring slashes, which was worn with edgy combat boots. There was also a pumped-up LBD with peek-a-boo lace accents, and a watercolor rose-print ball gown skirt topped off with a shoulder-exposing wrap-top.
Anthony Vaccarello’s 62-piece collection for Saint Laurent featured more than 15 looks with cut-outs. Slim-fit jumpsuits—in bold hues and punchy florals—with spots of strategically uncovered skin were among the superlative styles. Stella McCartney also turned out memorable one-pieces, hers in neons and groovy-prints, donning cut-out details on the waist, shoulders and neckline.
Laure Hériard Dubreuil, founder and creative director at The Webster, predicts cut-outs to be a big-seller at Bal Harbour. “We can always count on our South Florida client to embrace our most bold trends; this is one she will embrace in every way, and won’t be afraid to show off,” she says. No matter how you slice it, these eye-catching pieces will be a memorable addition to any closet. And whether you decide to reveal a little or a lot, the Elkin sisters assert that anyone can make the cut. “Wearing cut-outs means you are confident, and we think confidence is the most flattering thing you can wear,” Kara insists.