Designers and trendsetters alike are following in the kitschy tradition of the jelly shoes of the late 1980s, but taking it up a notch. Accessories of all functions and styles have gone completely see-through.
The trend has been gaining speed over the last few years, with ready-to-wear collections showing a dash of skin through PVC materials, and has now reached its peak.
The look has already infiltrated celebrity style, taking over the street style looks of all sorts of icons. A supportive wife, Kim Kardashian is often spotted in Yeezy PVC Wedge Mules. She’s worn the shoe in every occasion, from shopping to fashion week parties. Ariana Grande has been brave enough to sport a see-through bag, opting for the Chanel Jerry Can bag in a look she shared on Instagram with a faux fur Urban Outfitters jacket and thigh-high Yeezy tubular boots.
Spring/Summer 2018 has proven to be the season of see-through, with Chanel trailblazing the way to making all types of accessories 100 percent transparent. Just about every designer that embraced the trend showed it in footwear, while a brave few took it a step further and introduced it to handbags and beyond.
In Alexander Wang’s collection transparent shoes were upfront and center with plastic uppers on sandals that appeared almost barefoot or even thigh-high boots made entirely from mesh materials with PVC at the foot. At the other end of the spectrum, Oscar de la Renta went a more subtle route, showing classic, pointed toe stilettos made see-through yet accented with blocks of color ranging from sleek cap-toes to modern color splatters.
Off-White, however, went rather avant-garde with the see-through trend. Still only bringing the style to footwear, Virgil Abloh’s see-through designs looked like typical opaque pumps that had been wrapped in plastic.
The Chanel collection took the trend to the extreme, making every single accessory for Spring/Summer 2018 entirely see-through. Along with many, many cap toe PVC boots, Chanel’s accessory selection included clear handbags, gloves, hats, and even capes. Mimicking the mesh detailing on layered skirts and dresses in the collection, these accessories prove that the purpose of fashion is no longer to cover the body. But this raises the question: what is the point of an accessory if you can see right through it?
These accessories allow us to embrace what is traditionally covered up – imperfect feet, a bad hair day, or the hoarder-level mess that has taken over a handbag. See-through accessories put these flaws on display and transform them from blemishes to fashion. As for Chanel’s transparent capes and gloves, now a rainy day doesn’t need to take away from a chic outfit.