In time for warm weather, fashion has signaled that it’s time to bare it all, with the most popular trends of the summer ranging from party dresses to micro mini skirts and jewelry-like clothing. Part body jewelry, part chainmail, the bedazzled clothing trend includes apparel and accessories made from chains, beads, and discs, rather than fabric, and is anything but subtle.
For examples of the trend, see PatBo’s fall 2022 collection, which included cutout bodysuits in silver hues so sparkly they looked like malleable chandeliers. Dauphinette, a New York-based brand known for its chainmail pieces, also showed a slew of adorned pieces that resembled clusters of gold spray-painted leaves (see photo below). Meanwhile, designer Kelsey Randall presented a slate of chainmail clothing that included a dress made from mirror discs that could be mistaken for a Studio 54 disco ball. The overall aesthetic is inviting us all to hit the dance floor and be the diamond of the season (a la Bridgerton) — and dress the part.
The resurgence of ‘60s-inspired trends over the past year has propelled the popularity of beaded and jeweled garments that are reminiscent of the work of designers like Paco Rabanne and Gianni Versace. Rabanne’s knack for metallic garments inspired a whole universe of futuristic clothes that fit well with the nightlife scene, as well as the Space Age thinking of the time. Decades later, the brand’s chainlink bags continue to top every It girl’s list. Meanwhile, Versace’s love of metal mesh, chainmail, and beaded pieces in the 1980s and 1990s earned the house a reputation for party-ready clothing that is still being referenced today. For proof, see Versace’s spring 2022 show, which featured metal mesh tops, mini skirts, and dresses by the likes of Dua Lipa and Lourdes Leon.
But while we’ve come a long way from the days of shoulder pads, in 2022, dopamine and party dressing are still being used to cope with the world around us, as billionaires race to space with their self-funded missions and the pandemic continues to disrupt our lives.
While styling these barely-there pieces may seem like a difficult task, there are plenty of designs that won’t come with a public disturbance ticket. Take Dauphinette’s two-piece chainmail sets or Kelsey Randall’s gold-fringed keys dress that cover just enough to be wearable in the daytime — and, bonus, require zero additional accessories. You can also tone the look down via layers like a white tank top, one of the season’s top trends, or with more casual counterparts like low-rise jeans or cargo pants. For shoes, opt for a simple platform heel or boots that can help you channel the mod look of the ‘60s.
As temperatures continue to rise, it’s only natural to want to wear closer to nothing and live your best Hot Girl Summer. To get you started, check out some options below.
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